On a roll again: Women’s basketball goes 2-0 on the weekend

January 30, 2018

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (10-11, 5-6 Big East) had a successful weekend, winning away at Butler (13-10, 5-6 Big East) on Friday and Xavier (2-9, 9-13 Big East) on Sunday. With two victories after claiming just one win in their previous six games, the Hoyas now sit just a game under .500 and have moved into a tie for fifth place in the Big East.

The Hoyas first traveled to the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to take on the Bulldogs. They started the game slow, falling behind 9-2 after three minutes. Senior forward Cynthia Petke, who was aggressive with her shot all weekend, hit a three-pointer to halt the early Butler run. However, Georgetown had trouble containing Butler’s leading scorer, redshirt junior guard Whitney Jennings, who had seven points in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs took a 20-11 lead going into the second period.

In the second quarter, the Hoyas clamped up on defense and got the ball to their own leading scorer, junior guard Dionna White. She had 19 points in the game, leading her team and tying Jennings for the game high. With three minutes remaining, Petke hit a layup followed by a three-pointer from White that brought Georgetown within three points. Two minutes later, senior guard DiDi Burton converted a layup off a steal from sophomore guard Morgan Smith to shrink the Bulldog’s lead to just one going into the halftime break.

Freshman forward Tatiana Thompson hit a three-pointer off a feed from White to continue the Georgetown momentum into the second half. The next trip down, Thompson returned the favor, finding White for a three of her own. Up five points, the Hoyas appeared ready to take over the game, but the Bulldogs fought back with two straight threes from Jennings. At the end of the third quarter, Georgetown held onto a slim one-point lead.

The game remained a back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter and at the midway point, the score was knotted at 48. The Hoyas offense then began to fire on all cylinders as they went on a 10-3 run including two three-pointers from senior guard Mikayla Venson. Down six with a minute remaining, the Bulldogs tried fouling to give themselves a chance, but Georgetown did not slip up at the line and the lead only increased. The Hoyas took this one, 63-52.

Georgetown head coach James Howard was pleased with his team’s performance. “It was a great team effort tonight,” he said. “When we talk about wins in the second half of the season, this was a good team win for us.”

Next up for the Hoyas was a matchup with the Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Georgetown started out this game much more comfortably, fueled by early scoring contributions from Burton. She was 3-3 from the field in the first period, including back to back buckets that put her team up 10-4 five minutes into the game. Going into the second quarter, the Hoyas had a strong 15-6 advantage and looked on their way to an easy victory.

Georgetown kicked off the second period with an 8-0 run to go up by 17. Howard looked often to Petke and White for offensive playmaking and the pair did not disappoint, putting up a combined 12 points in the second quarter and 32 in the game. Redshirt junior guard Kindell Fincher hit a three-pointer with a minute to go in the first half to keep things respectable for the Musketeers, who do not have a single player averaging double-digit scoring this season.

After taking a 16-point lead into the halftime break, Georgetown continued to pour it on in the second half. Petke and White were joined by Venson to combine for 20 points in a third quarter that saw Georgetown take a 28-point advantage.

In the fourth quarter, a satisfied Howard was able to empty out his bench and give his starters some much-deserved rest. Xavier shot just 15-47 from the field, allowing Georgetown to cruise to a 65-48 victory.

After the game, Howard gushed over his team’s stalwart defense. “Everyone has been putting an effort in on the defensive end and that showed today,” he said. “The team is buying in and understands that our priority is first and foremost defense. I’m very proud of them, their efforts and their sense of urgency.”

Next up for the Hoyas is a chance to avenge their heartbreaking loss earlier this season against Villanova (17-5, 7-4 Big East). They will be taking on the Wildcats Saturday at 1 p.m. ET in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The game will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.

Aaron Wolf
Former Sports Executive and 2020 Georgetown College graduate. Enjoyer of OPS.

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