CHICAGO - The No. 6 seed Georgetown University women's basketball team (15-15) fell, 85-53, to the No. 2 DePaul University Blue Demons (25-7) in the semifinals of the 2017 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament, presented by the Jeep Brand at Wintrust Arena Monday evening. It was GU’s first trip to the semifinals in 19 seasons.
“It was a tough game,” said Georgetown Head Coach James Howard. “In the locker room, emotions are there because you've got three seniors who played their possible last game, but when we started out here today, I'm quite sure they came to win. Once the game started, I think after the fourth or fifth possession, they had no legs. We just weren't there from a physical standpoint and DePaul really did a great job of pushing tempo.”
Senior forward Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola College) was the lone Hoya in double figures scoring 10 points to go with eight rebounds. Junior guard Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) scored nine points, and sophomore guard Morgan Smith (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) added eight points to go along with eight rebounds.
The Hoyas were outrebounded, 51-33, but the defense forced nine Blue Demon turnovers while the Hoyas had just seven. Georgetown struggled to hit from the field shooting just 29.2 percent (19-of-65), while DePaul shot 48.5 percent (33-of-68) in the contest.
Petke opened the game with a 3-pointer and the defense came up with some early stops. DePaul managed to tie the game at five midway through, but a jumper from senior guard DiDi Burton (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College Prep) on the baseline made it 7-5 in favor of the Hoyas.
The Blue Demons hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the stanza as Georgetown trailed, 17-13, at the end of the first quarter.
In the second stanza, DePaul built the lead to nine with a 5-0 run to begin the period and forcing an early Hoya timeout. Georgetown was never able to get into a rhythm as the squad struggled from the field. The Blue Demons managed a 21-9 run in the quarter to make it 38-22 at the break.
The third quarter was much of the same as the Hoyas just could not find an answer on offense and the Blue Demons managed to push the ball resulting in easy layups. Georgetown saw a spark from Smith with three points. However, at the end of the period, Georgetown trailed 63-34.
Despite the large deficit, the Hoyas played hard throughout the fourth quarter as the squad shows some late signs of life. The effort wasn’t enough, however, as the Blue & Gray could not overcome the large deficit and Georgetown eventually fell, 85-53.
“I'm proud of their fight, I'm proud of their grit, I'm proud of everything that they represented,” said Howard. “They represent Georgetown, and they represented it very well this year because the start to the finish is always something you can look back on, and I see that there were records that went down this year.”
The Hoyas will not await their fate in the postseason. Selection Monday is scheduled for March 12 and announcements will be on GUHoyas.com as soon as they are available.