Colonials defense shuts down shooter in GU rivalry

The GW women’s basketball team defeated cross-town rival Georgetown University 70-59 by shutting down its opponent’s best shooter for the second straight game. The Colonials held the Hoyas’ Katie Smrcka-Duffy, a 21-points-a-game scorer, to just seven points at Georgetown’s McDonough Arena Wednesday night.

But the Colonials lost Petra Dubovcova late in the game when the forward sprained her knee after getting tangled up with two Georgetown players, GW head coach Joe McKeown said.

GW’s Kristeena Alexander, Lindsey Davidson and Corrin Reid were all assigned to guard Smrcka-Duffy. They forced the point guard into six turnovers and played her the same way they played University of Iowa shooting threat Linsdey Meder last week. They were aggressive and trapped Smrcka-Duffy, often preventing the guard from getting good looks at the basket.

They have good guards, Smrcka-Duffy said. And they adjusted well. We didn’t look for other ways to exploit them.

The Colonials defense struggled early in the game, but GW came back in the second half to force Smrcka-Duffy into 1-for-9 shooting.

Freshman center Ugo Oha swatted away four Georgetown shots and added 8 points.

On offense the Colonials pushed the ball and fed their bigger players under the rim. Erica Lawrence celebrated her 20th birthday by leading the team in scoring with 16 points. Four GW players scored in double digits and the team shot 27-for-54 (.509 percent).

Guard Corrin Reid, usually the team’s defensive stopper, came off the bench early and invigorated the Colonials (4-3), who were trailing early in the game. Within the first five minutes, Georgetown (6-3) exploited the perimeter and took a 12-4 lead.

McKeown called a timeout to cool his team down.

Forty minutes is a long time, McKeown said. I just felt that we needed to relax. We had to get some jitters out.

McKeown inserted Reid, who made a quick jumper off a dish from Lawrence, sending the momentum back to the GW side.

Reid played the role Kristeena Alexander filled last year as the spark off the bench.

If I can come in and be a boost, then that’s just great, Reid said.

McKeown said Reid’s quiet presence has been an asset to GW.

Corrin’s one of those players that’s really been a four-year starter, McKeown said. She probably is an unsung hero.

The Colonials went on a 13-0 run after Reid entered. Petra Dubovcova capped it with a lay-up after Oha swatted away a Shawntee Charles shot.

But the lead wouldn’t hold and the teams were tied at 33 at the half. While the guards collapsed on Smrcka-Duffy, they left forward Rebekkah Brunson open. She was at the scoring end of many Smrcka-Duffy passes and scored a team-high 15 points.

The Colonials looked remarkably different in the second half, controlling the ball much better and scoring four quick points in the opening minute.

Elena Vishniakova (10 points) hit a jumper to start the Colonials off. On the next possession Alexander stole the ball from Smrcka-Duffy and passed it to Reid, who scored on a lay-up. GW increased its lead by four points.

Vishniakova tried again from outside but missed. Georgetown’s Brunson grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Vishniakova. After a string of free throws by the Hoyas’ Leslie Walker, Georgetown cut the lead to one.

Minutes later, at 45-41, Reid nailed her only three-pointer of the game, putting the Colonials up for good with 10 minutes to play. There was no reply after Reid’s three-pointer. Lawrence hit a jumper and Davidson hit a three-pointer, putting GW ahead by 13 points. The Hoyas had no answer.

Alexander guided the Colonials in the final five minutes. She slowed down the offense and hit both free throws when fouled with two minutes to play.

In the win, GW extended its winning streak to three-games and built on its all-time domination of Georgetown to 16-11 all time.

The last time the cross-town rivals met was in the 1998-99 season, when GW won 72-54 at the Smith Center.

You know there’s so much emotion involved when these two teams play each other, McKeown said. There’s a lot of pride involved.

The Colonials next play at Seton Hall Sunday night.

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