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 | Hoyas Secure Statement Win, Defeating No. 23 Creighton En Route to Big East Tournament Final

The Georgetown women’s basketball team defeated the No. 23 Creighton Bluejays 55-46 in the Big East tournament, picking up a statement win and the program’s first berth in the Big East championship game.
GUHoyas | Graduate forward Graceann Bennett greets the bench as she is subbed out of the game. Bennett led the team with 11 rebounds to go with 8 points and 2 blocks.

On what would have been late Head Coach Tasha Butts’ 42nd birthday, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (22-11, 9-9 Big East) defeated the No. 23 Creighton Bluejays (25-5, 15-3 Big East) 55-46 to advance to their first Big East tournament final in program history.

Upon learning that Butts’ birthday fell on March 10 while in the postgame press conference, graduate forward Graceann Bennett emphasized her influence on the team’s landmark year.

“What I know is true is how important and impactful Coach Tasha was for us in the spring and in our fall practices and how clear it was that our next step was just to get back in the gym and work as hard as we could in her honor,” Bennett said. “It’s how she started the program, the foundation that she set, and it became our responsibility to do it moving forward and do it out of love for her, for each other, and love and respect for the game.”

Bennett also credited Head Coach Darnell Haney, who was recently promoted to the permanent position, for leading the team through what has been an emotional season.

“He’s been incredible. I don’t know how he handled the situation the way that he did. I have nothing but just respect and gratitude for how he’s led our program in a situation like that, and to get where we are is really amazing. He’s been tremendous,” Bennett added.

Against Creighton, Georgetown played Haney’s defense-first style to a tee, controlling the pace of the game and holding the Bluejays to their lowest scoring output this season.

The game was scoreless for the first 2:21 before senior guard Kelsey Ransom gave the Hoyas a 2-0 lead. She would finish the game with 14 points and 6 assists, albeit on 7-20 shooting. 

Midway through the first quarter, Georgetown and Creighton played to a 6-6 tie, both teams off to a slow offensive start.

By the end of the period, the Hoyas narrowly trailed the Bluejays 13-10. Despite pulling in 7 offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone, Georgetown was unable to turn those second-chance opportunities into points. 

However, after a made jumper by Creighton forward Morgan Maly gave the Bluejays a 15-10 lead at the start of the second quarter, it was all Georgetown. The Hoyas unleashed a 9-0 run, punctuated by a 3-pointer by graduate guard Alex Cowan with 5:34 remaining in the half.

During that stretch, sophomore guard and primary 3-point threat Victoria Rivera exited the game to the bench with a right knee injury. She would later return in the third quarter.

At halftime, Georgetown led Creighton 26-23, as the Hoyas’ defense allowed the Bluejays to shoot just 31.3% from the field, including 2-13 from beyond the arc. 

Cowan was a bright spot for the Hoyas, scoring 9 points on 3-5 shooting from 3-point range, stepping up in Rivera’s momentary absence. She finished the game with 12 points and 4 rebounds.

GUHoyas | Head Coach Darnell Haney talks to the team’s starters before the game.

Coming out of the midgame break, Georgetown was incredibly impressive, going on a 10-0 scoring run, while holding Creighton scoreless to extend their lead to 36-23 with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter.

In an unusual and somewhat successful move, Creighton Head Coach Jim Flanery pulled his entire starting lineup for the remainder of the quarter. The Bluejays cut the deficit to single digits by the end of the period, down 41-33.

In the fourth quarter, play got increasingly more physical, but the Hoyas maintained their lead. With 2:57 remaining, Georgetown’s advantage was 48-37.

In a hard-to-watch moment with the win all but sealed for the Hoyas, junior forward and Big East Sixth Woman of the Year Brianna Scott exited the game in visible pain with a right leg injury.

Nonetheless, Georgetown secured the season’s statement win, defeating Creighton 55-46.

The Hoyas’ defense was particularly strong, holding the Bluejays to a dismal 26.3% shooting percentage over the entire game and collecting 43 rebounds to Creighton’s 28. Bennett led the way with 11 rebounds and 2 blocks to go along with 8 points. Graduate forward Mya Bembry also added 8 points and 10 rebounds.

Haney said that Georgetown’s defensive style of play was no accident.

“We’re a physical team. That’s what we are. That’s what we do,” Haney said. “We’re going to try to irritate you. You know that gnat that’s always around, just flying around your ear, always there, that pest? We don’t want to make it easy on you.”

Although the Hoyas fell to the No. 10 UConn Huskies (29-5, 18-0 Big East) 78-42 the following day in the Big East championship game, this season has been a landmark one for Georgetown. They have achieved their first 20-plus win season since 2012-13 and will likely be selected to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the first time since 2019.

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Daniel Greilsheimer
Daniel Greilsheimer, Senior Sports Editor
Daniel Greilsheimer is a sophomore in the SFS from Port Washington, N.Y., studying regional and comparative studies with minors in journalism and environmental science. He is the former Senior Opinion Editor and is still a huge fan of Costco (he's been to locations in seven U.S. states and territories). [email protected]

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