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 | Ransom’s Career Game Seals Senior Day Win

On Senior Day, the Georgetown women’s basketball team powered its way to a 70-63 victory over Butler, behind Big East player of the week senior guard Kelsey Ransom, who scored a career-high 31 points in the contest.
GUHoyas | Senior guard Kelsey Ransom shined on senior day, finishing with a career-high 31 points in the 70-63 win over Butler.

Even after the conclusion of the Georgetown women’s basketball team’s victory over Butler, senior guard Kelsey Ransom was not done scoring.

In an unusual call, the referees awarded the Hoyas two free throws after both teams had already left the floor for a Bulldogs technical foul. Ransom, whose dazzling 31-point performance helped seal the win, took a fitting curtain call — by draining another bucket in front of a jubilant home crowd.

Georgetown (18-10, 8-9 Big East) held off a sharpshooting Butler (14-14, 6-11 Big East) squad in the final minutes of the game, emerging on top in a 70-63 win. The victory, which featured timely scoring runs and clutch defense down the stretch, was all the more special for the seven players honored in the team’s Senior Day celebrations.

“It means the world,” Ransom told The Hoya in a postgame interview. “We have some who have been here for a few years and some who just got here, but I love them all so much.”

Butler came to the Hilltop riding a four-game winning streak and wasted no time showing Georgetown why. 

To begin the game, the Hoyas struggled on offense, tallying multiple passing turnovers. At the same time, the Bulldogs exploited a lax defensive scheme with aggressive shooting from beyond the arc, scoring three 3-pointers behind forwards Rachel Kent and Riley Makalusky.

Trailing 9-2 just 3:29 into the game, Interim Head Coach Darnell Haney called a timeout to give his team a chance to refocus.

“We didn’t want them to get 3s off, but we had some lapses early with the ball getting inside and we got caught ball watching,” Haney told The Hoya. “Because they can shoot the ball, we’re going to make sure they drive through us and rely on our penetration defense to help us out.”

Georgetown’s defense looked far more composed and agile coming out of the huddle, conceding just one additional field goal in the entire quarter. The team also rallied on offense, primarily behind scoring in the paint. 

Both teams went cold to end the first quarter with eight combined missed shots, but a well-timed block by graduate guard Alex Cowan led to a sophomore guard Victoria Rivera buzzer-beating transition 3-pointer, giving the Hoyas their first lead of the afternoon, 15-13.

The second quarter saw 13 lead changes as neither team was able to find an immediate answer for their opponent. Throughout the quarter, Butler had several open 3-point looks off screens and kickouts from double teams, while Georgetown was lethal on inside cuts and paint scoring. Ultimately, the half closed with both sides deadlocked at 33.

Although the Hoyas were able to keep up in the half, unforced turnovers and poor perimeter defense were points of major struggle. The Bulldogs connected on 44.4% of their 3-point attempts in the half and had just 4 turnovers to Georgetown’s 8.

“We had to just be more aggressive, honing in on our principles and running them off the line,” Ransom said. “Talking to each other, just being the louder team in the gym.”

A Rivera 3-pointer and a spinning jumper by graduate forward Graceann Bennett to begin the third quarter had the Hoyas off to a quick start, but a few misses off open looks allowed Georgetown’s slim lead to trickle away.

GUHoyas | All seven of Georgetown’s senior were honored at the game.

It was now Ransom’s time to shine. 

With 5:39 left in the quarter, Ransom drove through contact for an and-one layup, sparking a torrid stretch where she dominated on both ends of the court, accounting for 12 points, 3 steals and 2 assists within six minutes.

While Makalusky did everything she could to keep Butler close, Georgetown ended the quarter with a 57-52 lead and all the momentum heading into the final period.

Halfway through the fourth quarter, it seemed as though the Hoyas had done enough to earn a comfortable win. Much-improved defensive rotations, combined with a five-point scoring run by Ransom, gave Georgetown a 63-54 lead with 5:52 to play.

Butler, of course, had to keep things interesting — a 9-2 run shrank the lead to two with just 1:14 remaining in the game. Then, Bulldogs guard Caroline Strande forced a steal off of a Ransom pass and drove down the court looking for the game-tying layup. However, Ransom sprinted down the floor to get in front of the Butler star, forcing Bulldogs Head Coach Austin Parkinson to call a timeout to reset the offense.

On the design play, Ransom and graduate forward Mya Bembry managed to disrupt Butler’s attempt, shedding screens and pushing Strande, who was looking for an open 3-point look, well outside the arc to force a shot clock violation with just 28 seconds to play. Senior forward Jada Claude, Bennett and Ransom converted multiple free throws to end the comeback attempt.

Haney attributed Georgetown’s ability to adjust in-game to the group’s collective experience, led by the team’s many upperclassmen.

“It’s been tremendous for us because of the maturity. I’m coaching women,” Haney said, “I’m just blessed to be able to do that, and I’m happy for them and I’m happy to be their coach.”

With her sparkling performance, Ransom earned her first Big East Player of the Week award — and Georgetown’s first since Dionna White (MSB ’19) in 2019 — with a career-best 31 points, in addition to 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Bennett also had a solid game with 9 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Rivera’s 8 points came at crucial times to maintain Georgetown’s momentum.

Although the defense was far from perfect, as evidenced by Butler’s 41.4% 3-point shooting on 29 attempts, the Hoyas did enough down the stretch to limit the damage. Makalusky had a career game for the Bulldogs with 21 points, while Strande was limited to an inefficient 3-for-17 shooting after averaging 44.1% shooting from the field on the year.

Georgetown will end its regular season at Xavier (1-25, 0-17 Big East) on March 2 before setting its sights on a deep postseason run — one last hurrah for Ransom and the team’s other seniors.

“We’ve just been there for each other this year like no other team has,” Ransom said. “And I wouldn’t trade this team for anything.”

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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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