UConn Wins the Big East Tournament Downing Villlanova

The Huskies Take the Crown Winning Over Villanova in the Big East Final

UNCASVILLE, CT. 3/6/2023 –

The University of Connecticut Huskies are the Big East Tournament Champions for the 21st time defeating the Villanova Wildcats 67 – 56 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The Huskies capitalized on their defense, size, and a very cold shooting night by the Wildcats who converted 21 of 70 from the floor and 5 of 29 from distance. The need for more offense was apparent, as well as an answer for the UConn diversity of scoring.

The Start

Villanova came out very aggressive and as a team they showed determination from all players. But the shots were not falling. Just 6 of 25 did in the first quarter. Maddy Siegrist was being held in check. It was something Nova could not overcome.

“We came out really hard,” said Siegrist. “We didn’t take advantage like we should have.”

The Huskies used a 7 – 0 run to take a 19 – 12 lead. Still, the Wildcats fought back by determined defense, and took a 22 – 21 lead on a basket by Siegrist. But the Huskies would respond closing out the half with a 13 – 2 run to take a 34 – 24 lead at halftime.

“The panic button gets hit a little earlier when the shots aren’t falling,” said Villanova coach Denise Dillon. “Then you start to second guess yourself. We started to create too many shots on our own instead of allowing, sharing the ball, and making some plays within our system, as opposed to just trying to force something.”

The Decisive Run for UConn

Midway through the third quarter UConn stretched the lead to 40 – 29 after a Siegrist bucket. Then the team scored the next 14 points to take control at 54 – 29 with just under three and a half minutes to go in the quarter.

Villanova Stayed in the Fight

The Wildcats did win the fourth quarter 17 – 6 to make the final margin closer.

What the Numbers Say

Siegrist was held to 22 points continuing her streak of twenty-point games. She did not get there until the 1:16 mark of the fourth quarter.

Christina Dalce took down 11 rebounds. Lucy Olsen added 14 points and 5 assists.

Four UConn players scored in double figures led by Aaliyah Edwards, the Tournament Most Outstanding Player, who had a game-high with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Dorka Juhasz contributed 16 points and 8 rebounds. Lou Lopez Senechal, who left the game for a time with an injury, scored 14 points, 7 in the first quarter. Azzi Fudd put in 11 points hitting 3 from distance.

Up Next

Selection Sunday for both teams. Unlike last year when Villanova was on the bubble, they will get a bid this year. It is a question of being ready and learning from this experience.

“That’s the biggest difference for where we are this year and where we were last year,” Siegrist said. “It makes you feel a little bit better. This is going to sting today and sting tomorrow, then you’re ready for the next day.”


Written By” Glenn Papazian

Contact: glenn@phillycollegesports.com

Lucy Olsen Shooting a Three-Pointer

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