Coming off a close loss against Marquette, Georgetown women’s basketball looked to grab their second win of the season against Big East foe Seton Hall. After three quarters, the Hoyas were in good shape, leading the Pirates by 2 points. Seton Hall dominated the fourth quarter, however, outscoring Georgetown by 10 points in the frame and securing a 60-52 victory on the road.
The game started out sloppy, as the Hoyas (1-9, 1-9 Big East) turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, and the Pirates (9-3, 7-2 Big East) shot 3-18 from the field in the period, resulting in a low-scoring 8-7 Seton Hall lead.
Both teams started to pick up the speed of their offense in the second quarter, as sophomore forward Graceann Bennett dominated inside for Georgetown with 8 points and nine boards in the first half. Junior center Shanniah Wright also provided a spark off the bench, grabbing misses and finishing at the rim. The Hoyas controlled the paint in the first half, grabbing 32 rebounds to the Pirates’ 18 rebounds. Seton Hall was unable to contain Bennett, Wright and their teammates. At half, Georgetown led by 3 points.
To start the third quarter, the Pirates switched to a two-three zone to keep the Hoyas out of the paint. The zone did its job, forcing Georgetown to shoot way more jumpers than it would have liked. Even so, the Hoyas’ defense still kept them competitive in the game.
For much of the game, Georgetown effectively slowed down Seton Hall’s vaunted offense, holding the Pirates to 34 points through the first three quarters. On the season, Seton Hall averages 79.4 points per game and shoots a respectable 45% from the field. During the game, however, the Hoyas held the Pirates to 34% from the field and 23% from three-point range. Georgetown also successfully shut down Seton Hall star guard Andra Espinoza-Hunter; even though she still ended up with 18 points, she got there on an inefficient 20 shots.
Strong play from both Bennett and graduate guard Milan Bolden-Morris, who added 5 points and stout defense, defined the third quarter. The Hoyas kept control of the inside in the quarter, blocking two shots and holding the Pirates to 12 points.
Seton Hall adjusted its defense again in the fourth, and this time, the change proved to be a winning decision. The Pirates came out in the fourth with a zone press that trapped the Hoyas’ ball handlers right near half court, and the Hoyas had trouble dealing with it, turning the ball over six times in the final 10 minutes.
These turnovers turned into quick points for Seton Hall, as it was finally able to get out on the break and score against an unsettled Georgetown defense; the Pirates scored 26 of its 60 points in the fourth quarter alone. In addition, Seton Hall’s defense kept Georgetown on the perimeter for much of the quarter, again forcing the Hoyas into jumpers they did not want to take.
Ultimately, turnovers made all the difference. Georgetown had 21, while Seton Hall only had six. While the Hoyas played excellent defense and controlled the boards for much of the game, it is tough to win against a successful team like the Pirates with that many turnovers.
Despite the loss, many Hoyas gave strong performances. Bennett finished with 15 points on only 10 shots and 14 rebounds, securing her first career double-double in the process. Freshman guard Kelsey Ransom turned in a good two-way performance, adding 13 points and four blocked shots, and junior forward Jillian Archer helped control the boards, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking two shots herself.
The Hoyas should hold their head high after a valiant effort, as they held an explosive offense well below their season average and dominated the interior against them. If it were not for a few mistakes late in the fourth, the outcome could have been completely different.
Georgetown will take on No. 2 UConn (14-1, 11-0 Big East) on Feb. 12 at the McDonough Arena. The game will tip off at 6:00 p.m., with the Hoyas looking to avenge their Jan. 23 loss to the Huskies.