WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women’s basketball team used a stifling defense and big runs to defeat the Providence College Friars (7-6, 0-1), 75-43, Thursday evening at Alumni Hall in Providence, Rhode Island in both squads’ BIG EAST Conference opener. With the victory the Hoyas move to 6-5 overall and 1-0 in league play.
“We came into the game focused on the scout,” said Georgetown Head Coach James Howard. “Defensively, we talked about some things that we wanted to accomplish coming out of Christmas break, and I thought the team really zeroed in on that tonight and executed the game plan very well.”
Junior guard Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) led the way with 25 points, eight rebounds and five steals. She was followed by senior guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va./Yorktown) who tallied 19 points and had three steals as well as three rebounds. Senior forward Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola) added eight points and a squad-best 10 boards, while sophomore guard Morgan Smith (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
Both teams pulled down 36 rebounds in the contest, but the difference came on defense as the Hoyas forced 30 Friar turnovers while committing just 11. This resulted in 35 points off of turnovers and 22 fast break points for the Blue & Gray. Georgetown shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) in the game and allowed just 27.7 percent (13-of-47) shooting from the field for Providence.
The Hoyas opened the game with a sharpness on both ends of the floor. Defense forced early turnovers, and White managed the first eight points of the game, three coming from fast-break layups. It was a 19-0 run to begin the game for the Blue & Gray which held the Friars scoreless for the first 8:03 of the contest and forced 11 turnovers. White had eight points in the run, and Venson added seven capping it off with a trey.
Providence would stage a late 7-0 run of its own to close out the stanza making it 19-7 at the end of the first quarter.
“We forced turnovers tonight, which allowed us to get out in transition,” said Howard. “That helped us in getting some baskets at the rim and to use our speed to get uncontested shots.”
Another layup off of a steal from White and back-to-back 3-pointers by Venson and senior guard DiDi Burton (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore City College Prep) began the second quarter for the Hoyas as the lead surged back to 15, 27-12. The Friars would battle back but, despite a three-minute scoring drought in the period, the Blue & Gray went into the break leading, 36-24.
Defense made the difference in the third quarter as the Hoyas forced turnovers and converted them to layups on the other end making it a 23-point game, 48-24. The defense held Providence scoreless for the first 7:36 of the second half and GU put together the 12-0 run as White contributed four points.
The Friars ended the run with back-to-back 3-pointers, but Georgetown still ended the quarter leading 55-36.
Georgetown would continue to dominate the final quarter staging a 16-1 run at one point and eventually cruised to the 75-43 victory.
The Hoyas will conclude their three-game road swing at Creighton University on Saturday for a 2 p.m. ET matchup against the Bluejays. The game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network with Jon Schriner and Rob Simms calling the action. Live stats will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.
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