The Georgetown women’s basketball team (16-12, 9-9 Big East) closed out its regular season this weekend with wins over Butler (9-20, 4-14 Big East) and Xavier (17-12, 8-10 Big East). The Hoyas defeated the Bulldogs 49-35 Friday and then went on to beat the Musketeers by a score of 63-51 Sunday afternoon.
In the matchup with Butler, both teams struggled offensively in the opening quarter. The Hoyas held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first 5:32 of the contest, scoring five points of their own in that time. Georgetown went 5-of-24 from the field, shooting 20.8 percent. Butler was only slightly better, going 4-of-13 for a 30.8 field goal percentage, but committed nine first-quarter turnovers. Through 10 minutes of play, the Hoyas led 13-10.
“When the ball is not falling you have to defend, and I feel like our defense was stellar,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said.
Georgetown led for the entirety of the second quarter, but was unable to establish a significant lead until the final minute of the period. Freshman guard Dionna White’s fast-break layup off of a steal gave the Hoyas a seven-point advantage with 48 seconds left to play before the break.
On Georgetown’s next offensive possession, White hit a jumper to put the Hoyas up by nine. Georgetown took a 26-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. White led both teams with eight first-half points.
The Hoyas remained in control throughout the third quarter, never allowing their lead to dip below seven points. Heading into the final period, Georgetown held a 14-point advantage.
“At halftime we said the game was too close. We had to come out and make a statement. This game was about us, imposing our will … and that’s what we did in the second half,” senior forward Dominique Vitalis said.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as Georgetown focused on holding its lead and finishing down the stretch. Butler cut Georgetown’s lead to single digits after Butler senior guard Blaire Langlois, who led both teams with a game-high 18 points, scored six straight points to pull her team within eight.
Despite the late run by the Bulldogs, the Hoyas remained composed. Georgetown held Butler scoreless for the final three minutes of the contest and went on a 6-0 run to close out the game. When the final buzzer sounded, the Hoyas led by 14 points.
“We wanted to keep them under 50 [points] and we did,” Adair said. “In this league it’s going to come down to defense, and I feel like we managed that perfectly.”
Georgetown was paced by Vitalis and White, who each scored 12 points. Vitalis also pulled down 10 rebounds, giving her a double-double on the day.
“[Vitalis] has been my steady from the time I got here. I think she has been the most improved and the most consistent over time. She just works. She doesn’t complain,” Adair said. “In her senior campaign, you want to see her have success.”
Sophomore guard Dorothy Adomako chipped in nine points for Georgetown, while senior guard/forward Logan Battle grabbed 10 rebounds in the win. As a team, the Hoyas dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Bulldogs 57-43 and pulling down an impressive 23 offensive boards that they converted into 18 second-chance points.
Friday’s win gave the Hoyas momentum going into Sunday’s contest with the Musketeers. Prior to tip off, Georgetown’s five seniors were honored during a ceremony celebrating their final game at McDonough Arena.
“You always look forward to your senior night and you always want to win that game,” Battle said.
And win is exactly what the Hoyas did. Despite a rocky start for Georgetown that enabled Xavier to establish an early advantage, the Hoyas managed to battle back and take the lead before halftime.
With 7:11 remaining in the second quarter and the Musketeers leading by six points, sophomore guard DiDi Burton was fouled going to the rim and went to the line for two shots. Burton went 1-of-2 from the line, cutting Xavier’s advantage to five. The Hoyas’ next basket was a three-pointer from senior guard Katie McCormick.
Georgetown then forced a turnover on the defensive end that White turned into two points on the Hoyas’ next offensive possession, tying the game at 18. A jumper in the lane by Vitalis gave the Hoyas their first lead of the game.
The two teams continued to battle back and forth until the end of the half. With about a minute and change to play, Logan Battle hit a layup to put Georgetown ahead by five points. Junior guard Aliyah Zantt answered with a layup for Xavier, but a McCormick three-pointer from the corner with one second remaining in the half sent the Hoyas into the locker room with their largest advantage of the game.
“I just knew I had to get it up and Dionna did a good job setting it up. I thought she was actually going to take the shot and then she kicked it and I knew I had to shoot it. I just had confidence,” McCormick said.
Two straight baskets to open the second half gave the Hoyas a double-digit advantage. Georgetown remained in control throughout the third quarter, never allowing their lead to dip below seven points. Heading into the final quarter, the Hoyas led 50-37.
Georgetown never gave Xavier an opportunity to get back in the game in the fourth period. The Hoyas dominated the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds — including eight offensive rebounds — compared to only five boards for the Musketeers. Adomako scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Hoyas down the stretch.
“[We] were poised. We weren’t under any pressure today. I didn’t see us rattled too much. I just saw us focused and confident for whatever we needed to do,” Adair said.
When time expired, Georgetown led by 12 points.
“To get out there and go win a game on our last time on this floor feels really good,” Battle said.
Adomako and White led the way for the Hoyas, each recording a double-double. Adomako scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. White chipped in 14 points and grabbed 11 boards.
Seniors Battle, McCormick and Vitalis also shined on Senior Day. Battle netted 10 points and had eight rebounds. McCormick drained two three-pointers for six points. Vitalis chipped in another six points to go along with 10 rebounds.
“I am proud of [the seniors],” Adair said. “For this senior group to possibly have the opportunity to continue something special into postseason play, it just brings me joy because I know where they started and I know what they have been through and where I can’t change the past, I can hopefully give them a better outlook on the future.”
In winning both games this weekend, the Hoyas earned the fifth seed in the Big East tournament and clinched a first-round bye.
“It’s about time we got a fifth spot,” McCormick said. “We fought our way back. That’s why this game was so important because we knew we had to get this fifth spot so we could get a first-round bye.”
Georgetown will face St. John’s (20-9, 11-7 Big East) in the second round of the conference tournament Sunday.
“It was great to see that happiness and that energy and those smiles today, but we’re … not done yet,” Adair said. “To know that we’re playing our best basketball heading into March — I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Tip off is set for 9:30 p.m. in Chicago.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.