The Georgetown women’s basketball team (17-12, 9-10 Big East) fell to host Marquette (23-7, 14-5 Big East) in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big East Women’s Tournament at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The game was the Blue and Gray’s first of the tournament after earning a first round bye after earning the sixth-seed. Sophomore guard Dionna White lead the Hoyas with 17 points, three rebounds, five assists, and four steals, while junior guard Dorothy Adomako contributed 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. The Golden Eagles were led by sophomore guard Allazia Blockton, who had 20 points and six rebounds, and sophomore guard Natisha Hiedeman, who had 16 points and three rebounds.
The season marks the second consecutive year earning a bye to the quarterfinals, a luxury the team has only had twice in the 10 seasons preceding these two, and not achieved back to back since the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons under then-Head Coach Patrick Knapp. The team’s final record, 17-12, is the team’s best since 2011-12, the last year under then-Head Coach Terry Williams-Flournoy. It also marks the second year of continuous growth for Georgetown Head Coach Natasha Adair.
The game was the third meeting between the teams this year, a series which Marquette swept, 3-0. The first was an 84-77 Golden Eagle victory in McDonough Arena in late December, and the second was in late February, less than two weeks prior to Sunday, in Milwaukee, which Marquette also won, 80-70. This loss brings Georgetown’s all-time record against Marquette to 3-14.
The teams were evenly matched through the first quarter of play, with neither taking a lead larger than three points, and the period concluded with a 14-14 tie. Hiedeman, who had a 20-point outing in the match at McDonough earlier in the season, left just four minutes into the game limping badly, but returned three minutes later. However, it was clear early on that Marquette was packing the paint defensively, as of the Hoyas’ 14 points, only four came inside. Of these interior points, only two came from true penetration.
“We had talked all week about how we were going to protect our paint, and how everything was going to be cluttered and we would make them jump shooters,” said Marquette Head Coach Carolyn Kieger. Georgetown has shot 30 percent from beyond the arc during the season.
In response to the deprivation of the dribble drive, the Hoyas moved the ball well, notching 14 assists on 24 made field goals.
“We didn’t want the ball to stick, and everyone who touches the ball is a [scoring]option… We got the shots that we wanted, it just came down to finishing,” said Adair.
This inability to convert became apparent, the Golden Eagles began to pull away in the second. By the media timeout five minutes in, they had built up six points of separation and led 24-18. That was quickly cut to just three, and eventually two after scoring plays by junior guard Didi Burton and junior forward Cynthia Petke to make it 25-23, Marquette. However, the Golden Eagles closed the period on a 13-4 run, leading 38-27 at the half.
Georgetown looked strong coming out of the locker room, closing the gap to just 40-36 early in the period behind a 7-0 run led by senior forward Faith Woodard, but could not quite even the game, and when Marquette again pulled away, it was for good, as the Hoyas did not threaten in the fourth quarter.
Before the game, White and Adomako were recognized for earning all-Big East honors. White was voted to the second team, while Adomako received an honorable mention.
Despite their elimination from the Big East Tournament with this loss, the team is not finished with their campaign.
“We’re still a postseason team, so it’s not the end of our season,” Adair said. The Hoyas are ranked 64th in the country by RPI, and selections for both the Women’s NCAA Tournament and the WNIT will be announced Monday, March 13th.
Image Credits: Georgetown Sports Information