Georgetown University women’s basketball opened their season against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) on Nov. 6 in tremendous fashion, running away with a 61-50 victory in front of a large and loud home crowd at McDonough Arena.
The Hoyas (2-0) lost two starters from the 2022-2023 season, but the team returns with a strong and experienced roster, including junior forward Brianna Scott and standout senior guard and Preseason all-Big East honoree Kelsey Ransom.
The Hoyas’ victory came at a difficult time for the team, following the death of their head coach, Tasha Butts, at just 41 years old. A sea of pink could be seen in the surrounding stands, honoring Butts’ legacy.
Head Coach Darnell Haney said he was proud of the team’s resilience and strong performance in the matchup.
“I’m excited about these young women and their toughness,” Haney told The Hoya in a post-game press conference. “It’s been a long couple of weeks for us, and I think they persevered. I told them before the game, I was proud of them, just being able to go through what they’ve been able to go through.”
The team showed immense toughness while facing off against the Hawks (0-2), who came into the season placing fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason rankings. The Hoyas rallied around one another and stayed focused despite a slow start in the first half.
Haney said his team needed time to settle down into the game and struggled out the gate as a result.
“We had some jitters at the beginning, we had some defensive mishaps at the beginning,” Haney said.
By dominating the boards and out-rebounding the Hawks 45 to 34, though, Georgetown dominated possession of the ball and put together a cohesive offense.
The Hoyas entered halftime with a slim 33-29 lead, hoping to widen that margin in the second half. And in resounding fashion, the Hoyas refocused in the third quarter and were determined to extinguish the Hawks’ comeback attempts.
UMES attempted to keep Georgetown out of the paint, but they were no match for Scott and Ransom. Early in the third period, Scott and Ransom led a 9-3 run to pad the Hoyas’ lead. Georgetown found much success in the paint, where the team outscored the Hawks, 30-16.
Ransom commended Scott’s performance on the night, citing her physicality as a key factor in the Hoyas’ win.
“Bri’s a beast,” Ransom said after the game. “I’m glad that she felt confident to come in here and do what she does.”
Ransom, who ended the game with a game-high 19 points, shot a three-pointer with just over two minutes to play to seal the Hoyas’ victory. Ransom’s contributions were not limited to the offensive end, however, as her shut-down defense on the other end helped keep the Hawks at bay.
Although the Hawks sank a three-pointer at the buzzer, it proved too little, too late, as the Hoyas locked up the 61-50 victory.
Ransom said the game was a learning opportunity for the team.
“Take what we got from this game, ride it out. It felt great, but there are definitely things we need to work on,” Ransom said. “Again, I commend Coach Haney, he did a fantastic job today and we had fun getting his first win for him as the Georgetown head coach.”
After his first victory at the helm of the Hoyas, Haney said the team is building up for a strong season looking forward.
“I tell them all the time when a song starts, they don’t just start singing. They got to let the beat build,” Haney said. “You have to let them play a little and then attack.”
The Hoyas extended their strong start with a 68-45 win against a strong Temple (1-1) side on Nov. 9 and will continue to let the best of their season build as they return home to face Brown (0-2) on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.