Pregame Primer: Women’s Basketball Looks to Extend Postseason Run at James Madison

March 29, 2019

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (19-15, 9-9 Big East) travels back to Harrisonburg, Virginia to face James Madison (28-5, 17-1 CAA) on Sunday afternoon in the WNIT quarterfinals. The Dukes handed the Hoyas their first loss of the season back in November with a 69-57 win, largely thanks to a 24-13 fourth quarter.

Redshirt junior guard Jackie Benitez led the Dukes on the night with 17 points, while their leading scorer, junior guard Kamiah Smalls, added 16, effectively matching her season average of 16.1 points per game. Fellow junior guard Lexie Barrier added 13 points on 3-of-5 3-point shooting, while also grabbing nine rebounds in the contest. The game’s leading rebounder was redshirt junior center Kayla Cooper-Williams with 11, and throughout the season, Cooper-Williams has averaged 10.1 boards and tallied 92 blocks. Barrier, however, has not played since JMU’s upset conference tournament loss to Hofstra (11-22, 3-15 CAA) with an injury on the Dukes’ first offensive possession. Despite her absence in the WNIT, the Dukes have had enough to get past North Carolina A&T (20-12, 16-0 MEAC), South Florida (19-16, 7-9 American), and Virginia Tech (22-12, 6-10 ACC), keeping an unblemished 17-0 home record.

The leading scorer in November’s matchup was Georgetown senior guard Dionna White with 22 points, and White is in red hot form. She has notched six 20-plus point outings in her last nine games, with another two of those being 19-point games. In that same span, she has had no less than six rebounds in a game and eight of the nine matchups were multi-steal games, the only exception being the Big East semifinal game against No. 18 Marquette (27-8, 15-3 Big East). White averages 17.2 points per game as Georgetown’s leading scorer, and graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako comes just behind her with 16.5 points per game while leading the team with an average of eight rebounds. Adomako had a quiet game against JMU with just eight points and five rebounds after missing the previous game with a concussion. While not quite as hot as White, Adomako has turned in four 20-plus point outings in her last five games, including a double-double in the Round of 16 against Providence (19-16, 8-10 Big East). Instead, White’s support came from graduate student guard Mikayla Venson with 14 points and five assists. Venson has missed all three WNIT matchups with an injury, so the Hoyas will look elsewhere for production, and freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova has stepped in with with two double-digit performances in the postseason while taking over primary ball-handling duties. Georgetown will also hope to have a better presence inside, with the Dukes holding a 47-37 rebounding advantage in the previous meeting to go with 26 points in the paint. It will likely fall to junior forward Anita Kelava, who finished November’s game with two points and zero rebounds, to provide an inside presence for the Hoyas.

Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET at JMU’s Convocation Center. The winner of Sunday’s matchup will take on the winner of Northwestern (19-14, 9-9 Big 10) and Ohio (30-5, 14-4 MAC). For live coverage of the game, as well as coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Jorge DeNeve
Los Angeles native. Still wondering where the Galaxy went wrong and decided buying Jermaine Jones was a good idea.

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