The No. 6-seed Georgetown women’s basketball team (15-15, 9-9 Big East) fell to the No. 2-seed DePaul (25-7, 15-3 Big East) 85-53 in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament on Monday night at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The game was the Hoyas’ first semifinal appearance in 19 years.
The Hoyas faced a quick turnaround from their 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal game against Villanova the night before, and proved unable to keep up with the fast pace set by DePaul. Georgetown senior forward Cynthia Petke opened scoring with a three-pointer, and the teams traded baskets most of the opening quarter. A jumpshot from freshman forward Tatiana Thompson gave the Hoyas a lead 13-11 with 1:24 left in the first quarter, but the Blue Demons responded with back-to-back threes, ending the quarter with a 17-13 lead.
DePaul opened the second quarter with a jumper from senior guard Amarah Coleman, followed by a three-pointer from sophomore forward Chante Stonewall. After a free throw from Petke, the Blue Demons padded their lead with another five unanswered points, bring the score to 27-16 after a layup from Thompson gave the Hoyas their first field goal of the quarter.
Two points from junior guard Dionna White cut the Hoyas’ deficit down to nine, but a three from sophomore guard Kelly Campbell brought the DePaul lead back into double digits. The first half ended with DePaul up 38-22 after a 21-9 second quarter.
The Blue Demons went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter, helping to bring the score to 53-26, and continued to dominate the Hoyas throughout the second half. The game ended 85-53.
Georgetown had difficulty getting shots to fall throughout the game, scoring just 29.2 percent from the field compared to DePaul’s 48.5 percent. Petke led the Hoyas with 10 points, followed by White with nine points. Sophomore guard Morgan Smith and senior guard Mikayla Venson each added 8 points. DePaul’s scoring was led by junior guard Ashton Millender with 15 points, and Campbell notched her seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Blue Demons also pulled down 51 rebounds compared to Georgetown’s 33.
“I think we did a much better job taking care of the basketball than the last time we played them,” said DePaul head coach Doug Bruno, referring to the Blue Demons’ Feb. 16 upset loss to the Hoyas.
Georgetown head coach James Howard noted the impact that playing back-to-back games has on wearing out the players.
“Once the game started, I think after the fourth or fifth possession, they had no legs,” Howard said. “We just weren’t there from a physical standpoint, and DePaul really did a great job of pushing tempo.”
Georgetown has relied heavily on its starting five and two rotation players, Smith and Thompson, this year, especially since senior guard Dorothy Adomako—a 2016-17 Big East honorable mention—has been out all season with an injury.
“[DePaul] went as far as nine and ten deep on their rotation, and with everyone coming off the bench that could shoot a basketball, you can’t make any mistakes,” Howard said. “Playing seven kind of hurt us today because we needed fresh legs, and not just someone coming in off the bench who could give you a body, but someone that really can contribute.”
Howard concludes his first Big East tournament as head coach by looking ahead for the Hoyas and noting that there is more work to be done.
“We’re building,” Howard said. “We’re a team, but we’re trying to build a program.”
The Hoyas are hoping to appear in postseason play at the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) for the third straight season. Selections will be announced on Monday, March 12. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and breaking news for women’s basketball and all things Georgetown sports.
Image Credits: Margaux Fontaine/The Georgetown Voice