The last time the Georgetown women’s basketball team (2-0) won a game at McDonough Arena was Jan. 9. The Hoyas beat the Providence Friars 69-61 in what would be the team’s fourth and final win of the season before it went 0-15 to close out the 2014-15 season.
The storyline at Wednesday night’s home opener could not have been more different. Coming off a victory in the first game of the 2015-16 campaign, Georgetown earned its second win of the season, dominating Virginia Tech (2-1) 73-56.
“It was a great team win. It was a great confidence builder. This win did so much for us as a group and it’s going to propel us forward,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said.
The first quarter was defined by sloppy play for both teams. The Hoyas turned the ball over a total of 10 times, followed closely by the Hokies, who recorded seven turnovers of their own.
Sophomore guard Dorothy Adomako was the high scorer for Georgetown in the opening quarter, netting the team’s first seven points. However, Adomako picked up her second foul seven minutes into the contest and spent the remainder of the half on the bench.
With Adomako out of the game, the Hoyas struggled to score. Only freshman guard Dionna White would record points for the rest of the quarter, making a layup and two free throws. The Hokies took advantage of the Hoyas’ offensive struggles and managed to extend their lead to 10 points by the time the quarter ended.
Things changed dramatically for Georgetown in the second period. Led by White, who recorded five points and two steals in the first six minutes of the quarter, the Hoyas began to battle back. The team’s defensive intensity picked up significantly, forcing another seven Virginia Tech turnovers.
“My focus was just to be more aggressive and to hustle, to go after every loose ball and do whatever my team needed me to do,” White said.
Offensively, the Hoyas were able to find a rhythm with Adomako still on the bench. An 11-3 run brought the Hoyas within two points with 5:53 left to play in the half.
“We don’t have one star on this team. We are going to team rebound. We are going to play team defense. It’s depth,” Adair said.
Three minutes later, senior guard/forward Logan Battle hit two free throws to tie the game. Georgetown then forced a turnover in Virginia Tech’s backcourt and junior forward Faith Woodard drove to the basket, drawing a foul. Woodard hit one of two from the line and gave the Hoyas their first lead since they led 2-0 to start the game. On the Hoyas’ next offensive possession, Woodard finished a bucket in the paint to put the team up three.
The Hoyas forced another turnover, and senior forward Dominique Vitalis hit a jumper from the baseline to extend the lead to five points. The Hokies managed to get to the line and junior forward Sidney Cook made both free throws to end the Hoyas’ 9-0 run with 24.5 seconds left in the half. Georgetown took a three-point lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Hoyas were dominant. Georgetown’s defense allowed Virginia Tech to score only seven points and forced the Hokies to commit another seven turnovers.
“I think we played very good defense tonight. We have been focusing on that since the summer so I think we did a great a job executing tonight,” Adomako said.
Georgetown’s offense was arguably even more impressive than its defense, as it put up an impressive 25 points in the third quarter. Adomako led the way with eight points, while White chipped in five. A 24-4 run to close out the period gave the Hoyas a 20-point lead going into the final quarter of play.
“We definitely went to the locker room and talked about how [Virginia Tech is] one of the best teams coming out in the third quarter, so we had to go out like the score was 0-0 again and just play hard,” Adomako said.
Virginia Tech was not willing to go down without a fight, scoring 11 straight points within a matter of two minutes in the fourth quarter to cut Georgetown’s lead to 12 with 6:25 left in the game.
“In the timeout in the fourth, we said this [is] where we get better as a team. We said, ‘Don’t look at the scoreboard, let’s work on efficiency, let’s work on things that we need to work on,’ and they listened,” Adair said.
Georgetown was able to weather the storm and two free throws by White ended Virginia Tech’s run.
“We just had to calm down and not get too erratic. Once we did that, we were fine,” White said.
The Hoyas maintained at least a 13-point lead for the remainder of the quarter. When the final buzzer sounded, Georgetown had a 17-point advantage and an elated team celebrated a long-awaited home-court victory.
“You could see the excitement at the end of the game. It was almost like a weight lifted off their shoulders,” Adair said. “They did it together. … They have worked extremely hard and I am more proud of them than anything. They needed this.”
Adomako finished the game as the Hoyas’ leading scorer, recording a game-high 19 points. White scored a career-high 16 points off the bench to go along with nine rebounds. The freshman also had five steals.
“I knew [White] was going to be a great player coming out. I said it at Big East media day,” Adomako said.
Up next, Georgetown will travel to Memphis, Tenn., to take on Memphis (2-0). The game tips off Sunday at 2 p.m.
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