No. 15 Villanova Cruises Past Providence, 67-50


Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

The Wildcats pose for photos during senior night before Friday’s game against Providence

Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor

Despite a relatively low-scoring night for senior forward Maddy Siegrist, No. 15 Villanova cruised past Providence Friday evening at the Finneran Pavilion, 67-50. Siegrist and Senior guard Brooke Mullin were both honored pre-game during senior night festivities.  

“It’s been an unbelievable opportunity,” Siegrist said when asked to reflect on her Villanova career. “It’s been more than I ever could have imagined.” 

Siegrist would check out to a standing ovation with 1:52 to go in the ballgame, finishing her night with 23 points on 31% shooting. Siegrist has been held to 23 or fewer six other times this season and has yet to score fewer than 21 on the season. 

Sophomore guard Lucy Olsen and Sophomore forward Christina Dalce both had 11 points for the game, helping push the ‘Cats past the Friars. 

The game stayed tight through the opening minutes, until the ‘Cats went on an 11-0 run over the last 5:39 of the first quarter to build an 11-point lead. The run was fueled by seven points from Olsen. Olsen and Dalce both ended the quarter with seven points. The quarter closed 18-7 in favor of the ‘Cats. 

The ‘Cats kept the pressure on in the second quarter, outscoring the Friars 19-11 to build their lead to 19. At the end of the first half, the ‘Cats led 37-18. The scoring effort in the second quarter was evenly spread, with Siegrist contributing four and sophomore guard Kaitlyn Orihel putting in five off the bench. Siegrist finished the half with eight points on 2-9 shooting.  

The game slowed down to a halt in the third, with the two teams combining to shoot 7-for-26 (25%) from the field during the quarter. Siegrist scored all 10 of the ‘Cats points in the period, bringing her total to 18 points through three. The Friars were able to cut the ‘Cats’ lead down to 15, as even as they shot poorly from the field, they managed to go 7-10 at the line. The ‘Cats went into the fourth with a 47-32 lead. 

The fourth stayed even, with the ‘Cats outscoring the Friars 20-18, but much of the quarter felt like a formality, with the lead never getting smaller than 14 through the final 10 minutes of play. The ‘Cats would seal the win, 67-50. 

“We’re trying to stay on point to do everything necessary so that this isn’t our last home game here,” head coach Denise Dillon. “We have a lot of season left, so I think that excitement is there.” 

The ‘Cats were in the top 16 when the committee did its final in-season rankings reveal, coming in at No. 14. If the ‘Cats can stay in the top 16, they will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament at the Finneran Pavilion. The committee currently has the ‘Cats in the Seattle regional alongside Stanford, Maryland and Duke. 

The ‘Cats will play their final regular season game on Monday, as they travel to Seton Hall to take on the Pirates at 7 P.M. at the Walsh Gymnasium. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.  

Next weekend, the ‘Cats will enter the Big East tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. If the standings remain as they are right now, the ‘Cats will enter as the two-seed, playing their first game at 7 P.M. on March 4th. They will face the winner of the game between the seven and ten-seeds, which would currently be between DePaul and Providence.