In its final two-game homestand of the regular season, the Georgetown women’s basketball team dropped its games to DePaul and Marquette to end the season with only one win at McDonough Arena.
Even with graduate student guard Taylor Barnes leading the Hoyas in scoring with 13 and 15 points, surpassing the 1000 career points milestone in the process, Georgetown (5-22, 2-14 Big East) still fell 87-69 to DePaul (25-4, 15-2 Big East) and 76-56 to Marquette (21-7, 12-5 Big East).
Regardless of the Blue and Gray’s struggles, Barnes’ 1000-point accomplishment in the Marquette game garnered appreciation from fans as the news was announced midgame in McDonough to a great show of support from the Sunday afternoon crowd.
Barnes remarked on the significance of this achievement and how joining the 1000-point club has resulted from years of hard work.
“It just means everything, college basketball is not easy. Four years of playing hard, working as hard as I can, and it’s finally paying home,” Barnes said in an interview with The Hoya.
Head Coach James Howard also commended Barnes’ accomplishment and value to the Georgetown women’s basketball program.
“I know she’d rather given up 300 of those points so she could have gotten wins, and that’s the type of kid she is. I’m proud for her,” Howard said in an interview with The Hoya. “I’m happy she will have her 1000 point ball and put it on her mantle and hopefully her kids can see she did have some success.”
On Feb. 21, Georgetown’s matchup with DePaul, who currently sits in first in the Big East conference where the Hoyas rank ninth, did not get off to a promising start. Both teams struggled to find the first basket, playing through three minutes before the Blue Demons scored the first basket of the game. While the Blue and Gray gained a one-point lead in the fifth minute of play off a three-pointer from graduate student guard Brianna Jones, the advantage would be Georgetown’s only of the day.
From there, DePaul asserted its offensive dominance, outscoring the Hoyas 54-22 in the first half with 22 points in the first quarter and 32 in the second while Georgetown only managed 11 in each. The Blue Demons went 52.5% from the field in the first compared to the Hoyas’ 30.8%, taking 40 shots to Georgetowns’ 26.
The Hoyas fared better in the second half, notching 45 points over the 20 minutes, but failing to make enough of a dent into the Blue Demons’ commanding lead that at one point reached as many as 41 points.
Despite four players scoring double digits, with Barnes, sophomore guard Nikola Kovacikova, senior forward Anita Kelava and sophomore guard Cassandra Gordon combining for 44 points, Georgetown lost to DePaul by 18. Even in outshooting the Blue Demons 47.3% to 42.1% from the field, the Hoyas simply had less looks on basket, firing off 55 shots to DePaul’s 76 attempts. DePaul’s success resulted partly from Georgetown’s struggles on the glass, with the Blue Demons hauling in 20 offensive rebounds to the Hoyas’ four.
The Marquette game Feb. 23 proved far more competitive as the Hoyas remained in contention into the fourth quarter. The game similarly began without much offensive action as only two baskets were scored by the Golden Eagles in the first three minutes.
Georgetown muscled its way into the game as senior guard Marvellous Osagie-Erese pulled in her own rebound and finished a tough layup through contact to put the Hoyas on the board. Scoring then picked up for a rather productive quarter for both teams as the quarter finished 21-21.
Georgetown ended the quarter with the offensive momentum as Barnes drained a three-pointer right in the face of a Marquette defender. With only 16 seconds left in the quarter, junior forward Tatiana Thompson drilled a tightly contested three-pointer as the shot clock expired, tying the game.
In the second quarter, Georgetown remained within a possession of Marquette through the first five minutes of play. Thompson continued showcasing her long range ability for the Hoyas as she trailed a fast break and received a pass at the top of the key, immediately sinking the shot off the backboard to tie the score at 28 with 5:21 remaining in the half.
At this point, the Golden Eagles began to pull away, turning a tied game into a six-point lead at 42-36 on six consecutive points.
Georgetown’s team dynamic was put on display late in the second half as sophomore forward Shanniah Wright converted two easy layups back-to-back off feeds from Kovacikova and Kelava. Kovacikova found Wright streaking to the basket with a sidearm pass out of the pick and roll, and Kelava found Wright with a strategic pass under the basket.
The third quarter saw Marquette extend its lead to double digits as the Golden Eagles forced several bad shots from Georgetown. The Hoyas shot 5-for-17 from the field while Marquette shot 5-for-13 in the third, ending the period 56-46.
The Blue and Gray entered the final quarter still within striking distance of Marquette at a 10-point deficit. The Golden Eagles, however, upped their offensive pressure and dropped 20 points to Georgetown’s 10 for the 20-point victory.
After the game, Howard compared his team’s performance to their prior 73-51 loss to Marquette on Jan. 24.
“First time we played them, their two guards, Spangola and Lott, went for 41 points. So we didn’t want to allow them to have one of those big nights, but we knew their post players were more than capable,” Howard said. “We did a good job on their post players and not on their guards. Tonight it flip flopped. They went inside at will, and they hurt us.”
On the bright side, Howard acknowledged his team’s improvement from Friday’s loss.
“This team with only five wins to keep it to six at the half was pretty good. We were within striking distance, down 10 going into the fourth,” Howard said.
Moving forward, Barnes explained the importance of the team to fight until the end of a difficult season.
“We are just going to keep fighting, playing as hard as we can, and hopefully at the end of the game it’s us who come out with the win,” Barnes said.
Georgetown will close out regular season play with a game against Providence on Friday, Feb. 28, in Providence, R.I., at 7 p.m. and a finale at Creighton on Sunday, March 1, in Omaha, Neb., at 2 p.m.