The Georgetown women’s basketball team (1-3, 1-3 Big East) fell to No. 19 DePaul (8-3, 5-1 Big East) Saturday afternoon at McDonough Arena by a score of 78-54. DePaul jumped on the Hoyas early, building a 27-10 lead by the end of the first quarter that allowed the Blue Demons to stay in control the rest of the game. Though Georgetown adjusted to play close for the final three quarters, they were never able to get enough going on offense against a stifling DePaul defense. Meanwhile, the Blue Demons fast-paced attack, powered by strong outside shooting, proved a decisive advantage. First year guard Kelsey Ransom paced the Hoyas with 13 points and 7 rebounds, while DePaul junior guard Sonya Morris had 26 points on an efficient 9-13 from the field to spearhead a winning effort.
This matchup was the two team’s second contest in a COVID-abbreviated season for Georgetown, with their first game resulting in a similar 72-54 DePaul victory. While the Hoyas have only been able to play in four contests, the Blue Demons have forged ahead with their schedule, with today’s game being their eleventh on the year. The extra game and practice time was reflected in DePaul’s play, which was clearly in midseason form.
Matching up against the nationally ranked Blue Demons, the Hoyas sent out a starting lineup light on experience, with three first year guards in Yasmin Ott, Jazmyn Harmon, and Ransom as well as sophomore forward Graceann Bennett and junior forward Jillian Archer. After a close back and forth early, DePaul deployed a stifling defense to devastating effect, pressing so aggressively that Georgetown struggled to inbound and move the ball up the floor. Capitalizing on 14 first quarter turnovers from the Hoyas, DePaul shot 4-6 from three to take a 27-10 lead after the first period.
Coach James Howard’s team reacted with strong effort, which combined with lineup adjustments led to a closer second quarter. Of several more experienced players to get minutes in the period, sophomore Taylia Stimpson in particular provided a spark off the bench with an efficient 5 points and no turnovers. Combined with 10 first half points for Harmon, Georgetown adjusted and hustled to only be outscored by three in the second quarter. Nonetheless, DePaul kept their lead intact, with strong defense preventing any real offensive momentum for Georgetown. Driven in part by 7 first half threes, DePaul took a secure 47-27 lead into halftime.
Both teams opened the second half slow, with over three minute scoring droughts in the opening sequence of the third quarter. For a Georgetown team trying to erase a twenty point deficit, however, fighting to a standstill was not enough. Each offense broke through late in the quarter, with the Hoyas continuing their strong second quarter effort. Archer and graduate forward Taylor Baur kept the third quarter close, with Baur in particular making a noticeable impact on both ends. Beyond stuffing the stat sheet with 5 points and 15 rebounds, Baur made several eye-catching plays to secure the ball and set up teammates in the second half.
DePaul only outscored the Hoyas by two points in each of the final quarters, but they remained composed and in control to seal the road win. Though they couldn’t maintain their early hot stretch from deep (only 2-9 from three in the second half), a balanced effort from Morris along with fellow junior guard Lexi Held (15 points on the day) kept adding points to keep the game in check. Steady offense combined with effective defense sealed the win, allowing Coach Doug Bruno to play his reserves and experiment with alternate sets (DePaul showed several zone defenses in the fourth quarter) down the stretch.
Miscues, both self-inflicted and induced by DePaul’s defensive pressure, crippled the Hoyas, who tallied 33 turnovers and sent DePaul to the line 25 times. Coach Howard’s team did secure an advantage on the glass, out rebounding DePaul 45 to 35 behind Baur’s 15 boards and 7 each from Ransom and Bennett. However, this did not translate into any offensive momentum, with three starters (Ott, Bennett, and Harmon) combining for a mere 5 points throughout the game. Even with better play on both ends after the first quarter, DePaul’s defensive tone kept the Georgetown offense in check for the road win.
The Hoyas are scheduled to return to action Wednesday, January 20th on the road against Marquette (6-2, 3-1 Big East). Tip off will be 3 PM Eastern in Milwaukee. Follow @GUVoiceSports for coverage and analysis of the women’s basketball season and all Georgetown sports.