Three league teams were in action on Sunday, including No. 19/20 Georgetown (9-2) which held off crosstown rival George Washington 59-50 at home. Junior Sugar Rodgers had 18 points and six steals, extending the Hoyas’ winning streak to eight games.
Tia Magee’s three-point play with 48.7 seconds left gave the Hoyas a 58-49 lead and finally some breathing room against a pesky George Washington team. Magee finished with nine points and matched career-highs with 13 rebounds and five steals to help the Hoyas avoid their first regular-season nonconference home loss since Dec. 17, 2006.
In what was once an annual matchup, Georgetown won the first game between the crosstown rivals since 2004.
In a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden for the Maggie Dixon Classic, a pair of BIG EAST teams lost.
Brittney Griner had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks to help No. 1/1 Baylor rally to beat St. John’s (5-5) by the score of 73-59. Ex-Rutgers star Brooklyn Pope scored 19 points to lead the Lady Bears (10-0), who host No. 2/2 UConn on Dec. 18. It’s the second straight season they have met as the top two teams in the poll. The Huskies edged the Bears in Hartford last season by one point.
Baylor struggled early on against St. John’s and was trailing 36-30 early in the second half. Eugeneia McPherson scored 23 points to lead St. John’s. Teammate Nadirah McKenith added nine points and seven assists before leaving the game with 5:40 left in the game after hurting her right knee. The junior guard was helped off the court unable to put any pressure on that leg.
Some help is on the way for St. John’s. The Red Storm have been missing Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Da’Shena Stevens as she’s recovering from a left knee injury suffered over the summer. Stevens is expected to be back next weekend when the Red Storm host their own tournament.
“I’m proud we won and most proud we didn’t have to make excuses,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. “Our basketball team didn’t play well today and give St. John’s credit. Sometimes we take wins for granted. I don’t take any win for granted. When you have No. 1 plastered in front of you, you’ll get everyone’s best shot.”
Maggie Dixon died April 6, 2006, of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after her first season as a head coach, a performance that won the admiration of the academy and all of college basketball as she led Army to its first NCAA berth.
In the second game of the tournament, No. 20/21 DePaul (8-2) lost to No. 7/8 Tennessee 84-61. Glory Johnson who scored 16 points to lead the seventh-ranked Lady Vols, while DePaul’s Jasmine Penny tied a season-high with 16 points and Keisha Hampton added 14 for the Blue Demons.
Tennessee (5-2) saw its 12-point halftime lead cut to 43-39 before using a 13-4 run to take control.
UT head coach Pat Summitt was honored during the Baylor-St. John’s game with the Maggie Dixon Courage award. Both the Lady Bears and Red Storm came out of their timeouts to applaud the winningest coach in college basketball.
While this was DePaul’s first appearance in the Classic, the school has played in the Maggie Dixon Surf’N Slam Classic in San Diego. The Blue Demons have also hosted a tournament in honor of the coach the past few seasons. She got her start as an assistant coach at DePaul under Bruno before she went to Army.
Both Tennessee and DePaul will stay in the Tri-State area after the game. On Tuesday night, the Lady Vols play at Rutgers while DePaul visits Princeton.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.