The Georgetown women’s basketball team’s (7-8, 2-3 Big East) comeback bid came up short against Villanova (13-2, 3-2 Big East) on Thursday, as the Hoyas lost 60-58 at McDonough Arena. After relinquishing their lead early in the second quarter, the Hoyas were never able to catch up and now see their record drop below .500 for the third time this season.
Georgetown began the game with solid play on both ends, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first quarter while holding Villanova to just 40 percent. After a tough and-one shot from the post by senior forward Cynthia Petke and an athletic layup from sophomore guard Morgan Smith, the Hoyas had a 10-6 advantage midway through the first period. At the same time, Villanova’s talented guard pair of junior Adrianna Hahn and sophomore Kelly Jekot started to heat up, scoring seven and six points in the quarter, respectively. By the end of the period, the Hoyas held a 16-15 lead.
The second quarter was a different story as the Hoyas were unable to manufacture any sort of successful offense. They missed their first 10 field goals in the period and, with five minutes to go in the first half, the Wildcats were on a 9-1 run.
Georgetown head coach James Howard was candid about his team’s struggles. “It wasn’t what they did to us in that second quarter,” he said. “We just missed shots. We have to hit shots in order to keep the game close.”
The Hoyas scored just five points in the second quarter and trailed Villanova 30-21 heading into the break. On the defensive side of the ball, Georgetown struggled to contain Villanova’s offensive system.
“I think that Villanova is always well-coached. [Head coach Harry Perretta] does a great job with them and their system,” Howard said. “If you are not disciplined on defense, it will catch you.”
In the second half, the Wildcats picked up where they left off with an 8-3 run to start the third quarter, extending their lead to 14. The Hoyas countered with a 7-3 run of their own midway through the period, capped off by a steal leading to a coast-to-coast finish from Smith. Georgetown’s leading scorer on the season, junior guard Dionna White, began to heat up at the start of the second half. She went 3-4 from the field for eight points in the third. Going into the fourth quarter the Hoyas trailed just 46-38.
In the final period, freshman forward Tatiana Thompson took center stage, scoring ten points on 4-6 from the field. Thompson scored the first eight points of the quarter for the Hoyas including back to back three-pointers to bring them within three points of Villanova.
As a freshman, Thompson is clear as to her role on the team. “I just got to focus on rebounding and hitting every shot that I get,” she said.
The Wildcats recovered with a 7-3 run until White converted an and-one with 2:51 to go. Senior guard DiDi Burton followed that up with a coast-to-coast layup to bring the score to 56-54, but Villanova junior forward Jannah Tucker hit a three-pointer on the other end to give the Wildcats some breathing room. However, after a spinning layup from White and a forced turnover on the other end, Georgetown had a chance to tie the game down three with 28.3 seconds remaining. Despite coming out of a timeout, Smith was unable to get the ball inbounds and turned the ball over with a five-second violation. Georgetown fouled and Hahn went 1-2 from the line before Thompson made a layup to bring the Hoyas within two. Villanova senior guard Alex Louin missed two free throws that could have iced the game, but White could not convert her three-point heave at the buzzer and Georgetown came up just short.
White led all scorers with 19 points on 8-16 shooting, while Petke had a game-high 13 rebounds. Hahn and Jekot finished with 17 and 14 points for the Wildcats, respectively.
White remained optimistic after the tough loss. “We need to just learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward,” she said.
Next up for the Hoyas is a matchup with St. John’s in Queens, New York on Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.