Hoyas upset St. John’s, advance to BIG EAST Tournament semifinals

March 10, 2024

Photo by Daniel Rankin

On Saturday, March 9, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (21-10, 9-9 BIG EAST) upset the St. John’s Red Storm (17-14, 11-7 BIG EAST) to advance to the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals. The Hoyas were led by graduate forward Graceann Bennett, who had 16 points and 7 rebounds. 

The game opened just about perfectly for the Hoyas, with shots falling nicely and their defense holding St. John’s scoreless in the opening minutes. Bennett established herself in the post early, spinning a layup in to open the scoring. Other players, such as sophomore guard Victoria Rivera and senior guard Kelsey Ransom, also contributed to Georgetown’s quick start on offense. On the other end of the ball, the Blue and Gray were executing flawlessly— they forced back-to-back turnovers and a shot clock violation, only allowing one open shot, which was subsequently airballed. After junior guard Brianna Scott splashed in a three to put the Hoyas up 10-0, St. John’s was forced to call a timeout with just under six minutes left in the quarter. 

Out of the timeout, the Red Storm came storming back, no pun intended. Sophomore guard Skye Owen and senior guard Unique Drake scored on consecutive possessions to cut the Hoya lead to 10-5. As the quarter wound down, though, both teams went a bit cold from the floor, with everyone falling back into their usual defense-first mentality. The difference between the teams mostly came down to converting off defensive stops; Georgetown graduate forward Mya Bembry had a nice steal and score, and Ransom made another shot in the post. St. John’s, on the other hand, was mostly unable to get shots to fall, and the first period ended with a score of 17-7 Hoyas.

As the second quarter started, both teams seemed to settle into more of a rhythm. Georgetown, though, continued to be the better team. While they missed a number of shots, the Hoyas also pulled down key offensive rebounds that allowed them to score in the paint on second chance attempts. Senior forward Jada Claude brought in lots of energy off the bench in this period. Bembry continued to shine in the full-court press, snatching another ball and taking it all the way for the basket. For a few minutes, the Blue and Gray were firing on all cylinders, and the lead stretched out to 12.

Unfortunately for the Hoyas, though, they then went a bit cold from the floor, and St. John’s was able to claw back into the game. At the buzzer, Owen hit a smooth turnaround jumper to shrink the point deficit to single digits, and Georgetown went into the halftime break up 25-16.

The Red Storm continued their ascent in the third quarter, while Georgetown faltered a bit down the stretch. Other than Bennett, the Blue and Gray were unable to get much offense going. On the other side of the ball, their defense wasn’t as sturdy as it was in the previous half. Former Hoya and current St. John’s graduate forward Jillian Archer was able to put up a few strong baskets in this period, and the Hoyas couldn’t make up for that on their end. At the end of the third quarter, it was a mere two-possession game.

Then came the fourth quarter, and with it Bennett. Alongside Ransom, she put the team on her back, tallying points once more. She made two consecutive layups — one off a beautiful press break — and Ransom followed it up with a three-point shot to extend the lead to 10 points once more. After a Rivera three and one last make from Ransom, the deal was sealed, and Georgetown won their 21st game of the season, 53-44.

Next up, the Hoyas will face the Creighton Bluejays (25-4, 15-3 BIG EAST) on Sunday, March 10 at 5:00pm on FS1. For continued updates on all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on X, formerly 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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