24-10, 6-6 Away
24-8, 13-2 Home

Sugar Rodgers scores career-high 34 points as Georgetown rolls

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Georgetown backed up every boastful word, and the feeling was sweet as Sugar.

Sugar Rodgers scored a career-high 34 points, and the No. 5-seed Hoyas breezed past fourth-seed Maryland 79-57 Tuesday night to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the second time.

"I told you we weren't scared," coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said, referring to her comment Monday after someone compared Georgetown's tournament inexperience to Maryland's tradition of excellence (19 tournament trips and a national championship in 2006).

Monica McNutt, who dismissed Maryland's legacy as irrelevant on Monday, spoke of vindication after getting 14 points, five assists and two steals.

"We came out with an agenda," she said. "Absolutely. We had a chip on our shoulders. We had something to prove."

And it didn't take long for the Hoyas to do it.

Georgetown (24-10) bolted to an 11-0 lead, made it 40-26 at halftime and increased the margin to 23 points with 16:23 left.

The Hoyas will next face top-seed Connecticut in the Philadelphia Regional. Georgetown went 0-2 against their Big East rivals this season.

"They're a great team. It's no secret. But they're human. They've gone down," McNutt said. "Why can't we be the team to take them down again?"

Making its third appearance in the NCAA tournament, Georgetown dominated both sides of the court in this matchup of rival schools located only 15 miles apart. Rodgers, a sophomore guard, led the way with a 21-point first half.

Alyssa Thomas had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Maryland (24-8), and Lynetta Kizer contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds. But the Terrapins, playing on their home floor, shot a miserable 32 percent and committed 20 turnovers in losing to Georgetown for the second time this season.

Maryland has no seniors on its roster, and that became apparent very early.

"We're young. We've got 10 freshmen and sophomores, and we played like it tonight," coach Brenda Frese said. "We showed our youth, we showed our inexperience. It's a tough lesson to learn in your own building."

Rodgers' exceptional first half included six 3-pointers on eight tries. One of those long-range baskets came as the shot clock expired, a desperation 20-foot heave that banked off the glass.

"It just went in and I was happy," Rodgers said. "I knew it was my night."

The Terrapins knew Georgetown would press the entire game, and they knew Rodgers would be firing from all spots on the court. And still, Maryland could do nothing to prevent it.

"I said going into this game that I hope we could contain her under 30, and she gets 34," Frese lamented. "We tried to double and get the ball out of her hands, we tried a box-and-1, we tried to throw the kitchen sink at her and we couldn't get it done."

It was the Terrapins' worst NCAA tournament loss since a 74-48 lashing by Purdue in 1997.

After scoring 26 in Georgetown's tournament opener against Princeton, Rodgers went 10 for 16 from floor against Maryland. She converted seven of her 10 tries from beyond the arc, and chipped in with a team-high nine rebounds.

Her previous career high was 30, earlier this season against West Virginia.

"In the beginning she got hot, and once she was hot it was hard to cool her off," Terps guard Anjale Barrett said. "She was on fire today."

Georgetown went up 40-26 at halftime by forcing 11 turnovers, limiting Maryland to 8-for-27 shooting and going 10 for 15 from beyond the arc.

Barrett caught the opening tap and immediately had the ball batted away by Monica McNutt. Rodgers ended the possession with a jumper from beyond the arc, sparking an 11-0 run in which she contributed eight points.

"I thought our team came out right from the start and let our pressure defense dictate our offense," Williams-Flournoy said.

Not only did the Terrapins start 0 for 9 with four turnovers, but starting forward Diandra Tchatchouang injured her left knee and had to be helped from the floor. She did not return.

Maryland didn't get its first basket until Kizer scored on a follow at the 13:44 mark. That started a 12-1 run that got the Terrapins even at 14.

Undaunted, Georgetown used a trio of 3-pointers from Rodgers and one apiece from McNutt and Alexa Roche to launch a 23-8 spree that made it 37-22.