Women’s winter recap: Big challenges in the BIG EAST

January 20, 2024

Photos by Daniel Rankin; Design by Graham Krewinghaus

While most of Georgetown took a break during the holiday season, women’s basketball (12-4, 2-3 BIG EAST) put together a strong run of games. The Hoyas won their final two non-conference games of the season against Wake Forest and Kennesaw State. Georgetown then began their conference schedule with a frustrating loss against Seton Hall and wins against DePaul and Butler. As classes resumed, the Hoyas were blown out by No. 13 UConn and lost a tough overtime game against Villanova. Here’s a summary of everything you might have missed during the winter break: 


vs. Wake Forest (12/17) 

On the last day of exams, Georgetown wasn’t really tested in a 60-44 home win against Wake Forest (4-13, 0-5 ACC). The Hoyas took a lead early in the game and never looked back. Senior guard Kelsey Ransom led the Hoyas in scoring with 22 points—nine of which came from the free throw line—and senior forward Graceann Bennett added 11 points. The Demon Deacons were led by senior guard Alexandria Scruggs, who had 13 points, but it wasn’t enough to make the game competitive. 


vs. Seton Hall (12/20)

Georgetown’s first conference game was a tough 57-49 home loss against Seton Hall (11-6, 3-3 BIG EAST). The Hoyas had a stellar first quarter, opening up a 21-2 lead on the Pirates. However, Seton Hall mounted a comeback, cutting Georgetown’s lead down to just one point after three quarters of play. In the fourth quarter, the Pirates capitalized on that momentum to complete their comeback and earn a huge BIG EAST victory. Ultimately, it was a difficult loss for the Hoyas after a fantastic first-quarter performance, but it showed that the Hoyas can’t take their foot off the gas. 


at Kennesaw State (12/28)

Ransom’s last-second free throws were the difference in Georgetown’s 57-55 win over Kennesaw State (7-9, 3-0 ASUN). The game was tied at 55 with 0.9 seconds left, and Ransom was about to inbound the ball near the basket. She bounced the ball off the back of an Owls defender before putting up a layup. Ransom was fouled in her shot attempt and made both free throws to give the Hoyas a two-point victory. Her creative play was yet another example of her standout performance this season as she leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals so far this season.


at DePaul (12/31)

The Hoyas traveled to Chicago to take on the DePaul Blue Demons (9-9, 1-4 BIG EAST) on New Year’s Eve, getting their first BIG EAST win of the season in a 66-62 victory. The game was close heading into the fourth quarter, but Georgetown pulled ahead in the last few minutes. Junior center Ariel Jenkins, assisted by Ransom, scored a layup to give the Hoyas a 64-62 lead. DePaul missed their game-tying attempt, and Bennett got the rebound and took it down the court before being fouled. She made both free throws to secure the victory for Georgetown. 


at Butler (1/03)

The Hoyas had to come back to get a 60-55 win in a tough away game against the Butler Bulldogs (8-8, 0-5 BIG EAST). They were down nine points at halftime but tied the game in a strong third quarter, and were able to pull away in the fourth to grab another conference victory in the Midwest. Bennett led the Hoyas with 20 points and eight rebounds on the day, and Georgetown earned a valuable conference win to start the new year. 


vs. UConn (1/07)

The Hoyas hosted the UConn Huskies (14-3, 6-0 BIG EAST) across the District at the Entertainment & Sports Arena, home of the Washington Mystics. The Huskies are consistently among the top teams in both the BIG EAST and the nation, and this year is no different. Five Huskies scored at least 12 points in a dominant 83-55 victory over the Hoyas. The Huskies’ high-powered offense was led by senior forward Aaliyah Edwards, who scored 18 points. Bennett led the Hoyas with 13 points, but Georgetown simply could not handle UConn’s talent. 


vs. Villanova (1/10)

Georgetown and Villanova (11-5, 4-1 BIG EAST) played a hard-fought game that went into overtime, but ultimately the Wildcats won 53-51. It took an impressive effort from the Hoyas to force overtime; the Wildcats held a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but Georgetown went on a run to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime, the teams traded baskets, leaving the game tied at 51 with 11 seconds left. Villanova’s junior guard Lucy Olsen was fouled and made one of her free throws to give the Wildcats a one-point lead with five seconds remaining. The Hoyas couldn’t get a shot off, and junior guard Kaitlyn Orihel made another free throw for Villanova just before time expired, leaving the Wildcats with a two-point victory.

Georgetown won 10 of its 11 non-conference games, setting the Hoyas up well for their BIG EAST schedule, where the level of difficulty increased. The UConn game was a tough loss, but the Hoyas can console themselves with the fact that the Huskies’ roster is full of nationally ranked talent. Georgetown’s two conference wins thus far came against DePaul and Butler, who were ranked seventh and eighth respectively (out of 11 teams) in the Voice’s preseason BIG EAST predictions. However, Georgetown’s play in their losses against Seton Hall and Villanova did leave room for positive takeaways, showing that they can be competitive against good BIG EAST teams. 

The Hoyas continue their BIG EAST conference play when they host the Xavier Musketeers (1-13, 0-5 BIG EAST) at McDonough Arena at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20. For continued coverage and updates on Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on X (formerly known as Twitter).

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