The # 24 Wildcats Victorious 67 – 41 in Maddy Siegrist’s Only Palestra Game
PHILADELPHIA, PA 11/17/2022 –
For Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist this would be the first and only time she would play on this historic floor. And she made the most of it scoring 22 points, her 54th career twenty-point game, and added 11 rebounds and 3 steals downing Penn. Siegrist now has 40 career double-doubles.
“It was cool,” Villanova Coach Denise Dillon thought about the first Palestra game for Siegrist. “Having her play the first time here is nice because it’s not the friendliest court for people. So for being her first time out there, it was nice to see.”
Burke Makes Big Five Debut Memorable
Also Maddie, Burke played in her first Big Five game. Burke is from Doylestown and knows about the Palestra, the traditions, and the city series. Now, she was on the floor.
“It’s incredible,” Burke said. “I’ve been here many times. So really cool to be able to play on the court which is a historical place for basketball in Philadelphia, which is awesome.”
Villanova Takes Command in the Second Quarter
Burke would drain three huge three-pointers in the second quarter to boost Villanova 42 – 27 halftime lead. Over the game Burke scored 12 points making 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. The three’s helped the Wildcats get their footing on offense and create separation.
“It’s huge,” said Burke. “My teammates got the ball to me. It starts on defense too. Get our hands on the lanes and get out on transition as well.”
That second quarter proved to be a turning point for Villanova who won the quarter 26 – 14.
“Early you expect it to go back and forth, and you just have to figure out where you’re going to get looks and where you need to get some stops,” Dillon said. “It does take some time for some to get comfortable. It’s not going to happen initially.”
Defense The Key for the Wildcats
In the third quarter the Nova defense took control of the game. In that ten-minute span the Cats outscored the Quakers 16 – 4 and forced Penn into 1 for 17 shooting (5.9%) and took a 58 – 30 lead into the fourth quarter. Mandy McGurk scored all 4 Penn points.
“I thought we had too much one-on-one,” Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin said. “We’re not built that way. We ended up with too many one on one situations very early in the clock. Our ball flow stopped.”
What the Numbers Say
Villanova sophomore guard Lucy Olsen handed out 5 assists and added 9 points and 5 rebounds.
On defense the Wildcats held Penn to 22.4% shooting (13 – 58) and just 3 of 16 from distance (18.8%). Nova made 25 of 64 from the floor and half of their 16 three-point shots. Dillon felt the offensive execution needed to be better despite the team having just 5 turnovers.
“I felt we were just trying to make things happen instead of allowing the game to flow and the offense to work for us,”
No Penn player scored in double-figures. Padilla and McGurk led the way with 8 points each. Stina Almqvist also contributed 8 points. Padilla took down 9 rebounds.
Villanova improves to 3 – 0 and is 1 – 0 in the Big Five. Temple awaits on Sunday in another road trip for Nova. Penn is 1 – 3 for the season and is 0 – 2 in the city series. The Quakers head to California for games at San Francisco and USC.
“I understand the competition,” McLaughlin said. “I just wish we played better basketball regardless of what the end result was. We just have to play better basketball,”
Written By: Glenn Papazian