BYU Women’s Basketball Upset In First Round Of NCAA Tournament By Villanova
SALT LAKE CITY – The 6-seed BYU women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 61-57 loss to 11-seed Villanova in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Despite strong performances from Paisley Harding and Tegan Graham, BYU couldn’t get it done in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Villanova.
Harding led the Cougars with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists. Tegan Graham chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds. Shaylee Gonzales struggled offensively, finishing with eight points on 3-of-14 from the field but had six rebounds and eight assists.
Maddy Siegrist scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Villanova to victory.
BYU Struggles Offensively In NCAA Tournament Upset Loss To Villanova
Maria Albiero scored five points in the opening quarter as five Cougars found the score sheet and outscored the Wildcats 17-14. Villanova bounced back by outscoring BYU 15-13 in the second quarter with BYU holding a 30-29 lead. Paisley Harding was big in the second quarter, scoring 11 of BYU’s 13 points with Shaylee Gonzales scoring the other two points.
BYU shot 39% from the field in the first half and just 2-for-8 from the three-point line. Villanova was similar in their shooting numbers with 33% from the floor and 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. Kaitlyn Orihel scored 10 points in the first half to lead Villanova.
The Wildcats took the lead in the third quarter after outscoring the Cougars 15-11 with nine coming from Maddy Siegrist. Shaylee Gonzales and Tegan Graham scored all 11 points for BYU with six from Gonzales and five from Graham.
Villanova had a 44-41 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Midway through the fourth, the Wildcats went on a 6-0 run in a one-minute span to take a 55-48 lead with 5:27 remaining in the game. With under four minutes left, Paisley Harding was doing everything she could to keep BYU in the game, scoring seven of their nine points.
BYU was trailing by four with two minutes remaining when Tegan Graham knocked down a big triple to cut the deficit to one. The Wildcats answered with a bucket to make it a three-point game with one minute to go. Paisley Harding had a good look at a layup but couldn’t get it to go.
After getting the steal on the defensive end, BYU got a layup from Sara Hamson and the Villanova lead was 58-57 with 23 seconds left. Maddy Siegrist made both free throws to extend Villanova’s lead to three, 60-57 with 16 seconds remaining.
With a chance to tie the game, Tegan Graham had her shot blocked. Villanova split their free throws to put them up by four points, which sealed the win for the Wildcats.
BYU ended their season with a 26-4 record.
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