WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rutgers star Essence Carson knows that her team needs to finish off opponents better than the Scarlet Knights did against Georgetown.
Carson scored 18 points and had 10 rebounds and No. 5 Rutgers held off Georgetown 57-47 on Tuesday night.
"With a game like this, we understand what the expectations are," Carson said. "And for it to be that close -- that's not in our control."
Matee Ajavon and Myia McCurdy each added 11 points for Rutgers (14-2, 4-0 Big East), which has only eight healthy players on its roster.
The Scarlet Knights opened up a double-digit lead in the first half, but couldn't put away the Hoyas (10-6, 0-3). Rutgers made just one field goal over the final 6 1/2 minutes, but won their ninth straight game.
"I don't these kind of games," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "It was just a very uncomfortable kind of game."
Jaleesa Butler scored 14 points to lead the Hoyas.
After trailing 31-18 at halftime, the Hoyas cut the lead to 50-43 with a minute and a half left. Georgetown's 7-0 run came during a 5 1/2 minute scoreless streak for the Scarlet Knights.
"We made some defensive stops when we needed to, and we scored when we needed to," Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "As Rutgers goes, they made big shots, but I thought my kids played extremely hard."
Rutgers' Heather Zurich ended the scoreless streak on a putback with just over a minute left, and the Knights held off a Georgetown upset bid by making 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute.
"We just got out of sync somehow," Carson said. "It seemed like [momentum] was going back and forth, and we just couldn't get it to stay consistently in our favor."
Georgetown was outsized by Rutgers and in the first half the Hoyas defenders were often left with few options to stop the Knights other than fouling. Rutgers was 11-of-17 from the line, compared with Georgetown's 1-of-2, as the Knights opened up a 13-point halftime lead.