The Georgetown women’s basketball team (2-1, Big East) took their first loss of the season on Wednesday night to the Davidson Wildcats (2-2, A-10), 70-55, in a game punctuated by three-pointers and turnovers. Sophomore guard Kelsey Ransom was the star for the Hoyas with 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Davidson redshirt sophomore Elle Sutphin led all scorers with 17 points.
The Hoyas started off playing good man-to-man defense, not giving the Wildcats space and not allowing for any uncontested shots. Offensively, however, the Hoyas struggled, falling into a pattern of shot clock violations and hasty, last-minute shots. When not rushed, they had good shot selection, including a few open threes, but weren’t hitting anything. This shooting is something they’ll look to improve upon throughout the season.
“We need the shooters to be shooters,” said Head Coach James Howard in a postgame interview. “We’ve been having some success with [graduate guard Milan Bolden-Morris] knocking down some shots, but if we’re not getting outside looks and making shots, then it really stops your offensive flow.”
The first points of the game went to Davidson’s junior forward Adelaine Fuller with a three pointer. The Wildcats’ 3-point shooting would ultimately be the deciding factor in the Hoyas’ downfall, as Davidson ended the game going 10-25. Howard said that the Hoyas knew that Davidson was a strong shooting team coming into the game, but that they weren’t able to execute on defense like they had practiced.
“We gotta be more disciplined in touching up on the ball, and knowing we’re playing a 3-point shooting team, that everyone shoots the ball at a high clip. You have to get out,” Howard said.
The Hoyas’ offensive strength is often its post players, and, while they didn’t have a hard time getting the ball into the post, they did struggle to score in the paint since Davidson doubled the posts every time they got the ball. Howard noted that starting junior forward Graceann Bennett in particular had a rough game due to foul trouble and the extra defense thrown at her. Since the Hoyas didn’t have any consistent shooting threats to kick the ball out to, scoring was difficult. After another layup and three-pointer for Davidson, Howard called a timeout midway through the 1st quarter.
The Hoyas switched to a zone defense after the timeout, in an attempt to change the pace of the game and stop Davidson from penetrating the paint. However, the Wildcats “moved the ball well, and then we didn’t get a person rotating, and they made us pay,” Howard said.
Towards the end of the quarter, Davidson hit another 3 and got two more layups. The Hoyas closed out the quarter with a strong drive and layup from Ransom but the score was an ugly 15-6 in favor of Davidson.
Georgetown started the second quarter off playing man defense again, but were unable to slow the Wildcats, as Sutphin made a two-point field goal over Bennett, followed by a three-pointer. Georgetown’s threes finally began to fall, first with one from sophomore guard Yasmin Ott, but Davidson was quick to respond with a three on the other end. Midway through the second quarter, the Hoyas showed some defensive fire, with Ott notching a steal and Ransom following up a strong defensive rebound with a three on the other end.
The Wildcats played full court man for most of the game, but weren’t able to keep pace with Ransom and Ott’s speed and ball-handling. On the other side, the Hoyas did a decent job of contesting shots, but Davidson’s perimeter depth meant that small errors lead to costly consequences on the scoreboard. The Hoyas also showed significant room for improvement in terms of defensive rebounding and boxing out. The Wildcats pulled down 13 offensive rebounds, enough for 6 second chance points. Nevertheless, the Blue and Gray ended the second half with a good move and two-point jumper from senior forward Jillian Archer to make the score 37-19, Davidson.
Things were looking up for the Hoyas to start the third quarter. They were playing better defense, leaving fewer Davidson players open for threes, and the Wildcats were struggling to make the threes they did take and fouling much more, sending Georgetown into the bonus with five minutes left to go in the quarter.
Offensively, the Hoyas looked better as well, with points from Ransom, Bolden-Harris, and Ott to start things off. Freshman center Ariel Jenkins also came off the bench and immediately hit a two, followed by a three-pointer from Archer to cut the Wildcats’ lead to eight. However, Davidson was quick to respond with a three for Sutphin, who shot 3-3 from beyond the arc on the night.
Despite a weak finish to the quarter (Davidson missed an open three with two seconds left but got their own rebound and made a layup at the buzzer), the Hoyas managed to outscore the Wildcats 17-12, making the overall score 49-36.
Despite the scoreline, and a strong opening possession from the Wildcats, the Hoyas refused to go down without a fight. Ransom fed the ball to Jenkins in the paint for an easy two, and graduate guard Mary Clougherty hit a three. However, Georgetown couldn’t stop the Wildcats on defense in the fourth quarter, and particularly struggled on fast breaks. Davidson scored 21 points off of fast breaks on the night, to Georgetown’s 3 points. The Hoyas were further hampered when Bennett fouled out in the fourth quarter. The Hoyas fought hard to the end, but weren’t able to make up for the deficit. The game ended with a 70-55 win for the Wildcats.
On the night, players not named Ransom or Archer (9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks) struggled greatly. Cloughtery and Bolden-Morris, in particular, struggled from the field and went a combined 1-13 from three point range. Two bright spots were the play of Ott and Jenkins. Ott has struggled to get going this season, but scored 9 points in the loss. Jenkins has been making the most of her minutes as a freshman, and is in line for more minutes in the games to come.
Moving forward, the Hoyas will be looking to minimize turnovers and to improve on their finishing. They’ll return to McDonough Arena on Sunday to play Columbia. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. For live stats and updates, see guhoyas.com, and check out @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for continued Georgetown sports coverage.