The Big East Conference announced its 2021-22 women’s basketball awards on Thursday, and Villanova was well represented.
Junior forward Maddy Siegrist took home the conference’s Player of the Year Award, while coach Denise Dillon was named Coach of the Year.
Siegrist, who ranks second in nation in scoring at 26.5 points per game, became the first Wildcat since 1987-88 (Lisa Angelotti) to take home the conference’s top honor. In conference play, Siegrist’s numbers were even better, as she set a Big East record for scoring average at 27.9 ppg. In 22 games, Siegrist, who was named first-team Big East for the third consecutive season, scored over 20 points 18 times, including nine 30+ point efforts. She also ranked second in the conference in rebounding at 9.7 per game.
Dillon, in her second season since moving across town from Drexel, led the Wildcats, who were picked fifth in the preseason polls to a 21-7 (15-4) record and a second place finish in the Big East. The award is the fifth Coach of the Year nod for Dillon, who was four times selected CAA coach of the year while with the Dragons. Villanova has won 18 of their last 20 games entering the Big East Tournament.
Villanova last had the Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year in the same year back in 1985-86 when Shelly Pennefather and Harry Perretta accomplished the feat.
Villanova guard Lior Garzon was awarded the conference’s Co-Most-Improved Player and was selected second-team All-Big East. The sophomore from Israel led the Wildcats with 57 made three-pointers and upped her scoring averaged from 8.8 ppg to 13.9 ppg.
Finally, point guard Lucy Olsen (6.6 ppg, 2.7 apg) was named to the conference’s All-Rookie team.
Villanova, who are the No. 2 seed in the Big East Tournament, will play Saturday at 7 p.m. in Uncasville, CT against the winner of Friday’s 7-10 game between St. John’s and Xavier.