WASHINGTON - Georgetown University women's basketball players Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) and Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola College) both earned BIG EAST Conference awards on Wednesday when the league announced its postseason honorees. White was named the 2017-18 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year as well as earning a spot on the first team, while Petke won 2017-18 BIG EAST Most Improved Player and was an honorable mention honoree.
White leads a stingy Georgetown defense with the top steals average in the BIG EAST, both overall (2.9) and in conference play (2.7). Her 81 total steals this season rank 19th nationally, while her career average of 2.92 steals per game is seventh best in Division I. White also finished second in the BIG EAST in scoring (19.1 ppg in league play) to be one of the top two-way players in the league.
White is currently leading the Hoyas in scoring with 18.5 ppg and is second in rebounds with 6.4 rpg. Along with her steal total topping the conference, she is second on the squad in blocks with 16 despite her 5-5 stature. She was a Preseason All-BIG EAST honoree and was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on February 19 to go along with three nods to the honor roll.
This is White’s third-consecutive All-BIG EAST honor and her first nod to the first team as well as her first major award.
White is following in some professional footsteps as Georgetown’s last first team honoree was WNBA All-Star Sugar Rodgers in 2013. The last Hoya to be named the defensive player of the year is four-time WNBA All-Star and record five-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson in 2004.
Petke averaged 4.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 2016-17 before bumping her numbers to 13.4 points, 10.4 rebounds in 2017-18. Petke’s 17 double-doubles this season rank ninth nationally while her 20 double-digit rebounding performances are tops in the BIG EAST. She was named BIG EAST Player of the Week twice this season, helping the Hoyas to wins over three of the top-four teams in the conference standings, including both co-champions. Petke also earned two nods to the weekly honor roll.
The senior is one of just two players in the league to average a double-double with 13.4 ppg and a team-best 10.4 rpg. Petke is third in steals with 46 and third in blocks with nine to her credit.
Petke is Georgetown’s first Most Improved Award recipient and this is her first career postseason honor from the league.
The Hoyas will face the third-seeded Villanova Wildcats on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. The opening tip is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET. The quarterfinal game will be broadcast live on FS2. Live stats will be available at www.GUHoyas.com.