Maddy Siegrist Scores 36 as Villanova Celebrates Their Mascot and Their Fans
VILLANOVA, PA 1/8/2023 –
So many conferences have seen upsets in league games. The lesson is clear; stay focused on the task at hand if your team is in a higher place in the standings. One way to do so is play defense, and Villanova started and then finished well on that side of the floor to earn a 68 – 58 win over the Butler Bulldogs in front of 2,101 at the Finneran Pavilion.
Offensively, the Wildcats were led by Maddy Siegrist with 36 points, adding to her point total which is tops in the nation in scoring.
“They zero in on one person entirely,” said Villanova Coach Denise Dillon. “It’s so impressive what Maddy Siegrist continues to do.”
Defense Set a Tone Early
Nova started well on defense holding Butler to 7 first quarter points and 23.1% shooting. This gave the hosts a lead they would not relinquish. However, the Bulldogs did not go away and improved their shooting to get to within 52 – 46 late in the third quarter.
The Wildcats answered the charge by reestablishing defensive dominance in the last ten minutes giving up four baskets and forcing the same number of turnovers. There were no field goals for the Bulldogs for a 4:40 stretch of the fourth quarter. When the streak ended with 3:52 on the clock Villanova lead 65 – 51.
“In the first quarter I thought we were good,” said Dillon about the defense.
“Starting and finishing trying to get a little bit more on the in between. Brooke Mullin and Bella Runyan, they set the tone on that defensive end . We’re going to continue to rely on them. We got to get a little more of that presence. We’ll continue to try and enforce it and get a little bit more out of them. Keep squeezing everything they have.”
Siegrist Led the Offense
The senior forward recorded her 10th double-double of the season. This game represents her 7th thirty-point game of the season and her 26th overall. Her point total is her second highest this season. Siegrist drained 15 of 24 field goal attempts to match her career-high in made field goals. Off the boards Siegrist took down 13 total, and 4 were offensive caroms.
Maddie Burke helped out with 13 points, her highest total in a Villanova uniform.
The Wildcats were efficient getting 16 assists on 28 baskets. Mullin led the team dishing out 5 assists. The Cats turned the ball over 7 times.
However, Dillon knows that other players need to contribute more especially when the schedule gets more difficult.
“I feel like we got some good looks,” Dillon said. “I just need other guys to be ready. I think they’re ready and willing, now just confident to be able to knock down some of the shots they’re getting.”
“We’d like to see a few more in the scoring column.”
A Topsy-Turvy Big East Season
The conference saw a few upsets during the week as three teams defeated a team that was above them in the standings. The Wildcats noticed and used that as a teaching point in avoiding an upset.
“That’s the lesson you’re trying to tell them any night,” Dillon said. “We said for years, now UConn has separated themselves, but any other game, it’s a battle. You saw it with Georgetown the other day. A couple of possessions go their way, it’s a different story. Let’s just try to find a way to stay locked into that and not get ahead of ourselves by any means.”
On the Fun Side
Villanova celebrated the birthday of their mascot Will D. Cat. After the game the team participated in an autograph signing for their fans.
Written By: Glenn Papazian