Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Clutch Shooting Seals the Deal for Georgetown

With both teams entering the game on losing skids, the Wednesday, Jan. 17 matchup between Georgetown University and Providence provided each team with a crucial opportunity to regain momentum in a tough Big East conference.

Ultimately, the physical, high-scoring game ended with the Hoyas (13-4, 3-3 Big East) eking out a 73-71 win over the Providence Friars (8-11, 2-4 Big East). Georgetown, powered by strong offensive performances throughout the lineup, broke the back-and-forth deadlock with a contested make by senior guard Kelsey Ransom with just 3.8 seconds left on the clock.

Head Coach Darnell Haney attributed the victory to a strong all-around effort by the team against an unusually sharpshooting Providence offense.

“We are the team that has to win as a team,” Haney told Georgetown Athletics. “We don’t have just one good player, we need everyone to show up. We just need to continue to grow, play Georgetown defense and we’ll be fine.” 

The Hoyas entered the game needing a strong offensive performance. After a blowout loss to No. 9 University of Connecticut (15-3, 7-0 Big East) and a heartbreaking overtime loss against Villanova (12-5, 5-1 Big East), Georgetown hoped its then-No. 8 scoring defense would continue to capitalize on Providence’s season-long efficiency struggles.

Yet, the start of the game quickly suggested otherwise. 

With junior forward Brianna Scott not available again, the Hoyas lacked the size to match the Friars’ forward duo of Olivia Olsen and Sarah Bandoma. Both teams scored without much trouble — Georgetown distributed its scoring relatively evenly, while Providence relied on hot-handed guards Grace Efosa and Brynn Farrell.

However, a hard fall temporarily sidelined Efosa, who missed 12 games earlier this season due to an injury. The game’s physicality continued as the Friars employed a three-quarters court press against the Hoyas to disrupt their offensive rhythm. Efosa made her way back on to the court and helped Providence close the quarter on an 8-2 scoring run to take a 20-15 lead.

GUHoyas | Hoya women’s basketball sealed a tight 73-71 win over a sharpshooting Providence side in the last four seconds of the game behind star senior guard Kelsey Ransom.

Both teams picked off from where they left off to start the second period. Providence’s shooting spree continued, widening the lead to as much as 9 points in the quarter.

Yet graduate forward Graceann Bennett’s nifty footwork helped her counter the Friars’ size, as she netted 10 points in the quarter. Improved scoring from Ransom and sophomore guard Victoria Rivera, along with an adjusted defense, helped pull Georgetown back to a 38-35 lead to close out the half. 

Both teams slowed down to open up the second half. Although the Friars struggled to land their shots on open looks, Olsen proved to be a defensive nuisance for providence, notching 3 blocks in the quarter to push her game total to 6. The two teams continued to trade points, with the lead changing hands four times to a 50-49 nailbiter by the end of the quarter.

Looking to spark the Georgetown offense, sophomore guard Modesti McConnell stole the show toward the start of the fourth quarter. Despite having only played 13 minutes on the season prior to the game, McConnell made three straight 3-pointers within a four minute span to supply much of the team’s scoring.

Haney said McConnell’s success was a testament to her consistent hard work during practices.

“We’ve been hiding her in the bunker, man,” Haney told the Big East Digital Network. “She’s been doing a great job in practice, Modesti has been great.”

“We always tell our young women, and I told them before the game. I said, ‘You never know when it’s gonna be your time, and you gotta stay ready,’” Haney added.

Providence matched its opponent’s scoring, as Olsen dominated the paint to tie the game at 59 with 6:08 left on the clock. Even as the Hoyas were doing well to cut through the defense with quick breakaway play and solid ball movement, the Friars seemed like they simply could not miss.

As the final minute ticked away, Georgetown found itself up 4 points behind 4 made free throws. Before the Hoyas could celebrate, however, Friar guard Marta Morales Romero sunk a majestic 3-pointer to tie the game at 71 with 13.7 seconds left.

It took a heroic effort by Ransom to officially end the game, as she dribbled past her assigned defender from outside the arc, launched a jumper with two Friars guarding her shot and still managed to land it with 3.8 seconds left. 

Ransom was the engine for the Hoyas’ offense, playing 39 minutes and accruing 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting to go with 4 steals. Both Rivera and Bennett had solid games as well, each earning 16 points and grabbing 7 and 6 boards, respectively. Although the Hoyas have some cleaning up to do on the defensive end, the eventual return of Scott will hopefully provide them with additional depth against their other Big East rivals.

Georgetown returns home Saturday to face Xavier (1-14, 0-6 Big East), hoping to break above .500 in conference play on the season.

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About the Contributor
Oliver Ni
Oliver Ni, Senior Sports Editor
Oliver Ni is a sophomore in the SFS from Bolingbrook, Ill., studying science, technology and international affairs with a minor in mathematics. He was a proud member of the seventh lowest-ranked high school baseball team in Illinois. [email protected]

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