Patriot Center is almost like a second home court to Georgetown junior guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy, even though the arena is home to the George Mason women's basketball team. Smrcka-Duffy remembers playing there when she was in high school, during the Virginia regional playoffs.
Last night, in her first trip back as a collegian, Smrcka-Duffy and her Hoyas teammates looked perfectly at home as they shot 57 percent and routed George Mason, 82-59. All of Georgetown's starters scored in double figures, led by Smrcka-Duffy, who had a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting. She made 4 of 5 three-point attempts.
"I like this place," said Smrcka-Duffy, a graduate of Madison High in Vienna. "We had good passing, good movement, and we took the open shots. We took the shots that we felt comfortable with.
"I think we passed up a lot of open shots, too. We would pass it around a little more and find an easier shot."
Georgetown set the tone for the game, and probably decided the outcome, during the first 10 minutes. The Hoyas jumped to leads of 16-2 and 31-7, making 10 of their first 14 shots. George Mason (2-3), on the other hand, made two of its first 14.
It didn't help the Patriots that their leading scorer, senior forward Trish Halpin, picked up her third foul with 10 minutes 42 seconds left in the half. Halpin went scoreless in the half and finished with just four points. George Mason's second-leading scorer, junior guard Jen Surlas, had three points in the half, although she finished with a team-high 16.
"They didn't come out as intense as I thought they would," Georgetown Coach Patrick Knapp said. "But we deflated any intensity they had."
Georgetown distributed its scoring well, making eight three-pointers and making good entry passes to center Danielle Hurley (11 points) and forward Nathalie Bourdereau (13 points). Hurley also passed the ball out, and finished with a game-high five assists. Smrcka-Duffy, point guard Lesley Walker and forward Dani Ilic all had four assists.
"We wanted to make it hard for [Smrcka-Duffy] to catch the ball, and make it hard for her to get her shots," George Mason Coach Debbie Taneyhill said. "We did limit her opportunities, but Katie's not one-dimensional. When we got someone on her she found someone else to pass it to."
HOWARD WOMEN 80, TOWSON 51: Mona Gail Baker's 18 points and 11 rebounds powered the Bison to their first victory. Howard (1-3) led 41-23 at halftime and held host Towson (1-3) to 28 percent shooting. Regan Carter, a reserve, scored 15 points and Channell Washington and Andrea Carter had 12 each.
LAFAYETTE 64, HOWARD MEN 55: Brian Ehlers scored 22 points to pace the Leopards (3-1) at Burr Gymnasium. Lafayette hit 15 of 27 shots in the first half to take a 36-26 lead, and held on in the second half despite hitting only 9 of 31. Antonio Michell scored 20 points to lead the Bison (0-2).