Women’s Basketball | Hoyas Blow Late Lead in Home Loss

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STANLEY DAI/THE HOYA Freshman guard Dionna White tallied 18 points in Georgetown’s 63-60 loss to Villanova on Sunday. White leads Georgetown this season with 14.8 points per game and six rebounds per game.

The Georgetown women’s basketball team (14-12, 7-9 Big East) came out on the losing end of a tough battle with conference rival Villanova (17-10, 10-6 Big East) Sunday at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas had a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats battled back, coming away with a narrow three-point victory.

“This game came down to that half an inch,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said. “These [conference] games are just so close and it comes down to that possession. It comes down to that stop. It comes down to that layup. It comes down to that free throw. It comes down to that turnover.”

The opening 10 minutes of the contest, which saw two ties and six lead changes, were evenly matched. The Hoyas were paced by freshman guard Dionna White and sophomore guard Dorothy Adomako, who combined to score 16 of the team’s 17 points in the first quarter. At the end of the period, Georgetown held a two-point advantage.

“It’s easy to talk about Dionna and Dorothy because they just play so hard. They compete,” Adair said. “You have a freshman and a sophomore out there giving you everything.”

The Hoyas maintained a slight advantage for the entirety of the second quarter but were never able to pull away. A made free throw from White with 2:28 remaining in the period gave Georgetown an eight-point advantage — its largest of the half.

However, following White’s free throw, Villanova managed to hold Georgetown scoreless for the rest of the period. The Wildcats cut the Hoyas’ lead to four points in the closing minutes of the half. At the break, Georgetown led 28-24.

Georgetown held the lead through the opening minutes of the second half, but a three from freshman guard Adrianna Hahn with 5:38 left in the third quarter gave Villanova its first lead in more than 25 minutes.

“Once they came back we called a timeout, and Coach told us we had to win that quarter because the third quarter is crucial,” Adomako said.

Despite the swing in momentum, Georgetown kept its composure. A 10-0 run put the Hoyas back on top heading into the final 10 minutes of play.

The Hoyas came out firing to start the fourth quarter, scoring 12 straight points to take a 52-40 lead with 8:19 left to play. However, Villanova fought back, going on a 12-2 run to pull within two with less than five minutes left in the contest. Villanova tied the game at 54 with 1:47 remaining, and the two teams traded baskets as time continued to tick off the clock.

With 36 seconds left to play, Villanova sophomore guard Alex Louin launched a three that missed the mark as the shot clock expired, but Georgetown could not recover the rebound. Junior forward Samantha Wilkes grabbed the offensive board for Villanova and scored on a put-back shot with 34 seconds left on the clock to put her team up by one point.

“That offensive rebound killed us,” Adair said.

Trailing by one point, White drove to the basket with 18.9 remaining and was called for a travel. The Hoyas were forced to foul to stop the clock, sending Wilkes to the free-throw line with 16.8 remaining. Wilkes hit both to put the Wildcats up by three.

“[Villanova] made shots. They made big shots. … They made free throws. They didn’t miss,” Adair said. “We had opportunities – three straight possessions where we missed, we missed, we missed, and those turned into baskets. … They turned it up in the fourth, and we did not.”

White hit a layup on the other end with six seconds remaining. Still down one, the Hoyas were forced to foul again. This time it was Hahn who hit two free throws. Georgetown inbounded the ball, and White hurled a desperation shot from about half court as time expired. The shot hit the rim but did not fall. When the final buzzer sounded the Hoyas lost 63-60.

“They scored 23 points in the fourth. We had won every period up until then. When you have a 12-point [lead] in the fourth quarter, you win. You are supposed to win the game,” Adair said. “We gave this one away.”

The Wildcats were without their leading scorer Sunday. Senior guard Caroline Coyer, who averages 14.5 points per game and leads Villanova with 119 assists, missed the contest. Hahn rose to the occasion in Coyer’s absence, scoring a game-high 29 points.

“[Hahn] was huge. A freshman put the team on her back. She literally put her team on her back. If there was a big shot, she made it, and she made it from three; she made it from the rim,” Adair said. “She was possessed today.”

Adomako finished the game with a team-high 24 points for Georgetown. White added 18 points and senior guard Katie McCormick chipped in eight.

The Hoyas will return to action this weekend when they take on the Butler Bulldogs (8-18, 3-12 Big East), and the Xavier Musketeers (17-10, 8-8 Big East) in their final two games of the regular season.

“You can’t hang your head. You have Butler and Xavier coming up. Everybody is playing for something. We were playing for something today, and today hurts, but it doesn’t knock us out. The bottom hasn’t fallen out. We just have to get back in the lab, and we have to work,” Adair said.

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