Georgetown has had a couple of furious second half rallies to threaten the Villanova Wildcats in both regular season meetings.
Although the Wildcats were able to stave off the Hoyas twice, Georgetown would get their revenge on the conference’s biggest stage—at the Wintrust Arena in the quarterfinals of the Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The sixth-seeded Hoyas closed out the fourth quarter strong to win, 63-58, over the third-seeded Wildcats.
“It’s difficult to beat a team three times,” Villanova head coach Harry Perretta said. “This game was exactly the same type of game as the other two games. Came down to whoever could make a couple threes.”
With the game tied at 50 apiece, after Kelly Jekot went 1-of-2 on a trip to the free throw line, Georgetown’s Cynthia Petke drained a three-pointer to give the Hoyas a 53-50 lead—with 5:01 left in the game.
From there, both teams were stuck in a tense stalemate, as neither side was able to get anything to drop for nearly the next four minutes. Threes, layups, and free throws caromed off the rim and the frustration affected both teams.
Finally, Morgan Smith sank a layup after a steal by Petke set things up. With a five-point lead and just 1:10 left in the game, ‘Nova called time out and would get an immediate answer from Adrianna Hahn’s three-pointer to make it 55-53 with just under a minute to go.
Both teams traded baskets in the winding seconds of the game, until Villanova could no longer answer back.
All-Big East First Team selection and conference Defensive Player of the Year Dionna White came up big for Georgetown, supplying six of the final eight Hoya points to put the game away.
“It’s Dionna,” Georgetown head coach James Howard said. “You never know when she’s gonna turn it up.”
White had been a problem for Villanova in the regular season and Sunday night was more of the same. This time around, she was able to take her team over the edge and into the semifinal round by the way she closed out the game.
She scored 20 points, collected nine rebounds, and dished out three assists. While she usually carries the Hoyas, she got a lot of help from Petke.
The 6-foot-2 senior forward had a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds. Petke was an impressive 10-of-17 on the floor, including a 3-for-5 display from beyond the arc.
“The more times we play somebody, the harder it is to beat them,” Perretta said. “They become accustomed to our style.”
Things seemed to be in Villanova’s favor early on, as it used a hot start to begin the game. Although Georgetown settled in, the Wildcats still took a comfortable 29-23 lead going into the break.
While the Hoyas got pushed around in the first half, they didn’t allow a repeat performance in the third quarter, as they slowly crawled back into the game. Midway through the quarter, a Petke layup tied things up at 36 and the game would take a back-and-forth tone from there.
Alex Louin led the ‘Cats with a double-double, scoring 13 points and racking up 11 boards. Hahn and Mary Gedaka supplied 12 points each.
Villanova drops to 22-8. Georgetown advances to play second-seeded DePaul in the semifinals on Monday, at 6:30 p.m. ET.