The Georgetown women’s basketball team (8-9, 2-4 Big East) was beaten, 72-62, by No. 15 Marquette (14-3, 5-0 Big East) at McDonough Arena on Sunday afternoon. Despite holding a double-digit lead in the first half, as they did in Friday’s loss against DePaul (12-5, 3-2 Big East), the Hoyas were unable to maintain their advantage as the nation’s eighth-ranked scoring offense came alive in the second half. Graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting, and added six rebounds, while senior guard Dionna White went for 14 points and five boards for the hosts. Senior guard Natisha Hiedeman led the Golden Eagles with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Danielle King scored all 16 of her points after halftime. With the defeat, Georgetown head coach James Howard will have to wait at least another game for his 100th career win.
The Hoyas started well in front of their home fans, particularly defensively, contesting almost every shot from the Golden Eagles. After the visitors finally got on the board through senior guard Amani Wilborn 3:35 in, White’s transition layup put the Hoyas back in front, 4-2. Sophomore guard Selena Lott’s triple made it 5-4, but she was answered by back-to-back buckets from senior guard Brianna Jones and Adomako, and the Hoyas would not trail again in the first half. A three from graduate student guard Mikayla Venson and a baseline jumper from Adomako stretched the Hoyas’ lead, while relentless defense meant the hosts entered the second quarter up, 13-7.
The Hoyas held Marquette to 11.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc and just 32.8 percent overall in the first quarter.
“We knew they’re a very potent offensive team, and we tried to limit the things they like to do. And we executed the game plan for the most part,” Howard said postgame.
The Hoyas stayed hot in the second period, with White’s triple and junior forward Anita Kelava’s jumper as the shot clock expired pushing the GU lead to nine, 18-9. An and-one from White and free throws from Adomako then gave the Hoyas their largest lead of the game at 14. Eight straight points from Hiedeman quickly turned things around for the Golden Eagles. The Hoyas twice restored a six-point advantage through deep balls from Venson and Jones, but were answered each time by a Marquette basket, with Lott scoring nine points in the run. White’s jumper as time expired hit front iron, and the teams entered halftime deadlocked at 32.
On Georgetown’s strong start, Adomako noted: “We were just really prepared, and dialed in, focused, ready to play…but we need to go back to practice, and do the little things. These teams are really good, and we need to beat them the same way.”
The Golden Eagles came flying out of the gates after the break, with an 8-0 run as King heated up after going scoreless in the first half. The Hoyas’ offense got rolling with baskets on three straight possessions from there, however, with freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova and Adomako both knocking down threes before White converted another and-one. Senior guard Amani Wilborn’s basket was answered by Kovacikova in the lane, but another three from Hiedeman put the Golden Eagles ahead, 47-43. After making an impressive chase-down block in transition to prevent an easy basket, Adomako stepped up on the offensive end for the Blue & Gray. An offensive rebound and bucket brought the Hoyas within two, to which King responded with a floater, before White found Adomako for a make behind the arc.
“Being a senior, being a leader, coach [Howard] needs me to be consistent, and I try to bring that out every game,” Adomako said.
A basket underneath from senior forward Erika Davenport gave Carolyn Kieger’s team a 51-48 advantage heading into the 4th, but an and-one from Adomako and her two free throws a possession later gave the Hoyas their first lead of the second half. From there, the Golden Eagles’ leading scorer and distributor, Hiedeman, took the game into her own hands.
Though Dionna White was twice able to bully her way inside for buckets to tie the game at 55 and 57, Hiedeman was able to get two baskets underneath herself, after finding sophomore guard Lauren Van Kleunen for a layup with a no-look feed. Though a Venson three briefly knotted things at 60, Hiedeman’s layup put the Golden Eagles into the lead for good, 62-60. Adomako then fouled out, leaving the Hoyas without their primary source of offense down the stretch, while Marquette continued to get to the free throw line. A forced shot clock violation gave the Hoyas life at 1:36 down five, but White then was called for a charge with 52 seconds remaining, and the visitors knocked down their free throws in the final minute, ultimately winning, 72-62.
“When we can play for 40 minutes, we can be one of the best teams in the Big East. All of those games (Marquette, DePaul, and Butler – the Hoyas’ Big East losses), it seems like we get to thirty or thirty-two minutes, and we get a letdown,” Howard said. “I don’t look at these as moral victories, I think we’re good enough to win.”
The Hoyas struggled from the field throughout, but especially in the fourth quarter, shooting 21.1 percent in the final frame and 1-of-7 from deep. Though Georgetown was able to force 12 turnovers, the hosts were only able to score two fast break points on the day, while Marquette scored 17 in transition. Howard’s team’s impressive defensive effort, however, led to the Golden Eagles posting their fewest points in conference play, having previously never scored fewer than 85, in a game that was much closer than all of Marquette’s previous Big East tilts to date.
The Hoyas return to action next Saturday at home against Villanova (10-6, 2-4 Big East). Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. ET at McDonough Gymnasium. The game will be streamed on the Big East Digital Network with live stats available at guhoyas.com. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live coverage and coverage of all Georgetown winter sports.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice