The 5th-seeded Georgetown University women’s basketball team was able to hold off a feisty 12th-seeded Fresno State Bulldog squad on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA tournament at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Despite jumping on the Bulldogs at the start, the Hoyas (23-8, 11-5 Big East) were never able to put the game out of reach until the closing minutes, surrendering a 17-point lead in the second half. But thanks to Fresno State’s poor ball control, Georgetown never lost the lead and finished on top, 61-56.
Senior forward Tia Magee led the way for the Blue and Gray with 17 points. While Magee bore much of the offensive load, she was also aided by junior guard Sugar Rodgers’ 11 points and senior forward Adria Crawford’s 11 points and nine boards. The Hoyas were cold in the second half, making no field goals in the final 6 minutes of play. Outstanding defense, however, forced 19 Fresno State turnovers and allowed Georgetown to compensate for its lack of offense in the second half.
“We either want to force teams to turn the ball over, or we want to force teams to play quicker than they probably really want to play,” Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy told reporters.
The turnovers clearly flustered the Bulldogs on the offensive end. A team that lives and dies by the 3-ball, Fresno State shot only 7-of-29 (24.1%) from beyond the arc and just 34% overall. Comparatively, Georgetown shot a touch above its season average (34.9%), by shooting 37.3% from the field. The Hoyas also shot a clean 50% from downtown on 5-of-10 shooting.
Sophomore guard Ki-Ki Moore, the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, led the Bulldogs with 22 points and Rosie Moult notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Those contributions would not prove to be enough, though, as Georgetown — which led by as many as 17 in the contest — would hold on to win despite being outscored 27-15 over the last 15:48 of the game.
The Hoyas will be in action again on Tuesday when they face fourth-seeded Georgia Tech, who advanced to the Round of 32 following a 76-50 pounding of 13-seed Sacred Heart. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m, once again in Chapel Hill.