Caught in the storm: Women’s basketball falls short of victory against St. John’s

February 12, 2018

Although the Georgetown women’s basketball team (11-13, 6-8 Big East) started this weekend strong with a win against Seton Hall (15-10, 7-7 Big East), they were unable to walk away with a victory over St. John’s (15-11, 8-7 Big East) on Sunday afternoon. The Red Storm scored the first basket of the game and led the rest of the way, winning by a final score of 71-63. While Georgetown played better than they did at Queens in mid-January when they lost to the Red Storm by 23 points, they were still swept by St. John’s on the season.

Senior guard Mikayla Venson led the way for the Hoyas with 18 points, and junior guard Dionna White added 17 of her own. Senior forward Cynthia Petke notched her 13th double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Maya Singleton had a double-double for the Red Storm with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Alisha Kebbe scored 16 points in the victory.

St. John’s gained a significant lead in the first quarter of the game, playing quick offense and throwing off the Hoya defense with three 3-pointers and a quarter total of 21 points, led by eight points from Kebbe. Georgetown started slow at first, but senior guard DiDi Burton and White, along with Petke, guided their team to catch up to the Red Storm, finishing the quarter with 15 points, to trail by just six.

The Hoyas entered the second quarter warmed up and locked down their defense, forcing 10 turnovers. They matched St. John’s offense, each team only scoring 11 points by the end of the quarter. The Hoyas went into halftime on a high from White’s buzzer beating three, and at halftime, Georgetown trailed 32-26.

Going into the second half of the game, the Hoyas started to lose the energy that had fueled them by the end of the first half. Their offense struggled against St. John’s tall and aggressive defensive players. Shots wouldn’t fall for anyone in a Georgetown uniform, as the Hoyas went 3-12 from the field,, and St. John’s outrebounded the Hoyas 12-5. The Hoyas couldn’t seem to cut into the consistent 6-10 point gap between the teams.

At the start of the final quarter, St. Johns led by 10 points, with a game score of 50-40. Both teams struggled from the field in the final quarter and as a result, the end of the game was generally a series of foul shots with a total of 29 shots taken from the foul line, 16 by the Red Storm and 13 by the Hoyas. Even though Georgetown outscored St. John’s in the fourth quarter, 23-21, they were unable to make a comeback, ultimately losing 71-63.

Georgetown head coach James Howard recognized the weak spots of the game, stating that the team did not meet their goal defensively of holding its opponent to fewer than 55 points or less. He acknowledged the players’ difficulty with their opponents length and level of aggression in the paint. “When you’re playing a good team, you’ve got to make the free throws, you’ve got to make the layups at the rim,” he said.

Despite Georgetown’s loss, McDonough Arena was filled with a sense of hope and sincerity, lit up by the Hoyas’ electric pink uniforms and shoes to show support for those battling breast cancer in their annual Play4Kay event. Howard was wearing a pink button up and the same bright pink sneakers as his players. The Red Storm players also wore pink pre-wrap and headbands in their hair throughout the game.

The Hoyas play next on Friday in Chicago against DePaul (20-6, 12-2 Big East). The game will tip off at 8 p.m. ET and streamed on the Big East Digital Network. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live updates and breaking news.

Brynn Furey
Brynn is a Contributing Editor for the Voice. She's a huge proponent of pop punk, capybaras, and world peace.

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