WNIT: Villanova overwhelms UMass women’s basketball in opening round

  • UMass senior forward Sam Breen led the Minutewomen with 14 points, but they fell 78-51 to Villanova in the WNIT first round Friday in Charlotte, N.C. UMass will face Charlotte University at 2 p.m. Saturday in the consolation bracket. COURTESY JAY CRAIN—

Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2021 10:31:32 PM

Maddy Siegrist was as advertised.

The sophomore first-team All-Big East first team performer scored 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting, as Villanova overwhelmed UMass 78-51 in the first round of the WNIT on Friday in Charlotte, N.C.

She hit 5-of-6 3-pointers and grabbed six rebounds with two blocks and two steals.

“Siegers, she’s a pro. She can score at all three levels, she was posting us up,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said. “We didn’t have an answer for her.”

The Wildcats led 25-12 after the first quarter and extended the advantage to 39-21 at the half. Villanova led by as many as 32 when it held a 75-43 margin with 4 minutes, 21 seconds.

“We’re gonna chalk this up as a learning experience. We played a really good team,” Verdi said. “We struggled mightily against their size, the quickness, the ball moved tremendously.”

The Wildcats hit 50.9 percent of their shots and held UMass to 26.9 percent from the floor. UMass did not make a 3-pointer. Villanova hit 13. 

“They came out and knocked down everything,” Verdi said.

Villanova also outrebounded the Minutewomen 43-37.

Senior forward Sam Breen led UMass with 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Destiney Philoxy added 10 points and five assists.

The Minutewomen played their fifth game in eight days with just two bench players after a run to the Atlantic 10 championship game last week. They’ll face Charlotte University in the consolation bracket at 2 p.m. Saturday. A loss in that game will end the season, but UMass can extend it by one game with a victory and play for a regional consolation crown.

“I’m happy this wasn’t our last game because I don’t want to remember this,” Verdi said. “We want to bounce back and be resilient and show who we are.”

Villanova will face Florida in the regional semifinal at 8 p.m.

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