The Georgetown women’s basketball team (7-6, 1-1 Big East) could not hold on to a halftime lead against Butler (12-1, 2-0 Big East), and lost, 59-50, Monday afternoon at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas faltered in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter when they managed just six points. The guard trio of senior Dionna White, graduate student Dorothy Adomako, and graduate student Mikayla Venson struggled from the field, shooting a combined 9-of-34.
The Hoyas got off to a bright start in the first quarter. White, fresh off being named Big East Player of the Week, stole the ball from Butler’s leading scorer on the season, redshirt senior Whitney Jennings, and finished with a fast break layup on the other end to put her team up 5-2 early on. The following possession, Adomako forced a turnover out of junior guard Kristen Spolyar and turned defense into offense with another fast break finish. Butler kept it close though, and soon took a one-point lead on a 3-pointer from Spolyar. Two minutes later, the Hoyas were back on top and extended their lead to five on a Venson 3-pointer in transition.
Going into the second quarter, Georgetown held a 19-14 advantage and soon looked to pull away with an inside layup from freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova and Venson’s second three of the day, which put her squad up double digits. That lead quickly vanished as the Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run highlighted by an and-one jumper in the paint from Spolyar over Georgetown’s 6-foot-5 sophomore center Breonna Mayfield. The Hoyas recovered and soon went back up six with another steal and fast break layup from White. But the Bulldogs responded on their next trip down with a 3-pointer from Jennings to go into the halftime break down just one possession.
With the teams going on back-and-forth runs in the first half, Georgetown head coach James Howard called on his team to be aggressive coming out of the break.
“We challenged our team to make the first run in the second half, and we knew their coaches were doing the same thing in their locker room,” Howard said.
The back-and-forth trend continued for the first couple minutes of the third quarter, with Jennings hitting two straight 3-pointers to put her team on top by two. The Bulldogs held on to a slim lead for the remainder of the period and went into the fourth up four points.
Neither team could find a basket for the first three minutes of the final period, until junior forward Shae Bray hit a pair of free throws to put Butler up six. White immediately responded with a three off an assist from senior guard Brianna Jones, but Spolyar came back with her second 3-pointer of the day before senior guard Michelle Weaver converted on a layup inside to put the Bulldogs up eight with five minutes to go. The Hoyas cut the lead to five, but would get no closer. Jennings iced the game with jumper in the final minute and Butler came out on top by nine.
“The defense got lost on movement in the fourth quarter and we got stagnant on offense,” Howard said. “Fatigue hurt us with rebounding. Both teams were fighting but they made plays down the stretch that got them the win.”
Jennings led all scorers with 23 points, while Spolyar added 15 and eight rebounds. White was the lone Hoya in double figures with 11 points, to go along with six rebounds and four steals. Starting forward Anita Kelava got into foul trouble and played just ten minutes on the afternoon, which hurt the Hoyas as they were outrebounded 46-25.
Next up for Georgetown is an away game against Providence (8-6, 0-2 Big East) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the Big East Digital Network with live stats available at guhoyas.com. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live updates and coverage of all winter sports at Georgetown.
Image Credits: Georgetown Athletics Communications