The Georgetown women’s basketball team (2-2, Big East) fell to Columbia (5-0, Ivy League) 66-56 in double overtime on Sunday. The loss was a heartbreaker for a Hoya team that clawed back into the game with suffocating defense. Graduate guard Milan Bolden-Morris led Georgetown with 14 points, while senior forward Jillian Archer chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Abbey Hsu led all scorers with 18 points for Columbia, and junior guard Carly Rivera scored all 12 of her points in the overtime to sink the Hoyas.
The game could not have gotten off to a more inauspicious start for Georgetown. The team scored only four points in the first quarter, struggling mightily in the offensive end. Luckily, so did the Lions, who put up eight points in a similarly tepid display. The second quarter was only marginally better for the Hoyas, who were down 22-14 at the half.
Georgetown really started to turn things around in the third quarter. Bolden-Morris hit two threes, sophomore guard Kelsey Ransom dished out three assists, and the Hoyas ferocious defense locked the Lions down on the defensive end. By the end of the period, the Hoyas had more than doubled their previous score and held Columbia to just six points. As the crowd began to respond to the stretch, a Ransom layup with one second left gave the Hoyas their first lead of the night, 29-28.
The fourth quarter was a taut affair, as both teams took leads. A Hsu three with 2:27 left in the period made it 42-38 Lions. On the day, Hsu was 5-14 from deep, hitting at a reasonable enough clip to keep the Hoyas honest. This was quickly followed up by two Archer free throws and a Ransom layup, to tie the game at 42-42 with 1:37 left on the clock. Neither team would score for the rest of regulation, as the Hoyas, led by Ransom, locked in on defense. In a 67-second span, Ransom had three steals which turned into fast break opportunities that would have ended the game in a Georgetown win, but the Hoyas couldn’t convert, sending the game instead to overtime.
The first overtime period was again characterized by back and forth possession between the Hoyas and the Lions. With 24 seconds left in the period, the Hoyas pulled ahead and led the Lions 53-52. Junior center Graceann Bennett went up to block junior forward Kaitlyn Davis, but got whistled for the foul, her fifth in the game, which sent her to the bench and brought in freshman Ariel Jenkins. Davis split the free throws, giving the Hoyas the ball with a chance to win the game. Ransom brought the ball up and, with two seconds left, gave Jenkins a terrific feed which provided a clear look at the basket. Her layup attempt was too strong, sending the game to its second extra period.
Jenkins’ miss seemed to give the Lions new life, especially Rivera. The 5’4 junior out of Arlington, VA caught fire, as the Hoyas honed in on Hsu on the perimeter, leaving Rivera open in the corner. She knocked down three consecutive three pointers, pushing the game out of reach. While the Hoyas will be kicking themselves for the opportunities they missed at the end of regulation and the first overtime, there were still definite positives.
The Hoyas combined for 16 steals on the day, with Ransom leading the way with five and Ott pitching in four more. The 3-2 zone that Georgetown employed for most of the evening made life difficult for the Columbia offense, as they spent several possessions probing the interior to no effect. Offensively, Ransom was dynamic, pinging passes all over the court on her way to six assists, and plenty of open looks that the Hoyas just couldn’t finish.
However, with the razzle-dazzle came some growing pains, as Ransom’s seven turnovers were her most of the season. A few of those turnovers were the result of poor decisions made near the end of the game that gave Columbia another chance at life. While Ransom was a large reason why the Hoyas were even in a position to win in the first place, the next step in her development will be to slow the game down in those big moments.
It is also worth monitoring the minutes load for the Hoyas. None of sophomore guard Yasmin Ott (43 minutes), Ransom (48), nor Bolden-Morris (43) sat for a single minute of the second half and overtime. Bennett (38) was on her way to joining them before fouling out, while Archer (42) only sat for two minutes during that span. This five was terrifically effective at getting the Hoyas back into the game, but Coach James Howard is going to need someone to step up off the bench for the Hoyas to compete against deeper teams.
The team will continue their homestand on Nov. 24 by hosting Loyola University in Maryland (2-3, Patriot). Tipoff is at 2 pm. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all fall sports at Georgetown.