Despite a strong start, the Georgetown women’s basketball team failed to fight off a third-quarter surge from Fordham, eventually falling 60-49 at home in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, ending the Hoyas’ season.
Fordham (22-11, 11-5 Atlantic 10) made 6-of-9 three-point attempts and outscored Georgetown (17-13, 9-9 Big East) 27-11 in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game.
“I just didn’t think that there was a sense of urgency coming out of that halftime,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said. “This time of year, it doesn’t matter what’s across your chest; all the teams that are in postseason are good enough. Twenty-seven to 11 in the third — that sparked the momentum shift their way.”
Sophomore guard Dionna White and junior guard Dorothy Adomako led the Hoyas with
17 points apiece. Fordham junior forward G’mrice Davis — who ranks second in the nation with 12.8 rebounds per game — posted 16 points and 17 rebounds, proving to be a tough matchup in the interior for Georgetown.
“She’s the real deal, and she showed it,” Adair said. “She made some tough shots. She didn’t quit, and there were plays where that first stop would have made a difference, but she got the second and third opportunities, and percentages go up at that point.”
For most of the first half, Georgetown’s aggressive half-court defense caused problems for Fordham. The Rams made just 24.1 percent of their field goal attempts, scoring just 14 points in the 20-minute half. Georgetown’s defense also caused nine turnovers in the first half. White was particularly effective defensively, using her quick hands to finish with four steals.
However, the Rams found gaps in the Hoyas’ defense in the third quarter, and they did not miss their open shots.
“Just a lack of focus,” senior forward Faith Woodard said of her team’s defensive breakdowns early in the third quarter. “A lack of doing the things that our coaches told us to do. We knew that they were a three-point shooting team. We knew that we had to get out there and touch the ball, and it was just a lack of focus.”
Meanwhile, on defense, Fordham packed the paint and forced Georgetown to settle for outside shots. The Hoyas, who are normally most effective attacking the rim, made just two of their 16 three-point attempts.
“They packed it in, and they wanted us to shoot because the percentages say we’re not that strong of a perimeter shooting team,” Adair said. “Once everything settles, emotions calm down a little bit, this is still teaching points.”
Woodard finished her standout career with 1,270 points, 682 rebounds and 177 assists. Her final season was her best, as she posted career highs in points, rebounds, three-pointers, steals and blocks.
“I had a really good experience,” an emotional Woodard said after her final game. “And I wanted to get the win, but it obviously didn’t happen tonight, and I just hope that the future of this program is able to do something that we weren’t able to do this year. But I’m very hopeful about our team, very hopeful about our coaches in the future, and I know positive things will come out of this program.”
Despite the loss, the Hoyas finished the season with an improved record for the third consecutive time in Adair’s three years at the helm. The team finished 4-27 in 2014-15 before improving to 16-14 last season and finishing 17-13 this season.
The Hoyas will reload their roster for next season, most notably by adding junior guard Mikayla Venson, a transfer from Virginia who led the Cavaliers in scoring at 15.1 points per game last season, including a single-season program record of 70 three-pointers.
“I’m proud of this group. This group is learning how to fight,” Adair said. “It hurts today, and it should hurt. This will fuel us and motivate us to continue to grow, continue to get better. But it’s tough right now.”