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.”