Women’s Basketball Routs Howard to Open Season

November 15, 2017

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (1-0, Big East) dismantled Howard (0-2, Mid-Eastern Athletic) by a score of 93-41 on Tuesday night. Junior guard Dionna White led the way for the Hoyas with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists, and senior forward Cynthia Petke added a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman forward Tatiana Thompson scored 14 points in her debut.

White scored the first points of the evening with a corner three-pointer, and tireless work from senior guard DiDi Burton created numerous second chance opportunities for the Hoyas. Burton and White played aggressive defense in the opening five minutes to create fast break opportunities for the team, and Petke added a block of her own to give the Hoyas a 13-2 lead heading into the first timeout.

After the break, White spun her defender to make a tough layup through contact and added a free throw. Petke showed off newfound shooting range, draining a three to take the score to 20-7, and White hit her second three of the night to finish the first quarter scoring at 25-7, Hoyas.

No one in blue could stop Dionna White in the second quarter as the junior guard intercepted an inbounds pass to draw a foul before driving to the hoop and sinking two more free throws. Just before the timeout, White blew by a defender for an easy layup and took contact to earn another shot from the charity stripe, taking her game tally to 18 points. The Hoyas rained in threes to close out the half: two from White, one from Burton, and another from Petke, who had only made one three-pointer in her Georgetown career before the start of the season. Sophomore guard Morgan Smith made the layup to give the Hoyas their first 50-point half since 2013 despite senior guard Mikayla Venson, who led the University of Virginia in scoring in 2015-16 before transferring, finishing the first half scoreless.

“I thought we came out on fire, focused,” head coach James Howard said. “I don’t know what percentage we shot from the floor early on in the first half, but it seemed like lights out.”

Georgetown recorded eight team steals in the first half and held the Bison to 17 percent shooting from the floor while shooting 46 percent themselves. The Hoyas shot 18 threes and made seven of them in the first half, contributing to a 40-point halftime lead.

Petke finished the first half with nine points and nine rebounds, quickly grabbing an offensive rebound before spotting up for her third three-pointer of the night to complete her second career double-double. Senior center Yazmine Belk finished the night a point shy of a double-double, and the 24 combined rebounds for the two starting bigs provided promising signs for a team that needs to replace last year’s leading rebounder, forward Faith Woodard.

“The coach talked to me about rebounding all summer long, and I’ve been working,” Petke said. “That just what I have to do, rebound every night for my team, give them second chance points, and I’m glad I did that tonight.”

White’s scoring production slowed in the second half, but Venson got off the mark from the free throw line and added a mid-range jumper to finish the night with a quiet four points.

“That’s one of the things that we’re going to continue to work on, trying to find [Venson’s] rhythm,” Howard said. “She didn’t want to press the action, but at some time, we need to get her in her rhythm, and we’ll work on getting her in more.”

The fourth quarter saw Coach Howard sit his starters and give the younger players some playing time. Smith finished with eight points and seven rebounds and logged 26 minutes of play after seeing only 94 minutes on the court last season. Thompson finished her first outing after 23 minutes of action, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second half and adding six rebounds. 6-foot-5 freshman center Breonna Mayfield played the full 10 minutes of the final quarter, logging three blocks. Every dressed player saw game time, and only freshman guard Sari Cureton failed to score in the curtain-raiser.

The Hoyas return to the court on the road against Loyola Maryland (1-1, Patriot) on Thursday night. Tipoff is slated at 7:00 pm.

“I think it was a great start. We got the win,” White said. “We’re gonna celebrate for right now and then we’ve gotta get back tomorrow to play and get ready for Loyola on Thursday.”

Jorge DeNeve
Los Angeles native. Still wondering where the Galaxy went wrong and decided buying Jermaine Jones was a good idea.

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