This Week in Basketball (1/23-1/29): Men make history, women’s squad on the rise

Published February 2, 2023

Photo by Daniel Rankin

MBB v Depaul (Jan. 24)

The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-15, 1-9 BIG EAST) once again made history – this time in a positive way! On January 24, they snapped their 29-game BIG EAST losing streak with a 81-76 win over DePaul thanks to sophomore guard Primo Spears’ 21 points, allowing fans to celebrate the end of an era and Jack the Bulldog’s birthday on the same night. A more detailed breakdown of the game – and its implications for the season going forward – is available here.


WBB v Seton Hall (Jan. 25):

Following back-to-back BIG EAST wins, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (11-9, 4-7 BIG EAST) started off their week with a 74-66 win over the Seton Hall Pirates. For the Hoyas, junior guard Kelsey Ransom was the star of the show, scoring 22 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Senior guard Lauren Park-Lane led Seton Hall with 20 points on 6-29 shooting. 

The action started off slow for both teams, with the first points of the game coming almost four minutes in. It was Ransom who broke the drought, and her eight points in the quarter paced the way for the rest of her squad. Six different Georgetown players scored in the first period, while Seton Hall struggled to get their shots to fall. The Pirates’ senior forward Mya Bembry had a pair of baskets to go with Park-Lane’s end of quarter layup, but their only other points came from graduate forward Sidney Cooks’ two made free throws. As a whole, Seton Hall shot a miserable 16.67 percent from the field in the first quarter, and Georgetown took a 23-8 lead heading into the second as a result.

In the second quarter, the Pirates got their groove back, collapsing what was at one point a 20-point deficit down to a mere six points. This was in large part due to their balanced scoring effort, with seven players scoring at least two points in the quarter. Though Georgetown continued to play fairly well, Seton Hall used their big second quarter effort to cut the deficit, giving them a close score – and the momentum – as they went into the locker room down 40-34.

They couldn’t use that momentum to close the gap in the second half, though. The story of the third quarter was three-point shooting. Both teams took five threes in the third – but Seton Hall missed all of them, while Georgetown made four of theirs. It was the Hoyas’ fantastic freshman guard Kennedy Fauntleroy scoring the bulk of those buckets, making three of her four attempts to complement Ransom’s own three-pointer. When all was said and done, Georgetown doubled up Seton Hall in third quarter scoring, adding 20 points to their total to give them a 60-44 lead entering the final stretch.

Though the Pirates crept a bit closer at various points throughout the fourth, they were never able to cut Georgetown’s lead down to less than eight. The veterans of the squad saw the Hoyas through, with Ransom and senior forward Graceann Bennett each putting up six points and a block to seal the victory. With a final score of 74-66, Georgetown’s victory gave them a win against the Pirates, as well as their second three-game win streak of the season. 


WBB v Creighton (Jan. 28)

Coming off their victory against Seton Hall, the Hoyas faced the Creighton Bluejays, a team best-known for their three-point shooting and last year’s March Madness run. Creighton has faltered somewhat this year after being ranked No. 21 in both the AP and Coaches 2022-2023 preseason Top 25’s, but they still managed to scrape past the Hoyas. Junior guards Lauren Jensen and Morgan Maly led the Bluejays with 20 and 16 points respectively, while Ransom once again paced the Hoyas with 24 points.

In the first quarter, the game was tight from the opening tip, with Georgetown and Creighton trading a one-point lead back and forth until the final seconds of the period. Though it was a low-scoring few minutes, Ransom got off to a relatively hot start, collecting six points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal over the course of the quarter. For the Bluejays, paint points were the name of the game – all five of their made buckets in the first were scored in the paint, a departure from their typical three-centered offense. Their strategy worked, though, and allowed them to take a three-point lead out of the quarter.

The second quarter was also somewhat back and forth, but as time went on, Creighton was able to build up a slightly bigger lead. Georgetown shot the same percentage from the floor – 33 – as they did in the first period, but Creighton improved substantially, heating up to 41.18 percent. A balanced scoring attack featuring five different players made up for their abysmal 14.29 percent three-point percentage, and the Bluejays capitalized on that balance to enter into the half with a 28-19 lead.

Out of the locker room, the Hoyas started to pick up steam a bit. At the start of the quarter, junior forward Jada Claude made a mark, picking up a quick steal and basket to cut the Creighton lead to five. Later, with 6:04 left in the third, Claude had an and-one to get the Hoyas to within one possession. The rest of the squad couldn’t capitalize on her efforts, though, and the Bluejays hit three quick three-pointers to give them a 14-point advantage. Though graduate guard Kristina Moore hit a three of her own to cut things down to 11, Jensen made a timely move to the basket as time expired to put her team back up 13 with 10 minutes to go.

The first minutes of the fourth hovered around the same general score, with Creighton responding every time Georgetown tried to cut into the lead significantly. After a Moore layup at the 7:48 mark, though, the Hoyas made one last push for a lead. Ransom followed up Moore’s basket with five straight points of her own, and two points each from Claude and sophomore forward Brianna Scott gave Ransom the chance to make the deficit just four points with 4:48 left. The Bluejays were able to push back, though, just as they had every time before, and six made free throws in the final 4 minutes gave Creighton the 65-57 victory, snapping Georgetown’s win streak and giving the Bluejays an 8-4 conference record.


MBB @ St. John’s (Jan. 29)

Following the DePaul win, the Hoyas fell to St. John’s in a tight 75-73 loss. For Georgetown, it was once again Spears pacing the scoring, as he put up 25 points to lead all scorers. The Red Storm were led by junior forward David Jones, who had 17 on the night.

The Hoyas started off shooting poorly, only making two of their first eight attempts from the field. This allowed St John’s to pull ahead 10-4 after the first five minutes. Though sophomore guard Brandon Murray had a nice and-one to bring the Hoyas within three, Jones immediately responded with a three-pointer, and the Red Storm capitalized on that momentum to take a 17-7 lead with 13:09 left in the first half.

Basketball is a game of runs, though, and Georgetown proved that in their back-half response. From the 12:26 point on, the Hoyas scored 31 points to St. John’s 17, including a 14-0 run in the last 3:49 of the half. Much of that run was fueled by sophomore guard Jordan Riley, who scored four of the last six points of the period, two of which came from a dunk off of a steal.

After heading into halftime with a 39-35 lead, Georgetown was up as many as nine at some points in the second half. As has become predictable, though, they saw that lead slip away as late game execution continued to be their Achilles heel. With 8:07 left in the game, Jones splashed in a jumper for the Red Storm that sparked a 9-0 run and tied the game at 64 a piece with just over four minutes left to play. The game continued to go back and forth until the final seconds. With 24 seconds left, graduate forward Bryson Mozone made a three off an assist from Murray to give the Hoyas a one-point lead. However, with just four seconds left in the game, Georgetown decided to defend the final possession with a poorly executed zone and allowed freshman guard AJ Storr to win the game for the Red Storm. The Hoyas fell to a horrendous 1-10 in the BIG EAST and are now 6-16 overall, with a two-game homestand against Creighton and UConn looming on the horizon.

For more updates and coverage of Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Jo Stephens
Jo is the Sports Editor and a senior in the College studying History and Journalism. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, she has a particular love for women's basketball, but also enjoys watching football, softball, and volleyball.

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Ben J

This article changed my life!