Georgetown was presented with challenges on and off the court yesterday against No. 8 Notre Dame at McDonough Arena. The Fighting Irish brought with them the formidable inside-outside combination of center Ruth Riley and forward Alicia Ratay. They also brought a sizable and sometimes noisy contingent of fans, who had plenty to cheer about in Notre Dame's 82-60 win.
Riley, fifth in the nation in field goal percentage, only had four field goals, but three came during a 23-5 run by Notre Dame early in the first half. Her short jumper with 14 minutes 16 seconds remaining broke a tie at 10 and began the run.
The Hoyas collapsed their defense into the paint to stop Riley, which often left Ratay wide open. The freshman made four three-pointers on her way to a game-high 23 points. Riley finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. She made all 10 of her free throw attempts and was too much for Georgetown's 6-foot-10 freshman center Suzy Bendegue, despite being five inches shorter.
"We played better today for about 30 minutes, but we're not happy with the outcome," Georgetown Coach Patrick Knapp said. "We fought back, but then Ratay would score like seven [points] in a row. . . . We watched her early in the game instead of playing her."
Georgetown guard Katie Smrcka-Duffy rebounded from a two-point outing against top-ranked Connecticut on Tuesday to lead the Hoyas (7-6, 1-2 Big East) with 19 points. But Smrcka-Duffy had little help from her teammates, as Georgetown shot just 32 percent and had only three players--Smrcka-Duffy, Lesley Walker (15 points) and Shawntese Charles--make more than one field goal.
The Hoyas played their third straight game against a top 15 team and face No. 11 Rutgers on Wednesday. Georgetown travels to Notre Dame (11-2, 2-0) for a rematch on Jan. 29.
"We see that we can play with these teams at times," Smrcka-Duffy said. "We just need to do it for 40 minutes."
HOWARD 88, N.C. A&T 56: Reagan Carter scored 15 points to lead five players in double figures and Andrea Gardner grabbed 13 rebounds for the host Lady Bison (4-7). Nakesha Walton had a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds for the Lady Aggies (1-10).
STONY BROOK 56, NAVY 38: The Seawolves (10-4) pulled away from a halftime tie by outscoring Navy 33-15 in the second half in Stony Brook, N.Y. Erica Hayes scored 12 points for the Midshipmen (2-9).