The Georgetown women’s basketball team (12-9, 5-6 Big East) returns to McDonough Arena this weekend after winning three straight games on the road. Georgetown will face off against conference rivals Marquette (11-11, 6-5 Big East) and DePaul (17-7, 9-2 Big East) — two teams that have already beaten it this season.
“Being able to come off that road swing with three straight road wins, it shows our growth. It shows our maturity,” Head Coach Natasha Adair said. “Those last three games — Villanova, Providence, Creighton — the light bulb came on. They’re getting it. … Three games on the road — that’s pretty good.”
In its matchup with Marquette earlier this season, Georgetown took a commanding lead in the first half. The Hoyas led by 10 points at the conclusion of the first quarter and then strung together a 7-0 run in the second period to extend their advantage to 18 points. Going into the locker room at halftime, Georgetown led by 12.
Marquette started the second half determined to get back into the game. The Golden Eagles were able to pull within two points with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter, but a tip-in basket by freshman guard Dionna White got the Hoyas back on track. With 1:00 left to play in the period, Georgetown had regained a 10-point lead. However, Marquette hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final 40 seconds of the quarter to pull within four heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
“We definitely didn’t play defense as well as we had in the first half of the game,” senior guard/forward Logan Battle said. “Our defense fell off.”
Georgetown managed to hang on to the lead through the first half of the fourth quarter, but a Marquette free throw with 5:37 left to play tied the game. That free throw ignited a 12-0 run for the Golden Eagles and gave them a double-digit lead they would not relinquish. When the final buzzer sounded, the Hoyas lost 87-72.
“We relaxed. We got comfortable. We can’t let that happen,” Adair said.
Marquette will come into Friday night’s contest having won five straight games. Its two most recent wins were a three-point victory over St. John’s (16-6, 7-4 Big East) and a seven-point victory over Seton Hall (17-5, 7-4 Big East). St. John’s and Seton Hall are currently tied for second place in the Big East, and both have been ranked among the top 25 teams in the country this season.
“This time — second go around — everyone is better. We’re better, Marquette is better. Momentum is in both teams’ favor right now and so we definitely have to be disciplined,” Adair said.
After Friday’s contest against Marquette, Georgetown will turn its focus to Sunday’s matchup with DePaul. DePaul currently holds the top spot in the Big East, and despite dropping out of the rankings from its No. 23 spot this week, it has consistently been ranked among the top 25 this season.
“[A win over DePaul] would feel good, but it is something that is not unexpected of us. Our coaches tell [us] every day that we can play with the best of them. We have beat top teams in the country, so we know that we are capable of doing it,” junior forward Faith Woodard said.
When the two teams met earlier this season, the game remained close throughout the first half. Neither team was able to establish a lead greater than eight points, and the opening period saw six ties and five lead changes. At the break, the Hoyas trailed by just one point.
“We just weren’t afraid. We knew that DePaul was at the top of the Big East, but we’re right there too,” Woodard said. “We came in with the mindset that we can play with anybody as long as we defend and make our shots.”
After the break, the Blue Demons took control, going on a 14-0 run to break the game open. At the end of the third quarter, Georgetown trailed 55-41. DePaul continued to extend its lead in the fourth quarter, taking a 20-point lead with 7:07 left to play. As time ticked off the clock, the Blue Demons never allowed their lead to drop below a 20-point margin. When time had expired, Georgetown trailed 75-53.
“Early on, the third period was giving us problems. Teams were making a run in the third. Teams were coming back in the third, and I think we have gotten better in that area,” Adair said.
Tipoff for Friday’s game is set for 7:05 p.m. Sunday’s contest will start at 12:00 p.m.
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