Georgetown pulls away from Rider with big second half

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. -- Adria Crawford scored 19 points and reserve Alexa Roche had all of her 14 points in the second half to help Georgetown (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) overcome a sluggish start for an 81-54 victory over Rider.

Sugar Rodgers, the Hoyas' preseason All-Big East Conference guard, did not start the second half and was limited to 11 points on 4 of 14 shooting. Georgetown (8-3) snapped a two-game skid and handed Rider (0-8) its 12th consecutive loss dating back to last season.

"They only know Rider's record if we tell them," Georgetown head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We're coming off a two-game losing streak, so it had nothing to do with Rider. We have some things that we need to fix. We have to go back to what made us really, really good and that is our defense.

"Sometimes people get confused about what got us to where we are. We are getting a little too offensive-minded. Slowly, they are starting to understand."

Ali Heller scored 13 points to lead the Broncos, who were without leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Caitlin Bopp. Bopp, selected to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team last season, missed her second consecutive game with a high ankle sprain.

Sara Homan added eight points and 13 rebounds, but Rider finished the game with 25 turnovers.

Georgetown struggled in the first half at Alumni Gymnasium, and despite Rider's 13 early turnovers made only seven of its first 18 field goal attempts (.389).

The Broncs pulled within a field goal with 1:50 remaining in the first half, but the Hoyas scored the final six points to take a 39-31 lead at the break.

Dior Brown scored five consecutive points to pull Rider within five early in the second half, but Roche led a 16-1 second-half run with back-to-back 3-pointers to push Georgetown's lead to 59-39.

"We had to increase our intensity level," Roche said. "The mistakes we were making were not acceptable. We can't ever underestimate an opponent. Not that we did that with Rider, but we need to go out and play with the mindset that every team is capable of beating us."

Two days after dropping their Big East opener at Rutgers, the Hoyas led by 12 points in the first half, but Rider received consecutive 3-pointers by Heller and MyNeshia McKenzie to tie the score at 28-all with 3:02 remaining.

"Against a team like Georgetown you need to play for 40 minutes and we've kind of been stuck at that 30-minute mark," Rider head coach Lynn Milligan said. "But I thought our effort was terrific and we were able to take them out of some of the things they wanted to do. We just turned the ball over too much and gave them easy looks."