WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's basketball team has arrived in Chicago for the 2017 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament, presented by the Jeep Brand. The sixth-seeded Hoyas (14-14, 9-9 BIG EAST) will take on the No. 3 seed Villanova University (22-7, 12-6 BIG EAST), in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET at Wintrust Arena. The Hoyas earned a first-round bye in the tournament.
On Wednesday, junior guard Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) and senior forward Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola College) were both honored by the league office. White was named the 2017-18 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the first team, while Petke was named the 2017-18 BIG EAST Most Improved Player and Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST. The awards were voted on by the league’s head coaches.
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.
It was White’s third-consecutive All-BIG EAST honor and her first nod to the first team as well as her first major award.
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, including this past Monday. She played a big role in 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 was Georgetown’s first Most Improved Award recipient and this was her first career postseason honor from the league.
Three Wildcats garnered All-BIG EAST accolades for their efforts this season. Villanova Head Coach Harry Perretta was named the league’s Co-Coach of the Year, Alex Louin earned second team All-BIG EAST, while Mary Gedaka was the unanimous Sixth Woman of the Year, in addition to earning a spot on the Honorable Mention squad. Villanova is led in scoring by Louin with an 11.9 points per game average. Gedaka is averaging 11.6 points per contest, while sophomore guard Kelly Jekot is averaging 11.4 points per game. Louin has a team-best 6.7 rebounds per game average.
Georgetown is 21-42 against the Wildcats and 1-2 in BIG EAST Tournament play. The point differential in the two losses this season is just three points. In the loss at home, White led the way with 19 points and five rebounds. She was followed by Tatiana Thompson (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) who tallied 13 points. Petke led the squad with 13 rebounds and added five steals. In the loss on the road, senior guard Mikayla Venson (Arlington, Va./Yorktown/Virginia) led the way with 23 points going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and scoring 20 of her points in the second half. White tallied 21 points along with five assists and five steals. Petke managed her 11th double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Blue & Gray.
Georgetown is 14-31 all-time at the BIG EAST Tournament and 4-17 in the quarterfinals. This will be the first time the event will be held at Wintrust Arena.
Sunday's game will be broadcast live on FS2 with Lisa Byington calling the play-by-play and LaChina Robinson serving as the color analyst. Live stats will be available on www.GUHoyas.com.