Siegrist, Dillon Headline Big East Regular Season Awards


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Maddy Siegrist (above) was named the 2022 Big East Player of the Year.

Meghann Morhardt, Co-Sports Editor

Entering the 2021-22 season, the Villanova Wildcats were picked to finish fifth in the Big East, but led by junior forward Maddy Siegrist and head coach Denise Dillon, the ‘Cats finished the regular season second in the conference. As the Big East awards came out on Thursday morning, the team’s success was clear.

Siegrist was named Big East Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-Big East First Team selection after breaking the 30-year-old single season conference scoring record, averaging 27.9 points per game in Big East play. Her overall season average of 26.5 points per game ranks second nationally. Siegrist also led the league with nine 30-point games, tied for a conference best 18 20-point games and finished in second with 9.9 rebounds per game. Siegrist has scored 583 points so far this season and has moved herself from 20th on Villanova’s all-time scoring list up to third with 1,714 career points. 

In just her second season at Villanova, Dillon was named Big East Coach of the Year, the fifth time a Wildcat head coach has earned the title. Dillon led the ‘Cats to a 21-7 record, 15-4 in the Big East, the most conference wins by a Wildcat team since the 1986-87 season. The team has won 18 of its last 20 games, including nine straight at home and a crucial road upset over conference frontrunner, UConn. 

Lior Garzon was a strong second scoring option for the ‘Cats this year and after coming off the bench as a freshman, the sophomore guard was named Co-Most Improved Player and was an All-Big East Second Team selection. Garzon’s scoring average jumped from 8.8 to 14 points per game and she averaged 10 more minutes as well. A key stretch for Garzon came early in the season with Siegrist out for six games with a wrist injury. Many were worried that the ‘Cats would fall apart without their star forward, but Garzon averaged 16 points per game and led the ‘Cats to a 3-3 record, keeping them afloat until Siegrist’s return. Garzon also stood out in the UConn game where she scored a team-high 19 points and went 5-of-10 from deep in the contest. 

Another standout for the ‘Cats was freshman point guard Lucy Olsen, who was selected to the Big East All Rookie Team. Olsen averaged 29 minutes per game, 6.6 points, and had a 2.5 assist to turnover ratio in her first season. She scored a career high 22 points in a win at Lehigh and recorded 11 points and seven assists in the UConn upset. 

The season is not over for the ‘Cats as they prepare for the Big East Tournament which will take place at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT., Mar. 4-7. Villanova will have a first round bye as the No. 2 seed and will face the winner of Xavier/St. John’s on Saturday, Mar. 5. The Wildcats are looking to carry their momentum from these awards and their regular season success into the postseason to compete for a conference title and a possible NCAA tournament bid.