After receiving a bid to the National Invitational Tournament for the second straight season, the Georgetown women’s basketball team again finished the year with an exit in the first round to Fordham at home 60-49.
“For the most part, obviously everybody wanted to win that game, and it didn’t turn out the way that we wanted it to. But, it was a game that we got in the mode of we wanted to win but we weren’t sure what it took to win in the postseason, because we lost the year previously in the first game,” senior forward Faith Woodard said.
Despite the loss, Georgetown still improved from the previous year, earning one more win than the 16 of the 2015-16 campaign. In the 2014-2015 season, the Hoyas finished 4-27.
“I just think that probably there is a certain mindset and expectation for our team. It is something that our coaches just continue to foster with each team that we have to step it up every year and raise the bar and expectations. I think that that is something that we’ve tried to do every single year, and I know it is something that they will continue to do,” Woodward said when asked about the team’s improvement this season.
Georgetown struggled at the beginning of the season, starting out Big East conference play in a rut with a record of 0-4. However, the Hoyas hit their stride, going on a five-game conference win streak immediately following the losing skid.
The turn-around game for the Hoyas was the home game against Seton Hall on Jan. 15. Senior guard Mykia Jones and Woodard led the team with 20 and 19 points respectively. The Georgetown defense forced 25 Seton Hall turnovers and made 15 steals.
When asked about the role of the team’s mindset in its defensive performance, Woodard credits her team’s consistent efforts.
“We bought into the team that was going to do anything that it took to get the win. Even if it took diving on the floor for loose balls, and just giving all your energy. I think that is something that we’ve done, and it has definitely showed up on the defensive end,” said Woodard.
Georgetown made its strong defensive presence a staple of the season. The Hoyas ranked first in the conference with 9.7 steals per game and ranked third in the Big East with 4.5 blocks per game.
The aggressive defense helped the Hoyas edge out close competitors in tight game scenarios. Over the course of the season, the Hoyas were put to the test in three different overtime situations. Georgetown lost to Creighton 70-68 on Jan. 8 for the first overtime of the season. Then, Georgetown went on to win 69-64 in overtime against Xavier on Jan. 20.
On Feb. 3 against Providence, Woodard tied the game 70-70 with 1:35 left, helping the Hoyas secure a 72-70 win with a jumper by senior guard Tyshell King.
“The highlight would probably be when I hit the game winning shot against Providence. For me, just the chance for me to do that for my team was something I was proud about,” Woodard said.
Along with stringing together a five-game winning streak over the course of the season, Georgetown improved its performances against several teams during rematches. An important win for Georgetown was its victory over Villanova. When the teams met for the first time on Jan. 4 at Villanova, Georgetown lost 71-50, allowing sophomore guard Adrianna Hahn to put up 23 points. On Jan. 28, sophomore guard Dionna White helped the Hoyas edge out the Wildcats by contributing 21 points, leading the Blue and Gray to a 54-49 win.
Considering the team’s improvement over the course of the season, Woodard has high hopes for its future while watching as an alum.
“We did something really good, and [with] last year’s team and then our improvement this year, I’m really hopeful that the next team will be able to push past what we did this year,” Woodard said. “I know they can do it.”
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