The Georgetown women’s basketball team earned its first road victory of the season Wednesday, Feb. 24, in a 62-58 win over the St. John’s Red Storm.
Even with a dramatic overtime finish, the Hoyas found a way to win. In the final stretch, graduate forward Taylor Baur hit four crucial free throws, following strong defensive plays from first-year point guard Kelsey Ransom.
In Georgetown’s (2-13, 2-13 Big East) last meeting with St. John’s (7-13, 4-11 Big East), Red Storm guard Leilani Correa scored 35 points, tying her career high from December. This time, the Hoyas were determined not to let Correa get in a rhythm.
Head Coach James Howard decided to start his team with a 2-3 zone defensive scheme, as opposed to its regular man defense. The Hoyas played disciplined defense and didn’t let up. Their hustle prevailed, with Correa recording only six points in the game and going scoreless in the first half.
Georgetown started with a quick offensive pace and led by five after the first two minutes. Ransom broke open the game with a slick turn through the paint and an early inside layup. After Red Storm guard Unique Drake hit a three-pointer, graduate guard Milan Bolden-Morris immediately responded with a corner three on the other end at 9:05.
Georgetown’s Ransom, first-year guard Yasmin Ott and sophomore forward Graceann Bennett got in on the three-point action. With this high shooting percentage and good ball movement, the first quarter ended with Georgetown leading 24-18.
Following the second quarter, the Hoyas maintained a close lead of 32-29 going into the half. St. John’s Drake recorded a 22-point game, while forward Raven Farley recorded a 15-point game, keeping the score close for the Red Storm. The Hoyas remained in a zone defense, but four turnovers in the concluding minutes of the second quarter made the halftime score close. With 1:25 remaining in the half, Farley scored a smooth layup in the paint and followed it up with a jumper at eight seconds left.
The third quarter saw St. John’s tighten up its defensive play and prevent wide-open three-pointers. At 8:59, Correa made a three-pointer to tie the score at 32. Archer put the Hoyas back in the lead with a jumper at the free-throw line. The USC transfer became increasingly more aggressive with her scoring throughout the game and totaled nine points.
Bennett showed a notable hustle throughout the game. She garnered seven rebounds and 11 points, and she served as a defensive glue in the zone. With 7:55 to play in the third, following a missed jumper by Ransom, Bennett grabbed the rebound and put it back up for a layup to make the score 36-32.
Coach Howard spoke about the strength of Bennett’s play in a postgame interview with reporters.
“Graceann has been having a great sophomore year,” Howard said. “She has really stepped up her game. She has fallen into her role, stepped up and done all the dirty work on the offensive and defensive blocks. Right now, she is playing with a lot of confidence, but I still say the best is yet to come and the sky’s the limit for her.”
St. John’s held the lead by one point to open the fourth quarter, and a fast game of back-and-forth leads left the score tied at 53-53 to end regulation. The final quarter featured Ransom picking up her fourth foul at 8:47, which left Coach Howard with no choice but to sub her out for Baur.
In overtime, the Hoyas went to a 1-3-1 defense, and Ransom came back in. With 2:11 left, Drake made a jumper over Baur to score a career high-tying 22 points.
At 1:17, the Hoyas were down 58-56. After a block by Bennett, Ransom picked up the rebound and found Baur down the stretch, who was subsequently fouled. Baur hit both free throws to tie the game. At 0:35, Ransom had her sixth steal and made a jump shot off the fast break. A seventh steal by the relentless Ransom and another foul led Baur to the free-throw line again. She knocked down both free throws with poise, leading the Hoyas to a 62-58 victory.
Coach Howard was in high spirits and praised his team’s hard work.
“This is our first win at St. John’s in 11 years, and our players really needed something like this,” Howard said. “It was a great team effort. Everyone who didn’t play and who did play had a big piece in our win tonight.”
After a jubilant bus ride home from New York, Georgetown will next head to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take on the Xavier Musketeers on Feb. 28. The game will conclude the Hoyas’ Big East regular season play, and tipoff is set for 12:00 p.m.