Siegrist’s 31 Leads Villanova Past Creighton, 74-64


Courtesy of Victoria Margenat/Villanovan Photography

Junior forward Maddy Siegrist led the ‘Cats to the win with a game-high 31 points.

Tyler Moore, Staff Writer

The Villanova women’s basketball team got revenge on Sunday afternoon after a 74-64 victory against Big East foe Creighton. The win marks the Wildcats’ eighth in the last nine games and improves their record to 11-6 (5-3 in Big East) as the Bluejays fall to 14-5 (9-2 in Big East). 

The dominant, hardfought effort was driven by junior forward Maddy Siegrist who recorded her second straight double double with 31 points and 12 rebounds. Graduate forward Brianna Herlihy and sophomore forward Lior Garzon were also crucial for ‘Nova as they scored 17 and 15 points, respectively, and added seven rebounds each. Emma Ronsiek led Creighton with 16 points, while Morgan Maly added 12 points for the Bluejays. 

“She’s [Siegrist] just playing to the level she knows she’s capable of,” Villanova head coach Denise Dillon said. “She’s just determined to do whatever is necessary for this team to be successful.” 

The first quarter was all Wildcats as Siegrist made her presence known early with the opening field goal. The ‘Cats began building a pretty good cushion in the later part of the quarter as freshman guard Lucy Olsen dished a strong pass to Herhily for an 11-4 lead. 

The dominance continued despite pressure from the Creighton offense. As the second quarter began, Siegrist had powerful back to back plays to bully her way for two layups to put the ‘Cats up ten points. 

Things started to turn around quickly, however, as the Bluejays performed well on both ends, going on a 21-3 run to take an eight point lead. Villanova was able to come up with a few plays to cut the deficit back to three, trailing 34-31 at halftime. 

The third quarter saw back and forth play as both teams kept finding the basket. ‘Nova was able to take advantage of a few Creighton fouls to retake the lead 53-51 entering the final quarter.

Both teams had their fair share of solid possessions but the Wildcats continued to capitalize on fouls, making 21 of 24 free throws. Inside the last two minutes of regulation Villanova found itself with a six point lead. 

The defining play came as Creighton looked for a steal while the Wildcats worked the clock. As a Bluejay defender wrestled for the ball, a pass to Siegrist came at the arc. Siegrist fumbled the ball in what seemed like a possible turnover, but she stayed poised and drained a three to put the team up nine with 1:30 remaining. 

“I just saw it was open, I took the shot, I saw there were a few seconds left on the shot clock,” Siegrist said postgame. “Then when it went in that was huge for us, I felt like the momentum swung our way.” 

Creighton would not give up, however, as they made a few field goals and fouled the ‘Cats to try and catch up, but the Bluejays were no match for the powerful Wildcat offense. Villanova went on to win in a thriller, 74-64. 

“I feel good about where we stand. All we talk about is just trying to get a little bit better each practice to see where we are when the games come around,” Dillon said. “I think this group has embraced that challenge, and now we’re seeing those results in the game.”  

The Wildcats continue their homestand with Butler on Friday at 12 p.m. and Xavier on Sunday at 2 p.m.