Georgetown women fall to No. 10 California

The Georgetown women’s basketball team outrebounded and outshot
No. 10 California in an early season cross-country matchup.

The Hoyas, however, failed to take care of the ball during a
67-52 loss Sunday that dropped them to 1-2 under first-year coach
Jim Lewis.

”The pressure should not have caused that much of a problem,”
Lewis said of California’s in-your-face defense that included nine
steals by Brittany Boyd. ”Too many unforced turnovers, and they
were live turnovers.”

Rashanda Gray scored 15 points, Mercedes Jefflo had 14, and
Afure Jemerigbe added 13 for the Golden Bears (2-2), who completed
their trip to the nation’s Capitol on a better note than they
started. California lost at George Washington on Friday night.

”It was all about getting better, being able to guard people,
being able to come back as fighters today, and I saw a lot of
that,” said California coach Lindsay Gottlieb, who guided the
Golden Bears to their first Final Four last April.

California did a lot of guarding, forcing Georgetown into 28
turnovers and scoring 40 points off of them. The Golden Bears also
outscored the Hoyas 10-0 in fastbreak points.

Natalie Butler scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and
Katie McCormick added 14 points for Georgetown (1-2), which dropped
its second straight game despite outrebounding California
41-31.

”The way we usually play that doesn’t affect us,” McCormick
said of California’s pressure defense. ”We just didn’t take care
of the ball for the press.”

Georgetown wasn’t helped by primary ballhandler Samisha Powell
picking up her fourth foul 30 seconds into the second half with the
Hoyas already trailing 34-24.

Georgetown was without Shayla Cooper, the Big East Preseason
Rookie of the Year, who was suspended before the game indefinitely
for ”detrimental conduct in violation of team rules,” according
to Sports Information Director Barbara Barnes. Cooper averaged 16
points and 8.5 rebounds in Georgetown’s first two games.

California broke the game open with a 19-4 run in the first half
that gave it a 28-11 advantage. The spurt included three fastbreak
layups created by its defense. The closest the Hoyas got after that
was 32-24 late in the half.

The Hoyas’ backcourt of McCormick and Powell committed 11 of
their turnovers, many of which led to Boyd racing to the other end
to score or feed a teammate for a layup. And when Powell had to sit
with foul trouble, Georgetown was mostly forced to rely on talented
but inexperienced freshmen who couldn’t break into the Hoyas’
deficit.

”We’re still a work in progress, but great kids to work with
and that’s the bottom line,” Lewis said. ”They want to get
better. We are getting better.”