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 Fall to Butler, End Losing Streak With 63-50 Victory Over Xavier

After dropping its 10th consecutive game in a 60-42 loss to Butler on Feb. 7, the Georgetown women’s basketball team snapped its losing streak with a 63-50 road win over the Xavier Musketeers on Feb. 9 to notch the Hoyas’ first victory of 2020. 

The Hoyas (5-19, 2-11 Big East) came out of the gate slowly against Butler (17-6, 9-3 Big East), as the Bulldogs raced out to a 10-0 lead in the opening three minutes in Indianapolis, Ind. 

Sophomore guard Nikola Kovacikova tallied the Blue and Gray’s first points of the day after knocking down a pair of free throws. Down 12-2 fewer than five minutes into the action, graduate student guard Taylor Barnes buried two consecutive three-pointers to put the Hoyas back in the game. Yet again, Georgetown would fall further behind and trail by double digits after a Butler three-point buzzer beater made it 21-10 at the end of the first quarter. 

Georgetown failed to cut into Butler’s lead to begin the second quarter and quickly fell behind by 16 points. The Hoyas were not able to keep up with the Bulldogs’ offensive efforts, managing just seven points in the quarter. While Butler did not catch fire offensively either, they headed to the locker room up 34-17.

Down by as many as 20 points early in the third period, Georgetown would finally respond with a 12-4 scoring run to get itself back in the game. Kovacikova sparked the run with a jumper in the paint, which was followed by another three-pointer from Barnes as Butler’s advantage hovered around the 15-point margin. Senior forward Anita Kelava also helped Georgetown repeatedly throughout that stretch, hitting three consecutive buckets. 

Kovackiova’s transition layup off a steal by senior guard Marvellous Osagie-Erese cut Butler’s lead to 11 and forced the Bulldogs into a timeout. Despite these efforts, Butler responded in the final 4:20 to outscore the Hoyas 9-1 and extend its lead to 18 before the final buzzer of the third quarter sounded. 

Both teams struggled to find the basket in the opening two and a half minutes of the fourth quarter. Despite Barnes breaking the scoreless period with a fastbreak layup, Georgetown could not gain momentum as Butler continuously answered with timely buckets to reassert its control. After trading buckets with Butler up until the three minute mark, Georgetown failed to bring the game within less than 16 points and walked away with the 60-42 loss. 

Barnes led offensively for the Blue and Gray, posting 17 points in her 36 minutes of action as the only Hoya in double digits.

File Photo: Kirk Zieser/The Hoya | Graduate student guard Taylor Barnes gets around a defender and drives to the basket. Barnes led the Georgetown offense on the road this past weekend, scoring 17 points against Butler and 18 against Xavier.

On Feb. 9, Georgetown’s struggles to start the new year finally came to an end in its win against Xavier (2-21, 1-11 Big East). 

The Hoyas started the first quarter off strong, racing to a 13-3 lead. Jones connected from deep twice during this run as Xavier failed to find an offensive rhythm with just seven points by the time the first quarter came to a close. 

Up 14-7 to begin the second period, Kelava drew one in the paint and hit the free throw to put the Hoyas up 10. Xavier then began its comeback, outscoring the Blue and Gray 9-2 over the next three minutes to make it a three point game. Though junior forward Tatiana Thompson helped momentarily stop the run by hitting a jumper, the Musketeers posted five unanswered points to tie the game at 21. 

Both teams battled throughout the remainder of the period, yet Georgetown closed down the stretch with a 9-4 run to give them the 30-25 advantage heading into the break. 

While the Hoyas initially maintained their lead in the third, a quick six point spurt from the Musketeers allowed them to take the 38-37 lead. 

Coming out of a timeout, Barnes converted a timely and one for the Hoyas to put them back up. Shortly thereafter, Kovacikova would add a pair of free throws to push the lead back to five. On its last possession, however, Xavier hit a jumper in the paint as time expired to pull back within one possession.

Both teams traded three pointers to begin the fourth. The Hoyas then went on a 10-0 run to create the necessary separation and prompted Xavier to burn two of its timeouts. 

The Musketeers would be held scoreless for the ensuing two and a half minutes before knocking home a triple. Jones all but put the game out of reach on the next possession with a three-pointer after she pulled in a defensive rebound just inside the three minute mark. Georgetown hung on down the stretch to win 63-50 in its second conference victory and first of 2020.

Unlike their last showing, four Hoyas ended in double figures. Barnes led the way with 18 points, while Jones, Kelava and Kovacikova followed suit with 16, 12 and 10 points. 

After the game, Head Coach James Howard praised the performance of these players as crucial in snapping the team’s double-digit losing streak. 

“It was a great effort today, I thought they came out ready to play. It was Brianna Jones’ birthday and she was locked in,” said Howard in an interview with GUHoyas. “To have four players score in double figures, and two with double-doubles in Brianna Jones and Nikola Kovacikova is key. If we continue to get that type of effort, we have a chance to win a lot more games.” 

Georgetown will look to build upon its victory as it hosts rival Villanova next Sunday at 2 p.m. at McDonough Arena.

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