Women’s basketball faces a tougher challenge in Minnesota

December 7, 2017

Heading into their third home game of the season, Georgetown women’s basketball team (4-3, Big East) will face off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (8-1, Big 10) this Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Hoyas return to the court after a week-long break, their last game being on November 29 against Florida International (2-7, Conference USA). With their confident 77-56 win , the Hoyas look to continue their home court winning streak. A key player will be senior forward Cynthia Petke, averaging 11.7 rebounds per game and securing the Hoya defense. Junior guard Dionna White, who scored her 1,000th point in the game against FIU, will lead the team with an average of 17.6 points per game. There are also high expectations for senior guard Mikayla Venson as she progresses into this season after a year off.

“Her game legs… are starting to come back and her hesitation in the first game or two is now starting to leave,” head coach James Howard says of Venson’s increasing confidence.

On the other side, Minnesota is coming off a win of 80-53 against Eastern Michigan. With their only loss of the season just two games ago, they will be looking to start another winning streak. The Gophers are a strong three-point shooting team and average 87.1 points per game against Hoyas’ 61.7 points. In coming to play against a team that regularly shoots the ball from deep, the Hoyas must work to push the Gopher’s off the three-point line to reduce the their shooting opportunities.

The Hoyas are strengthening their defensive strategy to counteract the Gophers’ tight offensive game. The team will place a special focus on “not allowing them to get out and transition to be able to attack our defense early. We are definitely going to have to shut down the penetration lines. We have to be disciplined on defense,” says Coach Howard.

Last year, Minnesota beat Georgetown 68-60. “We have to be better and we are going to be,” Venson said of their mindset for the win against a top team like Minnesota.

Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.

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