THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for Jan. 30

Men’s Lacrosse

B10 Men's Lax GarfAfter an inconsistent 2014 campaign, the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team is looking to regain control of the Big East during a 2015 season that promises plenty of trials and new opportunities.

Georgetown’s regular season-schedule matches it up against several top 10 teams including No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 9 Virginia and defending national champion No. 3 Duke, but Head Coach Kevin Warne says that the team is excited for the challenges that the schedule offers.

 

 

IPPOLITO: The Water Cooler

Unfortunately for many fans, the NFL, and the Patriots and the Seahawks, the outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl has already been determined — the Patriots will lose one way or another.

 

 

JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

Men’s Basketball

It is apparently a week of seconds for the No. 21 Georgetown men’s basketball team. On Monday, the Hoyas made their second appearance of the year in the national polls. On Wednesday, the team lost to Xavier for the second time this season.

Now, Georgetown (14-6, 6-3 Big East) will hope to continue the repetition theme and notch its second victory of the year over Creighton (10-12, 1-8 Big East) when it travels to Omaha on Saturday to face the last-place Bluejays.

 

 

SANTAMARIA: Saxa Synergy

Entering this season, eager fans had tournament expectations for the Georgetown men’s basketball team. However, what started with such promise has quickly become bleak — the question is no longer what team we will face in the tournament, but whether we will make the tournament at all.

Despite five Final Fours, an NCAA title and a history of greatness, the team finds itself overshadowed by its recent failures. However, this year offers a chance to erase all the disappointing chapters of the team’s recent history, a chance to pen a new page in a new chapter in the basketball program’s story.

 

FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA

FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA

Women’s Tennis

After a successful weekend debut at the 4-1 Invitational Match, the Georgetown women’s tennis team (2-1) will now make the short trip to Alexandria, Va. to battle James Madison (2-0) this Saturday.

Last weekend, Georgetown’s three matches each told very different stories. The first contest — resulting in a sweep of Georgetown courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth — tested the Hoyas. However, the loss propelled Georgetown into its second and significantly more successful match of the day — a 4-0 rout of Norfolk State. The next day, Georgetown played its most competitive match of the weekend against Campbell. Edging over the Camels 3-2, the combination of strong singles performances and admirable doubles play proved integral to the win.

 

 

Track & Field

The Georgetown track and field team will travel to State College, Pa., this weekend to compete at the Penn State National. The meet will feature such top teams as Villanova, Syracuse, Stanford and the host team Penn State, and it will allow the Blue and Gray to test themselves directly against some of the nation’s best runners.

 

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

Women’s Basketball

Less than a week removed from a heartbreaking overtime loss to Seton Hall (19-2, 8-1 Big East), the Georgetown women’s basketball team (4-17, 2-7 Big East) will travel to Chicago to take on DePaul (15-6, 7-2 Big East). Facing the second-ranked team in the Big East, the Hoyas will have a tough task as they attempt to end their five-game losing streak.

NBA Weekly Recap: Former Hoyas Show All-Star Potential

As the All-Star break draws near, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape and teams are starting to hit their midseason stride. And as the trade deadline approaches, several teams look to improve their playoff and title odds with the addition of that coveted missing piece. Nevertheless, things have stayed more or less the same since last week, with the Hawks and Warriors still leading the East and West, respectively. Other than a few exciting games (Bulls over Warriors in OT) and standout performances (Klay Thompson’s 37 point, 100% shooting quarter), the biggest news of the week is the All-Star game starters. For the East, John Wall, Kyle Lowry, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol start, while Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol lead the West. Bryant will no longer start, as he is out for the season with a torn rotator cuff, but maybe even more surprisingly than the injured Bryant being voted in is that the league leader in All-Star votes was Curry. Not James, not Bryant, but Curry. Though no former Hoyas will make the All-Star team, a handful may in the near future.

Detroit Pistons: Forward Greg Monroe

Monroe continues to stuff the stat sheet without fail. Though the Pistons are back to playing normal basketball — as opposed to winning 13 out of 16 games — the former Hoya big man is averaging a double-double on the season and has recorded several games recently with over 15 rebounds. As the Pistons climb up the playoff seeding, they must continue to do so without Brandon Jennings, who suffered a season-ending injury. Without their leading scorer, the Pistons’ playoff hopes are no longer as strong. However, Monroe’s displays of both scoring and rebounding bode well for a refocusing of the team’s scoring output. And if frontcourt running mate Andre Drummond can build a more complete scoring game, he and Monroe will overcome the loss of Jennings and dominate the post all the way into the playoffs.

Indiana Pacers: Center Roy Hibbert

Perhaps being so critical of Roy Hibbert was unfounded. Maybe fans expected too much from the center. Sure, he’s never developed the kind of scoring everyone thought he would, but he still does what few others in the league can do: change an opposing team’s entire offensive game plan. Though the Pacers no longer have Lance Stephenson and are without Paul George for the remainder of the season, they still have a top five defense. Opposing teams average under 42 percent around the rim when Hibbert is on the floor, and, though that kind of stat doesn’t show up in a box score, Hibbert’s presence is surely felt. So maybe instead of faulting Hibbert for lacking offensively, we should fault Indiana’s front office for still not supplying an excellent defensive team with enough offensive to keep it relevant. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Difficult Schedule Awaits Women’s Lacrosse in 2015

After months of preparation and “fall ball,” the Georgetown women’s lacrosse preseason is in full swing as the team prepares for the 2015 season. Last season, the Hoyas finished with a winning record of 11-9 (6-1 Big East) and were ranked ninth in the NCAA Tournament. But this year they are striving for more.

The schedule is full of tough opponents, including Princeton on Feb. 28, Duke on March 11, Johns Hopkins on March 21 and Loyola Maryland on March 25, all of whom made the Sweet 16 in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

The Hoyas’ first game of the season will be against The University of Virginia on Feb. 7, which made it to the semi-finals last year before losing to Syracuse. The team will face reigning champion Maryland on April 1 and will play Big East rivals Villanova on April 8 and Marquette on April 18 as the season comes to a close.

As Head Coach Ricky Fried enters his 11th season, he brings impressive experience to the team. He became the winningest coach in program history during the 2014 season. The Hoyas have added 10 new freshmen to their roster while two of the captains — senior attacker Caroline Tarzian and senior defender Adrianne Devine — were named Third Team Preseason All-American by InsideLacrosse.com in early September. Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Sixteen First-Half Points Doom Hoyas Against Xavier

Coming off of a smack down of Villanova and an overtime thriller against Marquette, Georgetown fans could be excused for expecting the Hoyas to come ready to play against the Xavier Musketeers. However, Georgetown (14-6, 6-3 Big East) fell to Xavier (14-7, 5-4 Big East) for the second time in a thoroughly frustrating game.

The Bad: The first half play of the Hoyas could be most kindly called a disaster. Xavier led the entire half, with Musketeer sophomore guard Myles Davis hitting big threes and dishing in the lane. With 12 turnovers and an abysmal 25% field goal percentage, Georgetown generated just 16 points in the first period, trailing 29-16 going into halftime. Xavier struggled to crack the Georgetown defense, especially given the number of fast breaks generated by Hoya turnovers, as senior guard and co-captain Jabril Trawick and senior center Josh Smith wreaked havoc with steals and blocks. The Hoyas’ frustrations came on the other end of the court, where shots wouldn’t fall and the ball was thrown around as carelessly as a hot potato.

Georgetown managed to slash its turnovers in the second half (only 4) and had sparks of creativity and scoring on offense, even cutting Xavier’s lead to 7 with 3:30 left in the game. But it could not quite close the gap on the Musketeers. The biggest issue came at the charity stripe, where the Hoyas went a miserable 13-24 on free-throws, including a 4-9 effort by Josh Smith). Every time junior guard and co-captain D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera tried to trigger a run with a bucket, Xavier responded with a basket of its own. Head Coach John Thompson III spent the game pacing the sidelines, alternating between anger and annoyance as layups rimmed out and the Hoyas racked up fouls.

Silver Linings: Fans will not find a whole lot of positives to be taken from this game. The Hoyas reclaimed underdog status, at least.

Freshman guard Tre Campbell had flashes of smart play. He plays aggressive, energetic full court defense every game and will hit open threes consistently. In the second half tonight, he showed range as he ran the court to earn a tough and-one layup. Look for Campbell to continue his rapid improvement as part of a dynamic freshmen class.

Smith — struggles from the free-throw line not withstanding — had a great game. He dominated the defensive paint, sending Xavier layups flying on a couple of occasions. On offense, he used his usual arsenal of spry post footwork to break the Hoyas out of their scoring slump and fought aggressively for offensive boards.

What’s Next: Georgetown will look to bounce back in Big East play as it takes to the the road to visit Creighton (9-12, 0-8 Big East) this Saturday.

Tagged , , , ,

The Rundown: Sports Stories for Jan. 27

Men’s Basketball

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Senior center Joshua Smith set new career highs with 15 rebounds and 31 minutes played against Marquette on Saturday

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA

When Head Coach John Thompson III and the Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-5, 6-2 Big East) welcomed in 2015 and began Big East play on New Year’s Eve, the team turned in its worst performance of the season — Georgetown had a humbling 70-53 loss to Xavier, forcing the Hoyas to tumble out of the top 25 after earning the rank just two days earlier.

Now, No. 21 Georgetown has won six of its past seven games ahead of Tuesday’s rematch with the Musketeers at Verizon Center. On Monday, the Hoyas climbed back into the national rankings for the first time since the blowout in Cincinnati on Dec. 31.

 

FIEGE: Out of Our League

Dec. 26, 2014 was a night unlike any other this season for the Atlanta Hawks. In front of a sold-out crowd at Philips Arena, NBA journeyman and current Milwaukee Bucks guard Jared Dudley went a perfect 10-for-10 from the field in the Bucks’ 107-77 blowout win.

While it was shocking enough that this loss came at the tail end of a string of victories against top-tier teams, including the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers, the fallout from that defeat has been even more surprising.

The Hawks have won all 16 of their games since the loss to the Bucks and are currently No. 1 in the NBA’s power rankings. Aside from that night, the Hawks have had a sparkling start to the season. Why is it, then, that they are still the Rodney Dangerfield of the league? Why is it that they get no respect?

Women’s Tennis

GU HOYAS Sophomore Victoire Saperstein led the Hoyas with a 6-2, 6-0 victory in the top singles slot against Norfolk State.

GU HOYAS

Thanks to the efforts of sophomores Victoire Saperstein and Sophia Barnard, the Georgetown women’s tennis team (2-1) powered past Norfolk State (0-5) and Campbell (1-2) this weekend at the 4-1 Invitational Match, though it fell to Virginia Commonwealth (6-1).

“It was a great weekend,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “We got the experience from playing a team like VCU — we got beat, but I’m just really happy we ended up playing them first, getting beat, and then learning from that. … We just did such a great job as a team.” Continue reading

Men’s Soccer to Take On MLS Champs

The Georgetown University men’s soccer team released its spring schedule last week, and it includes some big name opponents.

Most Georgetown students who hail from places other than Southern California rarely get the chance to see the reigning MLS champions Los Angeles Galaxy. The team — home currently to United States Men’s National Team players such as World Cup veteran defender Omar Gonzalez, rising star forward Gyasi Zardes and trailblazing defender Robbie Rogers — will make an appearance on campus as it prepares for the start of the MLS season.

The Los Angeles is one of three professional teams that Georgetown will take on this spring. The Hoyas will also play the Richmond Kickers, a third-tier side, and the Philadelphia Union. Both of those games will be played away from home in March.

Two fellow NCAA squads also make an appearance on the schedule. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Georgetown will play in Richmond, Va., on March 28. Duke University will travel to Georgetown and play on Shaw Field on April 11.

The Galaxy are the earliest of the five games, with a scheduled kick off time of 9 a.m. on February 3 at MultiSport Facility. The game, however, could be in jeopardy.

The Major League Soccer collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Jan. 31. The new agreement has long been expected to bring serious changes to the league and to player salaries. Recent reports have the players and the league far apart in negotiations, and American star midfielder Michael Bradley went on record last week saying that the players are prepared to go on strike if a deal is not reached.

File Photo: Julia Hennrikus/ the Hoya | Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez was selected in the third round of the 2015 MLS Draft by the Columbus Crew. He played in 81 total games for the Hoyas over four years.

File Photo: Julia Hennrikus/ the Hoya | Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez was selected in the third round of the 2015 MLS Draft by the Columbus Crew. He played in 81 total games for the Hoyas over four years.

Conversely, the players may continue to train even if an agreement is not reached. The season does not begin until March 6, so there is time for the two sides to come to a deal. The league operated under an expired agreement five years ago, and this year may bring a similar situation.

For its part, Georgetown will have an opportunity to evaluate its roster minus the five seniors who played their final match in blue and grey last December. Head Coach Brian Wiese will take the opportunity to look at potential replacements for goalkeeper Tomas Gomez, now with the Columbus Crew, and holding midfielder Tyler Rudy, now with the New England Revolution.

Tagged , , , ,