CAROLINE PAPPAS/THE HOYA
Senior forward Cynthia Petke tallied a career-high 26 points and 13 rebounds in Friday’s win over Marquette. The senior followed up the performance with a game-high 24 points against DePaul on Sunday, enough to earn her Big East Player of the Week honors.

After dropping four of five games to begin the new year and seeing its ranking plummet to eighth in the Big East, the Georgetown women’s basketball team flipped the season’s script with an 85-58 victory over top-seeded Marquette last Friday, only to fall 78-62 to DePaul on Sunday.

The Marquette Golden Eagles (14-6, 8-1 Big East) entered Friday’s contest coming off of a 21-point win against Xavier (9-11, 2-7 Big East) five days before.

Georgetown (8-11, 3-6 Big East) asserted itself in the second period on both ends of the floor, relinquishing just four points while posting 20 of its own to enter the locker room with a 15-point lead.

The Hoyas maintained their aggressive posture and intensity in the second half, outscoring the Golden Eagles by 16 points.

Head Coach James Howard’s message at halftime guided the team, according to junior guard Dionna White.

“He told us to keep talking and keep closing the lanes,” White said. “He said we can come back easily, and we’re not going to give up.”

With the game in hand, the Hoyas began the fourth period with a 31-point lead and hung on for the huge 27-point victory.

Howard said the victory was a result of correcting past mistakes in conference losses.

“Every game we took more shots from the field than our opponent; when I see that, that tells me that we didn’t capitalize on the offensive side. Tonight, we scored 80-something points. It’s the offense, the defense has always been there, the defense has been fighting and fighting,” Howard said.

Contributions by senior forward Cynthia Petke, senior guard Mikayla Venson and White proved to be instrumental in getting the team back in the win column. The trio outscored Marquette by themselves, accounting for 59 of the team’s 85 points.

However, Petke’s presence brought the majority of the offensive firepower that the team lacked in their previous four contests, with Petke scoring 26 points of her own.

This victory over the top seed in the Big East was only half the battle in the weekend test for the Hoyas, as less than 48 hours later, on Sunday, second-seeded DePaul (15-6, 7-2 Big East) came to town looking to rebound from its 84-58 loss to Villanova on Jan. 19.

The Hoyas were poised to continue turning their season around against the Blue Demons, as they went toe-to-toe for three quarters, trailing by only two points to begin the fourth period.

Despite Georgetown’s effort, the offense that had propelled it for the last seven quarters disappeared, as the Hoyas scored just 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting, while the Blue Demons erupted for 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Howard said the Villanova game prompted different challenges.

“In the fourth quarter, we fell asleep on some defensive assignments, and you can’t fall asleep on a team that shoots the three that efficiently,” Howard said in an interview with GUHoyas. “Their run in the fourth was just too much to recover from.”

Yet again, Petke led the way with 24 points, but her scoring was not enough to overcome DePaul’s offensive onslaught.

After a weekend split against two top Big East teams, the Hoyas travel to Indianapolis on Jan. 26 to take on the Butler Bulldogs (13-8, 5-4 Big East), who dealt the first blow of the Hoyas’ four-game skid just three weeks ago.

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