Georgetown women’s basketball (9-9, 2-7 BIG EAST) beat the DePaul Blue Demons (11-8, 4-4 BIG EAST) at McDonough Arena on Wednesday night, a much-needed showing in what has so far been a disheartening BIG EAST campaign. After two quarters of back-and-forth basketball, the Hoyas came out aggressively in the second half, running away with a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and finishing the game 87-73.
It was a team effort for the Hoyas, with four players in double digits. Freshman guard Kennedy Fauntleroy stood out, though—she led all scorers with 25 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent from three, and played all 40 minutes. Senior center Graceann Bennett had 18 points and 9 rebounds, despite limited playing time due to questionable foul calls, and junior guard Kelsey Ransom notched 15 to go with 4 assists and 3 steals. For the Blue Demons, junior guard Darrione Rogers had 22 points and sophomore forward Aneesah Morrow had 17.
The game started off slow, with Ransom disruptive on the defensive end, but a lack of offensive motion. Eventually, the Hoyas found their stride, with one set of back-to-back threes from Fauntleroy and another set from sophomore forward Brianna Scott, keeping a slight edge over DePaul. A last second layup from DePaul brought the first quarter to a close, Georgetown up 22-20.
In the second quarter, controversial foul calls on the Hoyas helped DePaul gain a slight lead and earned the referees several rounds of boos from fans at McDonough. The Hoyas got back into the game with good defensive effort and great three-point shooting—through the first half, Georgetown hit 6-of-11 while the Blue Demons went 3-of-11. Ransom snatched an offensive rebound off a missed three in the final seconds, and got fouled on the putback. She made two free throws to knot it at 38 going into the half.
Whatever Head Coach James Howard told the Hoyas at halftime, it worked. Bennett came out dominant in the post, getting a bucket and an assist in the first two trips down the court. Graduate student Kristina Moore’s back-to-back threes over tight coverage gave Georgetown a seven-point lead, forcing a DePaul timeout. Morrow could be seen during the break holding her nose on the DePaul sideline—she’d been struck in the face the previous possession while diving for a ball, and had stayed down for some time.
After a 16-5 Hoyas run in the first five minutes, they cooled off down the stretch in the third, and both teams struggled to make a bucket. The quarter ended with the Hoyas holding on to a narrow lead, 59-54.
In the fourth, though, Georgetown finally pulled ahead with conviction. A few quick points from Fauntleroy and Ransom energized the crowd. Shouts of “you can’t do that!” rang out as Scott drew a charge and as Bennett converted an and-one. Good passing and vigilant defense were the keys to the Hoyas’ success as they stretched their lead to 76-63. DePaul started a full-court press with just over three minutes to go, but Georgetown consistently broke it and took full advantage of the shot clock, making sure the Blue Demons couldn’t catch up.
Down the stretch, the crowd continued to get louder and louder, as long possessions would consistently end with high percentage shots. DePaul kept pace, but time caught up to them, and the final buzzer sounded, 87-73, Georgetown.
With the win, the Hoyas broke a six-game BIG EAST losing streak and handed DePaul their fourth conference loss. It was their highest-scoring game so far this season—the Hoyas hadn’t cracked 80 before Wednesday. The Hoyas look to extend their bounce-back momentum later today, as they go up against Providence on the road. It’s their first meeting of the season, but the Hoyas won by 13 when they met in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament last March. The game tips off at 5 p.m. on BEDN.