After finishing up its nonconference schedule with a blowout win over Rider, Georgetown women’s basketball was set to begin conference play with a home match against Xavier on Dec. 29. Over the course of the next week, the Hoyas (8-7, 2-2 Big East) played three games against conference opponents that provided a substantial midseason test. To begin the conference season, the Hoyas managed this difficult stretch, as they knocked out Xavier and Providence despite falling to Butler and Creighton.

Against Xavier, the Hoyas overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to walk away with the 68-61 victory. Georgetown made up for a poor first quarter with a markedly better third, as the Hoyas outscored the Musketeers (10-5, 1-3 Big East) sparked by an 18-2 run, with 11 of those points coming from senior guard Dionna White. Yet again the performance of White stood out. She finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako, senior guard Brianna Jones and graduate student guard Mikayla Venson also provided considerable assistance, as they added 17, 10 and 11 points of their own, respectively.

In an interview with GUHoyas after the game, Head Coach James Howard discussed the first half-troubles and praised the efforts of these four in helping secure the win.

“Coming off of finals and Christmas break I saw some fatigue, but we had kids that stepped up for us in the second half,” Howard said. “Dionna White played great; we had four kids in double figures, and that always helps when you’re playing a good team with a lot of confidence.”

Fate turned for the team in the next match versus Butler (14-1, 4-0 Big East), as this time it was the Hoyas who jumped out to a first-quarter lead. With a three-point advantage heading into the locker room, the Hoyas were focused on making a run as they did in their previous game to pull away. Unfortunately for Georgetown, the Hoyas struggled offensively in the second half to keep pace with the Bulldogs. In the end, the Bulldogs wiped away the Hoyas’ lead with an 18-point third quarter behind a shooting display of nearly 44 percent from the field. Unlike the last matchup against Xavier, the rest of the team struggled in their offensive outputs; White was in double figures for scoring with 11 points. Ultimately, the third quarter struggles could not be overcome, as the Hoyas lost 59-50.

SOPHIA NUNN/THE HOYA | Graduate student guard Dorothy Adomako, left, scored 24 points against Providence and 17 against Xavier, propelling the Georgetown women’s basketball team to wins against both Big East opponents.

The team rebounded in the next game at Providence, as it put together a solid performance both offensively and defensively. The 68-52 win for the Hoyas was not indicative of the level of competition the team faced in the first three quarters since the game was tied heading into the fourth. However, the team tallied its best performance of the game, as it caught fire from the field and applied the clamps on the defensive end. Adomako and White both bounced back from the loss against Butler, scoring 24 and 20 points respectively. Moreover, given their work on the glass in accounting for 20 of the Hoyas’ 40 rebounds, their effect on this game was evidently far greater than just point totals. Freshman guard Nikola Kovacikova also contributed to the win in her 20 minutes of play with seven points off the bench.

Howard reiterated the importance of the level of play of both Adomako and White after the game.

“Dorothy Adomako came on, and Dionna White came on, and when we’re playing that way, we’re hard to beat,” Howard said.

Inconsistency, however, continued to plague the Hoyas, as they were blown out in their final challenge of this four-game stretch 65-38 by Creighton. The offense never gained its footing while the Blue Jays consistently made shots. Down only eight heading into the locker room, it was in the second half that the game truly fell out of the Hoyas’ grasp. Georgetown managed to score just 13 points in the third and fourth quarters, while Creighton kept up its level of offensive play. With only four points in the fourth quarter, hopes of climbing back into the game were officially squashed. Just as in the game against Butler, once again White was the only player to score in double digits with 15. Collectively, the shooting display was not good enough, as the Hoyas shot just 28 percent from the field, while Butler shot nearly 50 percent. This was a tough loss for the Hoyas after playing well against Providence.

The 2-2 start puts the Hoyas in a group with Villanova and Creighton of teams that have also split the first four games of the conference schedule. The team must rebound from this loss quickly, as the DePaul Blue Demons are next up on the schedule. While DePaul struggled early on in conference play, it still poses a significant challenge for the Hoyas, given its dominance in the conference over the last five seasons: DePaul has won the Big East the past five seasons. However, the Hoyas will not back down from this level of competition, as proven by last year’s road victory over the Blue Demons (10-5, 1-2 Big East). Regardless, it will still be interesting to see how the Hoyas come out against this conference powerhouse.

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