The Georgetown women’s basketball team (12-14, 6-9 Big East) defeated Seton Hall (14-13, 6-10 Big East) on Feb. 22 at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas trailed the Pirates 26-13 at halftime before making an exciting comeback to clinch a 51-43 victory. Senior guard Dionna White led the Hoyas with 19 points.
“We changed baskets a couple times and then we finally got it under double digits, and then all of a sudden, we started to believe,” head coach James Howard commented. “We start to get some steals, we start to get some transition points, and then all of a sudden, your bench, your enthusiasm, the crowd starts to get in it, and now you start to believe you can win.”
Seton Hall jumped out to a 16-3 lead eight minutes into the game, while the Hoyas struggled to keep control of the ball, giving up five turnovers. The team made only 1-of-12 of their attempted field goals and hit 1-of-6 3-pointers. Senior guard Inja Butina was the high scorer for Seton Hall in the first quarter with six points. White scored the first, and only first quarter Georgetown basket three minutes in.
The second quarter began with graduate student guard Mikayla Venson making a free throw for the Hoyas two minutes in, but overall, Georgetown battled a strong Seton Hall offense. Seton Hall sophomore guard/forward Desiree Elmore scored 10 points in the second. Graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako commandeered the ball but failed to make many shots, as Georgetown’s offense continued to struggle. The Hoyas went 3-of-12 on field goals, but hit all four of their free throw attempts in the quarter. By the halftime intermission, the score stood at 26-13 in favor of Seton Hall, and the energy in McDonough Arena was lagging.
In the third quarter, the Hoyas turned the game around. The team closed Seton Hall’s 18-point lead with a rapid bout of scoring toward the middle of the quarter.
“In the first half, they were getting a lot of easy baskets, and we weren’t capitalizing on the other end,” White said. “So just really going out, playing hard, effort was the main focus.”
Howard described the energy White brought to the team in the second half.
“Dionna then decided that ‘I want to play like the typical Dionna who, if I want to take over a game I can take over a game with my speed and my athleticism,'” he said. “And then the ball started to fall, and then all of a sudden the energy changes. It was great.”
After a loss to Seton Hall earlier in the season, Howard and White both mentioned how they tried to close out the team’s strong shooters. “The last time we played them I think they made 12 threes, so just really putting the emphasis on running them up the 3-point line, boxing out, just playing as aggressive as they were,” White said.
By the end of the third quarter the score was 36-32, Seton Hall, with the Hoyas slowly closing the gap. White was again the leading scorer, racking up 10 points, with junior guard Morgan Smith, Venson, and Adomako also contributing. In the final quarter, Georgetown decisively took the lead.
The Hoyas took control of the game as the second half wore on, playing strong defense as the energy in McDonough increased. Adomako and freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova had three and two steals, respectively. The Hoyas also upped their efficiency, making 33.3 percent of their field goals and 77.8 percent of free throws. Venson performed particularly well in the fourth, scoring eight points. The final score landed at 51-43 Georgetown.
“The league is tight right now, so every game matters, and just taking that same mindset into all of the games that we play,” White said.
With only three games to go in the season, the Hoyas will face off against St. John’s (13-13, 6-9 Big East) on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET in McDonough Arena. Howard expressed confidence in the team’s ability to bring in a win on Senior Night.
“We have always sent our seniors out with a win. And that’s the conversation I just had with them,” he said. “We honor our seniors on senior night. So whatever that looks like, you bring everything you have if you have a minute on that floor to make sure they remember the last game they play here at McDonough gymnasium.”