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 | Hot-Handed Hoyas Advance Past Tournament’s First Round

In the first round of the Big East tournament, the Georgetown women’s basketball team defeated Xavier 62-40.
GUHoyas | Senior forward Jada Claude brough immense energy to the game.

Just six days removed from a convincing win over Xavier, the Georgetown University women’s basketball team began its postseason march with a rematch — and showed that its previous success was not a fluke.

The sixth-seeded Hoyas (22-11, 9-9 Big East) scored a 62-40 victory over the 11th-seeded Musketeers (1-27, 0-18 Big East) in the first round of the 2024 Big East Tournament March 8. After rebounding from a quiet start, Georgetown rallied past Xavier with balanced offensive contributions across the roster and a record-setting third quarter defensive stand.

Head Coach Darnell Haney said the team found a way to rally around its core principles to earn the win.

“Kudos to our group. They persevered and came out the second quarter and played Georgetown basketball,” Haney said. “We have to do a better job of starting and finishing better than we started, and I think we’re ready to do that.”

Although Georgetown came in as heavy favorites for the game, Xavier had the upper hand in the early stages. Both teams got off to a slow start with the score tied 4-4 six minutes into the first quarter, but an 8-point Musketeer run fueled by two 3-pointers from guard Aizhanique Mayo helped Xavier break the initial deadlock.

Just over a minute left in the quarter, however, Musketeer starting guard Daniela López suffered a head injury after drawing a foul and sat out the rest of the game. The Hoyas still trailed 16-9 at the end of the period, converting just 3-of-15 field goal attempts.

The Hoyas settled down coming out of the huddle, going on a blistering 14-2 run within the first four minutes of the second quarter. Even with a majority of Georgetown’s production coming from inside the paint, clutch 3-pointers from graduate guard Alex Cowan and junior forward Brianna Scott and a stellar jumper by senior forward Jada Claude helped the team stretch the floor more effectively.

The defense, too, found its groove, forcing bad shots by taking away quality passing options and penetration opportunities. Georgetown contained Xavier to just 3-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half, with guard Mackayla Scarlett rendered largely ineffective as the offensive focal point.

As the referees were relatively lax in whistling fouls, both teams played with considerable physicality to eventually draw the half to a 30-24 close with the Hoyas in front. In a halftime interview with Big East Digital Network, Haney commended his squad for bouncing back from the tough first quarter showing.

“They calmed down, they were able to get some buckets that we missed earlier in the game, we started to make some,” Haney said. “We just gotta make sure we consistently defend them on a high level down there.”

The third quarter was nothing short of a defensive masterclass. Georgetown limited Xavier to just 2 points in the quarter, a new Big East Tournament record, and 0-for-8 field goal shooting. Senior guard Kelsey Ransom and Bembry were particularly impressive — beyond combining for 3 steals and 1 block, the two constantly converted defensive stops into transition scoring chances. Cowan, too, found her shooting form at just the right time, landing two 3-pointers in the quarter despite coming into the game on a 1-for-20 field goal slump.

Georgetown’s dominant 20-2 scoring advantage in the period opened up its lead to 50-26 at the end of the third quarter, all but securing the win.

The fourth quarter allowed Haney to give his second unit valuable playoff experience. Claude and senior guard Yasmin Ott turned in impressive showings as the Hoyas continued to keep pace with the Musketeers through the end of the game.

GuHoyas | Graduate guard Alex Cowan was crucial in the victory with 9 points on three 3-point makes to break out of a shooting slump.

Ultimately, Georgetown’s success was the result of a balanced effort across the board, as evidenced by the team’s 37 bench points. Four players — Scott, Ransom, Bembry and Claude — had at least 10 points, while Cowan trailed just behind with 9 points of her own

The Hoyas also managed to force 18 Musketeer turnovers. Ransom’s 4 steals led the team, while Bembry contributed 3 steals and 1 block to continue an impressive season. 

Georgetown proceeded to beat third-seeded St. John’s (17-14, 11-7 Big East) and second-seeded No. 23 Creighton (25-5, 15-3 Big East) before finally falling in its first-ever Big East Tournament championship against first-seeded No. 10 University of Connecticut (29-5, 18-0 Big East).

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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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