Wildcats Hold The Bulldogs to Season-Low Tying 44 Points
VILLANOVA, PA. 1/28/2022 –
On a snowy afternoon the Villanova Wildcats hosted a Friday matinee with the Butler Bulldogs. Behind a strong defensive effort which held Butler to a season-low tying 44 points and a conference-low in shooting percentage (28.8%), Villanova wins 59 – 44 to improve to 6 – 3 in the Big East.
“Every game we set a defensive goal,” said Villanova guard Lucy Olsen. “They’re a good team. We had to work hard to keep them off the boards and get stops on defense. At first we were struggling a little bit, but once we started communicating and playing as a team, we were able to get those stops.”
The offensive strength of Butler is their inside presence and leading scorer Celena Taborn who came into the game averaging 13.4 points per game, and led the NCAA in field goal percentage. She was held to 8 points on 3 for 8 shooting. The team defense by the Wildcats limited Butler inside.
“We did a better job in the second quarter of being disruptive,” said Villanova Coach Denise Dillon. “Brianna (Herlihy) stepped it up being more active. Our guards did a real nice job of being disruptive on their guards. Our length eliminated those easy passes into the post. It’s a team effort on the defensive end.”
The Cats gave up 4 points in the second quarter to the Bulldogs who made 2 of 10 shot attempts.
Villanova turned Butler over 23 times, which is a season-high, and led to a 28 – 9 advantage in points off turnovers.
On the offensive side Maddy Siegrist topped Villanova with 23 points. This is the eighth game this season that Siegrist scored 20 points or more. Olsen scored in double-figures for the third time getting 10 points on 4 for 8 shooting, made her only three-pointer. She had a team-high 6 rebounds.
All 12 Wildcats got playing time in the contest. The more time shows improvement in practice, and a bright future for the program.
“You want to reward players with time on the floor, but they know their time will come even if it isn’t in each contest this season,” Dillon said.
The Bulldogs fall to 1 – 16 overall and have yet to win in eight Big East games. Freshman guard Trinity White was the top-scorer for Butler with 10 points. Fellow freshman forward Alex Richard led the team in rebounds snaring a career-high tying 8 caroms while contributing 9 points.
Villanova (12 – 6, 6 – 3) continues a winning-streak that extends to four in a row, and nine of their last ten games. The Wildcats have won their last seven games at home. The wins are coming as the team gets past injuries and health and safety protocols.
“It puts us in a position of conversation,” Dillon explained about the significance of the winning streak. “We won a number of game without our roster. It’s just a recognition of when we are together, we look pretty good.”
This weekend’s home stand continues as Xavier visits on Sunday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian