Villanova, PA- #12 seed, and #22 nationally ranked FGCU (33-3) faces #4 seed and #10 nationally ranked, Villanova University (29-6), Monday night at 7 PM, from Finneran Pavilion in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.
Stats (#12 FGCU):
#12 FGCU averages 77.9 ppg, shoot 48.0% (1021/2128) from the field, and 37.6% (418/1113) from beyond the arc. The Eagles average 33.2 team rebounds per game. #12 FGCU dishes out 17.7 assists, 9.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. The Eagles average 12.3 team turnovers per game.
Stats (#4 NOVA):
#4 Villanova averages 70.8 ppg, shoot 43.8% (925/2110) from the field, and 33.6% () from beyond the arc. The Wildcats average 36.3 team rebounds per game. #4 Villanova dishes out 16.7 assists, 6.5 steals, and 5.5 blocks per game. The Wildcats average 10.2 team turnovers per game.
3 Players To Watch For (#12 FGCU):
5’3 5th G TK Morehouse 15.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
-ASUN Conference Player of the Year
-ALL-ASUN 1st Team Member
6’0 5th G Sha Carter 14.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg
-ALL-ASUN 1st Team Member
5’8 R-JR G Alyza Winston 12.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
-ALL-ASUN 3rd Team Member
3 Players To Watch For (#4 NOVA):
6’2 SR F Maddy Siegrist 29.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg
Accolades (Senior year):
-BIG EAST Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year
-2023 Katrina McClain Award Finalist
-Named to the Wooden Award, Wade Trophy, Naismith Award and USBWA Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Midseason watch lists
-BIG EAST Player of the Week (Nov. 14, Dec. 26, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Feb. 13, Feb. 28)
-USBWA National Player of the Week (Dec. 29, Feb. 14)
-Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week (Feb. 14)
-BIG EAST Player of the Year as a Junior
5’9 SO G Lucy Olsen 12.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg
6’0 JR G Maddie Burke 7.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
The Eagles and Wildcats face off for the first time in program history, in the round of 32, and 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. #4 seed Villanova lost to UCONN in the Big East championship game, and defeated #13 seed Cleveland State, 76-59, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head Coach Denise Dillon has led Villanova for the past three seasons. Leading scorer Maddy Siegrist is averaging 29.1 ppg, and is the top scoring player in the country. She was the Big East Conference Player of the Year this season, and gameplanning for her will be key in containing the Wildcats. Coach Smesko’s defensive gameplanning will be a chess match between himself and Coach Dillon, with the X’s and O’s that come in the round of 32.
#12 seed FGCU is led offensively by TK Morehouse, who is averaging 15.9 ppg. Sha Carter (14.1 ppg), led the Eagles with 24 points in FGCU’s first round victory over #5 WSU, and this duo at guard for the Eagles constantly causes problems since the opposition has to decide who to guard. The Eagles were contained from beyond the arc vs #5 WSU, as #12 seed FGCU only shot 35.7% (5/14) from beyond the arc. For the Eagles to defeat a top ten team in Villanova, raining threes will have to be a theme. Reaching the Sweet 16 would be an amazing feat for this team, and defeating a powerhouse team and #10 nationally ranked team in Villanova University on their home court, would bring even more national exposure to this “underdog” team.
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