Siegrist and Villanova best DePaul, as Demons’ late game comeback falls short


Courtesy Villanova Athletics

Sophomore guard Lucy Olsen puts up a jumper over DePaul sophomore forward Aneesah Morrow at Finneran Pavilion Tuesday Night.

Tuesday’s matchup featured a battle between sophomore Aneesah Morrow and Villanova senior Maddy Siegrist – two potential Big East Players of the Year. Both players recorded a double-double and led their teams in scoring last night, but the Wildcats ended up on top by a score of 67-64 loss in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Morrow finished the night with 29 points and 19 rebounds, to go along with four steals.

Ranked one and two in scoring in the Big East, and top three in rebounding, Morrow and Siegrist have dominated the Big East since their arrivals on the scene. 

The Wildcats got the best of the Blue Demons earlier in the season in the Jan. 11 matchup at Wintrust Arena. The 71-64 loss saw Siegrist record a 30-point double-double and the first 30-point game DePaul allowed for an opposing player this season. 

It was a similar result in Finneran Pavilion on Tuesday, but early on, DePaul took a 16-14 first quarter lead and showed a stout defensive effort containing Siegrist. 

Morrow had 10-points by the first break and was off to another fast start. 

The defensive pressure didn’t continue for the remainder of the game. Siegrist had 12 second-quarter points, while No. 15 Villanova outscored the Blue Demons, 18-7, taking a 32-23 lead into halftime. 

It was all Morrow and Siegrist in the first half. Both players exchanged baskets possession after possession and were eating up missed shots on the glass. 

Since Morrow’s ascension in the Big East last season, Villanova and DePaul have met four times, each one featuring a battle between Morrow and Siegrist. 

Morrow has recorded a double-double in each matchup and totaled 98 points and 56 rebounds. As for Siegrist, she’s collected 116 points and 49 rebounds. 

Out of the break, Villanova’s sophomore’s Lucy Olsen and Christina Dalce added 20 combined points and led the Wildcats to 66% shooting from three. 

Trailing by 14 going into the final quarter, DePaul had work to do. Senior Anaya Peoples had her usual fourth quarter spark and added 10 points. Junior Darrione Rogers and Morrow finished with 29 of DePaul’s 41 second-half points. 

For the second time this season, the Blue Demons tallied 50 rebounds. Senior Jorie Allen provided DePaul with multiple second chance points on her nine rebounds, which slashed the 14-point lead down to one, at 61-60. 

Siegrist’s 28 points and 16 rebounds was enough to hold off the Blue Demons and pick up Villanova’s third-straight win over head coach Doug Bruno’s squad. 

DePaul did everything right in the fourth quarter, but sluggish second and third quarter play dug them in too deep of a hole that cost them the game. 

DePaul (15-14, 8-10) will welcome head coach Geno Auriemma and the No. 4 UConn Huskies to Wintrust Arena Saturday, for a 1 p.m. tip-off to close out the home schedule for the Blue Demons this season. 

Riding a 22-game losing streak to the Huskies, DePaul will look to avoid another loss that would put them back at .500. 

The last meeting in Chicago featured a 30-point, 14-rebound performance for Morrow, with DePaul losing by two, 80-78. 

Sarah Kustok and Lisa Byington will have the call on FOX.