Hoyas steamroll Xavier in first game of Big East Tournament

March 9, 2024

Photo by Daniel Rankin

On Friday, March 8, the Georgetown women’s basketball (20-10, 9-9 BIG EAST) team beat the Xavier Musketeers (1-27, 0-18 BIG EAST) 60-42 in their first game of the BIG EAST Tournament. The Hoyas were led by junior forward Brianna Scott, who had 11 points and five rebounds in the contest. Xavier had two players with 10 points each, but was otherwise mostly unable to get anything going offensively.

The game started off low-scoring and physical, as many Georgetown contests often do. From the outset, it was clear that Georgetown head coach Darnell Haney had emphasized offensive rebounding, as the Hoyas were all over the glass in the first few minutes of the game. Unfortunately, they were mostly unable to convert those rebounds into points, leaving a ton of points at the rim.

Xavier, on the other hand, were able to establish some semblance of an offensive flow in the first quarter. This was in large part due to freshman guard Aizhanique Mayo, who made back-to-back threes to give the Musketeers a 10-4 lead with just under 3 minutes left in the period. Georgetown did their best to lock down on defense, but two offensive fouls were called on the Hoyas on the other end of the floor, negating the effects of their defensive pressure. At the end of the first quarter, Xavier led 16-9 and it was quite clear that a change was needed.

To their credit, the Blue and Gray entered the second quarter with an apparent shift in focus and energy. Graduate forward Graceann Bennett had two nice possessions in the paint that resulted in Georgetown layups. She was complemented by three teammates: senior forward Jada Claude, graduate guard Alex Cowan and Scott. Claude brought incredible energy onto the floor, making the bucket in the paint to tie the game up at 18. In the next possession, Cowan hit a massive three to give Georgetown their first lead since 2-0. Scott had a handful of nice moves as well, showing off her footwork in the post as well as her ability to knock down shots from behind the arc. Together, they were able to give the Hoyas a 30-24 lead heading back into the locker room at halftime.

Then came the third quarter, a stretch that can only be described as a defensive masterclass. Thanks to Georgetown’s intensity and stifling pressure, the Musketeers were unable to make a single field goal in the entire 10 minutes of the quarter. Their only two points during the third came off of free throws. 

In contrast, the Hoyas—and graduate forward Mya Bembry in particular—really got rolling. Bembry was everywhere, disrupting passing lanes to get takeaways and making smart slips off of screens to get unimpeded access to the hoop. Alongside Cowan’s two threes and Scott’s continued excellence, Georgetown almost managed to double the Musketeers’ score, eventually concluding the quarter with a hefty 50-26 lead.

Xavier had a bit more offensive success in the last quarter, but at that point it was by far too little, too late. Georgetown players who normally don’t get a ton of playing time, such as senior guard Yasmin Ott, got the chance to come into the game and made meaningful contributions on both sides of the ball. Overall, the Blue and Gray were in complete control of the game following halftime, ending Xavier’s season while extending their own.

Now, with their first 20-win season since 2011-2012 officially achieved, the Hoyas will look to keep their momentum going against St. John’s (17-13, 11-7 BIG EAST), the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. The game will be played on Saturday, March 9 at 9:30pm on FS2. For continued coverage of all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on X, formally known as 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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