WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women’s basketball team downed the Florida International University Panthers (2-5), 77-56, Wednesday evening at McDonough Arena. Junior guard Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) had a huge night with 24 points scoring her 1,000th career point. It was Georgetown’s second-consecutive victory improving the Blue & Gray to 4-3 on the season.
“We made an adjustment at halftime to get a little more athleticism and size in there and I think making that move paid off,” said Head Coach James Howard. “I told them to dig deeper and get their second wind. I challenged them to go out in the second half and make a run and they did.”
Two Hoyas tallied double-doubles as White scored 24 points with a career-high 13 rebounds as well as three steals. Senior forward Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola) added a career-high 18 points and tied her career high with 16 rebounds. Senior guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va./Yorktown) rounded out those in double figures with 18 points.
The Hoyas shot 39.1 percent (25-for-64) in the contest and hit 73.3 percent (22-of-30) at the free throw line. Georgetown outrebounded the Panthers, 49-37, and forced 18 FIU turnovers with four total steals.
Shante Walker led the Panthers with 20 points, and Kiandre’a Pound added 15 points in the game.
The Hoyas opened the game with three-straight 3-pointers from Venson and White. GU had the 9-4 lead, but FIU answered with an 8-2 run over three minutes to take the 12-11 advantage. Venson sank a pair of free throws, but the lead would go back and forth resulting in the Panthers holding the 14-13 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Georgetown came back in the second as Venson opened the stanza with a trey. FIU would tie it back up, but a 4-0 run gave the Blue & Gray some breathing room on layups from senior DiDi Burton (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College Prep) and sophomore Morgan Smith (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist). The Hoyas maintained a small advantage. Every time the Panthers cut it to one, Georgetown found a way to stave them off until the final two minutes of the half.
In the final two minutes, FIU hit a 3-pointer to take the 31-29 lead. However, with eight seconds on the clock, senior Yazmine Belk (Queens, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) sank a layup to tie the game at 31 at the break.
White nailed a jumper to begin the third quarter, and a layup from Petke gave GU the 35-31 lead. From that point on, the Blue & Gray controlled the pace of the game and were able to keep the Panthers at bay.
Late in the third quarter, a 3-pointer and free throw made it 47-39 giving GU its largest lead of the game to that point. The Panthers cut it to five, but Petke came down and hit two free throws to battle back. She added a turn-around jumper at the end of the stanza to make it 51-44 in favor of the Blue & Gray at the end of the third. White led the way in the quarter with 12 points of her own.
Throughout the final quarter, FIU kept the game in reach. However, the Hoyas found ways to hold them off. In the final five minutes of the game, Georgetown pulled away moving ahead by as much as 23, 77-54. FIU added a late bucket, but at the final whistle the Hoyas had the 77-56 victory.
Georgetown will be back in action on December 7 as the squad hosts the University of Minnesota in GU’s final home nonconference matchup of the season. Tipoff at McDonough Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. Live stats and a webcast will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.