Wildcats Take a 71 – 64 Decision over the Hoyas in a Physical Battle
January 4, 2023 –
Villanova knew it was going to be a Big East battle against a tough Georgetown team. The Wildcats used a 14 – 3 run in the third quarter to take a 61 – 47 lead. It looked like it would be enough, but Nova would not score for nearly 10 minutes. Georgetown got to within a point with just under 5 minutes to play. The Cats closed out the game with a 10 – 4 run keyed by forward Maddy Siegrist and guard Lucy Olsen. And added just enough defense to bring home the victory in a wild night in the Big East.
Siegrist led the way for Villanova with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds for her 8th double-double of the season. Most of her scoring came from the free throw line where Siegrist made 16 of 17 foul shots to set a career-high in made free throws. She tied the program record for made free throws in a single game set by Helen Perretta. Siegrist moved ahead of Perretta for most made free throws in a career with 371.
Georgetown Played Their Style
The game evolved into one played close to the basket. Georgetown was successful on individual drives and layups. They shot 24 of 54 with 21 buckets coming from inside the arc, but had only 6 assists for the game. But the tempo and style kept the Hoyas close.
“We expected nothing less than the physicality that Georgetown brings,” said Villanova Coach Denise Dillon. “They have more players now so they’re able to rotate more in there to body and add to that pressure.”
Villanova Opened Up a Lead
Late in the third quarter guard Brooke Mullin made a three-pointer with just over four and a half minutes on the clock. It began the run that gave Villanova their largest lead. After the Mullin basket Siegrist made a traditional three-point play, then a bucket, and Nova was on their way. Junior guard Maddie Burke made consecutive three-pointers around a Hoyas basket by Kennedy Fauntleroy. The lead was 14-points with 1:47 remaining in the third quarter.
“We got that stretch in the third where we were up a little bit, but you knew Georgetown wasn’t going anywhere,” Dillon said. “We felt like we just got to find a way.”
The Wildcats Survive a Cold Spell
That would be the last Villanova point until 1:50 showed on the clock. Siegrist ended the drought with a short jumper to stretch the lead to 63 – 60. The key sequence came 16 seconds later. Bella Runyan stole the ball giving Nova a possession with the lead, the ended at the 1:10 mark when Olsen drove the baseline for a layup. A big play by Olsen in a big sequence.
“You could put the ball back in Maddy’s hands, but they are going to collapse, and then you’re counting on Maddy to make a pass,” Dillon thought. “You don’t know what is going to happen. So, Lucy keeping that and making a crafty play around the basket. That bucket was huge.”
By The Numbers
Fauntleroy led Georgetown with a team-high 24 points. She made 9 of 15 from the floor tying her career-high in field goal attempts.
Olsen added 13 points for Villanova with Burke getting 11 points. The Wildcats outshot the Hoyas 10 – 3 from the three-point line.
Georgetown committed 20 fouls to 17 for Villanova. The Cats had a 19 – 13 edge in made foul shots.
Nova connected on 10 of 20 three-pointers.
Villanova puts their four-game winning streak on the line on Sunday hosting Butler.
Lots of upsets in the Big East this evening. Villanova is 4 – 1 in the league while Georgetown is 1 – 5. Seton Hall beat St. John’s 72 – 51 to move into second place in the conference at 5 – 1. The Red Storm and the Wildcats are in a third place tie. DePaul is in fifth place at 3 – 2 a half game ahead of Creighton and Marquette who knocked off the Blue Demons 72 – 63. Creighton fell 79 – 75 to Providence who won their first conference game. First place Connecticut plays Xavier on Thursday.
“The Big East is a really tough league and we found out there were some upsets in the Big East tonight,” Burke said. “So every night is a battle.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian