The limited action in what was supposed to be the opening weekend of conference play for most Big East women’s programs was yet another reminder of COVID-19’s heavy influence on this young season.
Over half of the scheduled games set for this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday were postponed due to virus concerns, while two of the four contests that did occur were significantly impacted by the pandemic as Butler twice played without five members of their roster. The Bulldogs, who were 19-11 last season, promptly fell to Providence and Creighton in back-to-back days by an average of 34 points.
Even so, at least Butler has seen game action and can adjust based on live basketball. The same cannot be said for UConn, Georgetown and Seton Hall, all of whom are still waiting to play their first games of this challenging campaign.
With so much uncertainty going forward, one cannot take for granted the games that are played, and among the four that occurred in the Big East were several notable individual performances that stood out.
Here were the players that caught my attention over the weekend:
Maddy Siegrist, Villanova
It doesn’t appear that a sophomore slump will be coming for reigning Big East Freshman of the Year Maddy Siegrist of Villanova, who won her second consecutive conference player of the week award on Monday. Siegrist averaged 21 points and 13.5 boards in victories over Temple and St. Johns, and is tallying 23.8 and 11.8 per game for the season. Efficiency has the been the key for the 6’1 forward, as she she’s shooting over 56% from the floor through four contests.
Kyra Spiwak, Providence
After a disappointing conference opening pounding from Marquette on Friday (89-40), Providence bounced back a day later against Butler on the back of a huge night from senior Kyra Spiwak. The guard caught fire from behind the arc (8-12) en route to a career high 28 points as the Friars defeated short-handed Butler 73-52. Spiwak drilled all six of her three pointers in the second quarter to tally 18 points in just 10 minutes, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-15 by herself in that span. At halftime, Butler had just 24 points to Spiwak’s 23.
Selena Lott, Marquette
Lott scored 16 of her 18 points against Providence in the third quarter alone in helping the Golden Eagles in their 89-40 rout. The senior Preseason All-Big East Team member needed only 20 minutes of game action to tally her highest point total of the season.