Georgetown women's basketball coach Pat Knapp has had some run-ins with the father of his starting forward Carmen Bruce. Fortunately, they all happened while Kirk Bruce was the women's basketball coach at Pittsburgh in the 1990s.
During yesterday's 78-58 victory over West Virginia at McDonough Gym, Carmen Bruce flourished under Knapp's direction.
Bruce finished with a team-high 20 points and made all nine of her free throws for the Hoyas (13-7, 4-5 Big East). The Hoyas had lost five of six games entering the game.
Bruce has led the team in scoring each of the past two games -- the only times this season a player other than sophomore Mary Lisicky or junior Rebekkah Brunson has led the team in scoring.
Overall, those two have combined to score 44.6 percent of the team's points.
Lisicky had 17 points and Brunson had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and sophomore guard Sarah Jenkins added 11 points yesterday.
"Carmen has always had the capability to score," Knapp said. "It was the other areas we thought she could work on and improve. This year, with her and Sarah Jenkins, we have wing players that can score. When they score, that's when our offense is running its best."
Sophomore Yolanda Page had 19 points for West Virginia (12-8, 1-8). Leading scorer Kate Bulger, however, was held scoreless; she missed all four of her field goal attempts.
Bulger entered averaging 15.1 points and was fifth in the NCAA in three-point shooting (47.6 percent).
Bulger had gone 1 for 13 against Georgetown last season, but the Mountaineers won, 71-70, in overtime. The Mountaineers took their only lead yesterday at 35-34 following two free throws by junior Sherell Sowho with 17 minutes 53 seconds to play.
The Hoyas, however, went on a 9-0 run and took a 43-35 with 15:27 left. Bruce had three points and Lisicky added five in the spurt. The Hoyas led 58-48 when Lisicky made a three-pointer as the shot clock expired for a 61-48 lead with 7:30 to play.
West Virginia did not get closer than 10 the rest of the game.
"That was our two-seconds left on the shot clock play," Lisicky said. "We actually drew that up during the media timeout [right before the shot]. This was a much-needed win for us."
Bruce, a four-time high school player of the year in Pittsburgh, is starting to show some of that promise for the Hoyas, even though she once rooted against them.
Knapp said after the game Kirk Bruce won seven of the 13 games in which their teams played.
"We didn't win too much up at Pitt," Knapp said. "Those were the dog days, when the league was just getting started."
* LEHIGH 68, NAVY 57: Courtney Davidson scored a game-high 24 points, 20 coming in the second half, in Bethlehem, Pa. But it wasn't enough for Navy (13-8, 3-5) to overcome 28-of-34 free throw shooting by Lehigh (10-10, 7-1). Anne Tierney led the Mountain Hawks with 19 points and 13 rebounds.