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Big East WBB Tournament Preview: #6 Georgetown Hoyas

The Lady ‘Cats take on the Hoyas in this weekend’s first round quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Anything can happen, don't let a record fool you.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Georgetown Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Villanova Wildcats vs. #6 Georgetown Hoyas
When: Sunday March 4 at 9:30pm EST
Where: Wintrust Arena of Chicago, Ill.
Coverage: Fox Sports 2
Results of Previous Meetings: Swept the Hoyas in both regular season meetings
-Won on the road, 60-58, on Jan. 10
-Won at home, 68-67, on Feb. 3
Key Players for Georgetown: #11 Dionna White (Jr., G), #5 Cynthia Petke (Sr., F), #15 Mikayla Venson (Sr., G)

Scouting Report

The Hoyas come off as inconsistent, as the numbers so show, but lately they have been bringing their best game of basketball to the table after starting off conference play slow. With a .500 record and a No. 6-seed in the Big East Tournament, Georgetown is still, however, the only Big East team that has been able to beat the top two of the conference. Georgetown is led by junior guard Dionna White, who was awarded All-Big East First Team honors and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. She is a weapon on the scoreboard along with being one of the most dangerous defensive players around. White’s strategy will entail shutting down the ‘Cats top guards, Adrianna Hahn and Alex Louin—or whoever has the hot hand.

Georgetown has the potential to stir upsets throughout the Big East tournament. In fact, the Hoyas lost both meetings against their No. 3-seed Villanova by just one basket. Also, they managed to take down the DePaul Blue Demons in Chicago a few weeks ago. Again, don’t be fooled by their 14-14 record.

Looking at Villanova, its defense has to be focused and dialed in on White in every quarter for an effective game-plan strategy. The ‘Cats can’t look to slow down their game allowing the Hoyas back into the game. In the previous matchup, the Wildcats did a solid job of shutting down Georgetown from long range while pressing the Hoyas’ other key players, Cynthia Petke and Mikayla Venson. With it being Petke’s second season with Georgetown, the senior forward has developed into a team leader while providing as a double-double machine. As for Venson, she has already made an impact in her first season with the Hoyas. Venson sat out last season after transferring in from Virginia. Now, she’s become one of their top scoring players this season, acting as a forceful threat from the arc.

If Villanova figures out the Hoyas on both ends of the court, it will be one step closer to their ticket to the Big East Championship.

Outlook

If defense wins championships, then No. 3 Villanova is in great shape to come out with the win, as expected. The Lady Wildcats have the top defense of the Big East, and it has helped in some of the most crucial of situations. Villanova is the only Big East team to hold opponents below 60 points, on average. From on offensive standpoint, the Wildcats also have the second-lowest turnover rate in the entire country led by guards Hahn, Louin, and Kelly Jekot. They also have another weapon in recently recognized Mary Gedaka, this year’s Sixth Woman of the Year while being one of the most efficient offensive players in the conference.

Currently, the Lady ‘Cats are lacking a crucially dominant scorer this season. However, they have three players averaging 11.5 points per contest, and a fourth at 11.2 ppg. If their three-point hot hand comes in clutch, per usual, the Lady ‘Cats will come out dominant on the scoreboard. If not, their sturdy defense should allow them the room to hold their ground. The previous two games became a little too close for comfort as Georgetown rallied back late to make them interesting. Hopefully the Wildcats learned a few things to get them better equipped to avoid an upset. The Wildcats are expected to come out of Sunday night’s on top, but they will have to put the fight against the Hoyas...anything can happen if the ‘Cats don’t prove to figure out the scrappy Hoyas early.