No. 11 Villanova women knock off No. 6 BYU 61-57

Maddy Siegrist scored 25 points and 11th-seeded Villanova rallied to beat No. 6 seed BYU 61-57 in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament

ByThe Associated Press
March 19, 2022, 5:54 PM
Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist (20) celebrates her 3-point basket with guard Brooke Mullin (15) during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament against BYU, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Villanova forward Maddy Siegrist (20) celebrates her 3-point basket with guard Brooke Mullin (15) during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament against BYU, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
The Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Maddy Siegrist scored 25 points and 11th-seeded Villanova rallied to beat No. 6 seed BYU 61-57 on Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Kaitlyn Oriehl added 10 points and Lucy Olsen had nine for the Wildcats, who finished second in the Big East.

“Just a tremendous effort from start to finish,” said Villanova coach Denise Dillon. “We didn’t come out executing great, but we found a way. Talked to the team about building the possession game, and they did just that and found a way to come up with a huge win.”

The Wildcats will face third-seeded Michigan on Monday night.

“It was just staying within possession and just executing on the defensive,” Dillon said. “I was really pleased with how we were able to rotate some offense defense, get some players in there and do what was necessary, did a really nice job switching screens and having the communication we needed to have.”

Paisley Harding scored 21 points for BYU with Teagan Graham adding 11. Shaylee Gonzales was held to eight points, missing 11 of her 14 shots.

The Cougars got out to a quick start, going up 13-2 halfway through the first quarter, but the Wildcats found their rhythm after a timeout, drawing within one possession with just under a minute left in the first quarter. From there, it was a battle of the motion offenses, with neither team managing to pull away.

Ultimately, Olsen was the difference-maker for the Wildcats. The Big East All-Freshman guard looked poised and comfortable leading the floor for Villanova, and in the end, it was her sharp passing and ability to find Siegrist’s steady hands inside that finally allowed the Wildcats to hold onto their lead.

BIG PICTURE

Villanova: The Wildcats' bench outscored the BYU reserves 16-4. ... Siegrist now has 1,803 points in her career.

BYU: The Cougars' fast start was derailed by 16 turnovers, and Harding lamented those mistakes.

“I think we came out super aggressive, especially on defense. We took them out of the things they thought they would be able to get pretty easy, but then I think they turned on the heat,” Harding said. “They started pressing a little bit more, getting more in our passing lanes. We just made some careless turnovers, which I think that’s pretty much us just beating ourselves right there in that little stretch in the first quarter.”

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