After two pivotal wins at home propelled the Georgetown women’s basketball team back to .500, the Hoyas were faced with the challenge of playing the conference’s two best teams, No. 8 Marquette on Feb. 8 and unranked DePaul on Feb. 10. While both games were tightly contested, the Hoyas went 0-2 during this tough weekend road trip and now stand at seventh place in the Big East.
The Hoyas (11-13, 5-8 Big East) managed to keep the high-powered Marquette (21-3, 12-0 Big East) offense to under 60 points for the first time since November, but were not able to capitalize offensively and fell 59-52.
The Marquette game was a defensive battle from the beginning. Midway through the first quarter, Marquette led just 6-2. As the quarter began to wind down, the Hoyas found themselves in a nine-point hole and in desperate need of a run. Georgetown answered by ending the quarter with an 11-0 run, giving them a 13-11 advantage at the first break.
In the second period, both teams failed to create separation, and the game entered the half with Marquette in front 27-23. While the Hoyas shot just 33 percent from the field during the first half, the play of freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova certainly stood out. Kovacikova tallied 11 points, including nine from behind the arc and a buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter to give Georgetown the lead.
The story stayed the same throughout the third quarter. Graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako’s hit several tough layups in traffic that helped keep her team in it. One of which momentarily gave the Hoyas the lead, but a pair of Golden Eagle free throws knotted the game at 44 with just a quarter to play.
To start the fourth frame, Marquette created some breathing room by burying back-to-back triples. Following a quick Georgetown timeout, senior guard Dionna White hit a three to cut the deficit in half. However, the Golden Eagles responded with five quick points, and grew their lead to a number that proved insurmountable for the Hoyas. After a hard fought battle, Marquette walked away with a 59-52 victory, preserving their perfect conference record.
For Georgetown, Adomako led the way with 17 points, some of these came during the game’s most crucial moments. Reinforcements were provided by White, who contributed 10 points of her own, and by Kovacikova, who posted 13 points in her 20 minutes of action.
In a postgame interview with GUHoyas, Head Coach James Howard acknowledged how difficult the game was, but appeared more focused on the remaining challenges that lie ahead on the schedule.
“It was a tough game, we just went out there and we tried to play our way but in the end we just couldn’t finish. How we get back from this is the biggest thing,” Howard said.
The Hoyas traveled to Chicago just two days later to square off with the DePaul Blue Demons. The team was able to find the offense that had eluded them against Marquette, but could not keep the Blue Demons (17-7, 8-4 Big East) in check, losing 76-71.
Unlike the Marquette game, from the outset, it appeared as though the offensive performances of both teams would take center stage. Following threes by both teams, DePaul held a 14-13 lead halfway through the first. The Hoyas received buckets from a number of players during the first quarter, as Adomako, graduate student guard Mikayla Venson, junior forward Anita Kelava, junior guard Morgan Smith and sophomore forward Tatiana Thompson all chipped to give the Hoyas the 26-19 advantage at the break.
In the second quarter, the Hoyas fell into a bit of an offensive slump, while the Blue Demons began to heat up. Georgetown scored just nine points in the quarter, compared to DePaul’s 19, and walked into the locker room down 38-35.
White carried the team during the fourth quarter, as she accounted for a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to 65-62. While the remaining minutes dwindled, senior guard Brianna Jones nailed a clutch baseline jumper after she secured a rebound to tie the game at 67. After a DePaul bucket moments later, Adomako tied the game again after she finished in the lane with only a minute left.
However another open DePaul player knocked down a jumper to give them a 71-69 lead. Leading the Hoyas back down the floor, Venson was fouled and sent to the line with the chance to tie it again with 29.5 seconds to go. She did just that by hitting both free throws.
DePaul recaptured the lead on their next possession with a pair of free throws. Georgetown attempted to go for the knockout on the final possession with a three, but the shot fell short, and the Hoyas ultimately fell 76-71.
This game certainly featured a balanced offensive performance for Georgetown, as Adomako posted 15 points, Smith tallied 10 and Venson added nine. White aided the effort as well, as she contributed a team high of 16 points. However, White’s accomplishments from this game do not end there, as she passed current WNBA All-Star Sugar Rodgers (COL ’13) as the school’s all-time leader in steals with 328.
Howard expressed his approval with his team’s play even in a loss, and noted that this type of performance will be required down the stretch.
“I’m so proud of the effort today, they really represented Georgetown well this weekend. It’s hard to play good teams at home, but our kids gave themselves a chance. It came down to the little things, but if we play this way over the next five games we’ll put ourselves in a great position going into the postseason. If we play this well down the stretch, we’re a tough team to beat,” he said.
Women’s basketball’s next opponent comes Feb. 16th as they travel to Villanova, Pa., to take on rival Villanova.