Women's Basketball

Georgetown Falls to Duquesne in WNIT Second Round

March 19, 2018

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WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's basketball team lost, 69-66, to the Duquesne University Dukes (25-7) Monday evening at McDonough Arena in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). With the loss, the Hoyas end the season at 16-16 after hitting a number of milestones in Head Coach James Howard's first season at the helm.

"We left a lot of good opportunities on the floor from free throws to layups at the rim, it came down to executing the game plan and finishing shots," said Georgetown Head Coach James Howard. "They're a tough team, they're 25-7 for a reason, and in order to play with those teams you need to be very disciplined for 40 minutes."

Junior guard Dionna White (Baltimore, Md./Milford Mill) led the way tying her career high with 33 points as well as 11 rebounds and four steals. She was followed by senior forward Cynthia Petke (Yaounde, Cameroon/-/Chipola College) who had 24 points and 10 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Morgan Smith (Upper Marlboro, Md./Riverdale Baptist) was impressive on the glass with a career-best 11 rebounds as well as two points and a steal in her fourth start of the season.

The Hoyas outrebounded the Dukes, 43-36, and forced 16 turnovers on eight steals while committing just 10 turnovers of their own. GU shot 33.8 percent (23-of-68) for the game, but allowed Duquesne 47.3 percent (26-of-55) shooting. Three Dukes scored in double figures as Duquesne hit nine 3-pointers in the contest.

The teams traded 3-pointers to open the game, but the Blue & Gray was quickly able to pull away as Petke went to work down low.

Midway through the quarter, senior center Yazmine Belk (Queens, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) hit a bucket followed by scores from White and Smith as the Hoyas went ahead by seven, 16-9. Duquesne answered back, but with 2:19 remaining, White knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Hoyas ahead by nine. The Dukes would stage a quick 4-0 run as GU ended the first period leading, 20-15.

The Dukes began the second quarter just like the first with a shot from beyond the arc. They added a layup and another 3-pointer to take the 23-20 lead and force a Hoya timeout. Out of the timeout, the Blue & Gray struggled to score and the Dukes added two more treys to take the 29-20 lead on the Hoyas. It would mark an 18-0 run by Duquesne spanning the first two quarters.

Freshman guard Tatiana Thompson (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) ended the run with a jumper at the free throw line, and Petke drove through traffic for the layup. Petke then went through her legs and sank another from the baseline before the defense forced a turnover as the Hoyas were on a 6-0 run.

Georgetown battled to regain the lead as the Dukes continued to hit from outside going ahead by as much as 11, 39-28. Petke ended the run with a minute left in the quarter, and White added back-to-back layups in the final minute as the Hoyas went into the half trailing, 39-34.

A layup from White and a 3-pointer by Petke tied the game at 39 seven minutes into the second half. However, the Dukes answered with a pair of free throws. Belk pulled in two offensive rebounds on the next possession before taking it herself and hitting the conventional three-point play as the Blue & Gray regained the lead.

Throughout the third quarter, the advantage would move back and forth as neither squad pulled away. In the final minute of the stanza, Duquesne would manage a 7-1 run but White knocked down two late free throws to make it 54-50 at the end of the period.

Duquesne went up by eight, 58-50, early in the fourth quarter, but the Hoyas would not go away quietly. Petke hit two jumpers to keep the Blue & Gray within a possession or two. Trailing by six midway through, a White 3-pointer pulled Georgetown within three, 60-57.

The Dukes would have an answer on the other end, but it was White who drove the left side and converted the three-point play to make it a two-point game with 4:47 remaining. Duquesne retorted with a 3-pointer as the game would come down to the wire.

With just over a minute left, White came up with a steal and went in for the layup to cut the deficit to three, 67-64. The defense would be strong, but a bucket at the end of the shot clock made it a two-possession game with 40 seconds remaining. White knocked down a pair of free throws, and the defense managed a stop as the Hoyas called timeout with four seconds left to set up one final shot.

White was covered on the in bounds, but Petke had a look from the corner that bounced off of the rim as the Hoyas couldn't come up with the tying bucket eventually falling, 69-66.

Georgetown ends the season with a mark of 16-16 overall. The team made history advancing to the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals for the first time in 19 seasons, and made it to the second round of the WNIT for the first time since 2009. The squad will graduate three seniors, but will have a solid core of players returning in 2018-19.

"We learned the will to win and the will to fight this season," said Howard. "We knocked down some records that haven't been knocked down in years because of their fight and I'm hoping they learned how to push forward and what winning is about. The future is very bright, we are going to work our tails off until next November to be that team."

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