Villanova star Maddy Siegrist puts 'faith first' as nation's leading scorer

No matter where the Villanova women’s basketball team may be, Maddy Siegrist finds a church. Raised in a Catholic family, she grew up with everyone at the table thanking God for the person next to them before eating a meal and praying with her family members before going to bed.

The nation’s current leading scorer (29.2 points per game) would only go to church on Sundays at the beginning of her college career. Now, after making her own decision to commit to her faith, she goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well.

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“For me it’s always been important to keep your faith first because, in sports, there’s so many unknowns and it’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety, what’s next, the doubt, and the fear,” she told The Villanovan in November.

Calling this season a historic one for Siegrist might be an understatement. She became Villanova’s all-time leading scorer — men’s team included — in January. On Feb. 11, she scored 50 points on 26 shots against Seton Hall to break the record for the most career points in Big East regular-season games on the women’s side.

After setting the school scoring record, Siegrist gave thanks to the Lord in an Instagram post, saying, “God’s plan is greater than anything we could ever imagine.”


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With Siegrist leading the way, the Wildcats went 26-5 during the regular season and earned a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They knocked off Cleveland State and Florida Gulf Coast by a combined 36 points to reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history. The FGC win was Nova’s 30th of the season, setting a new program record.

Siegrist contributed 66 points in the two games while also recording four steals and four blocks against Florida Gulf Coast, which upset No. 5-seed Washington State in the first round.

“You’ve got to punch first in these type of games,” Siegrist said after the win. “You can’t look at anybody’s record, what they’re seeded, anything like that. Everybody’s trying to win, and they’re going to do whatever it takes.”

The game was the 36th in a row Siegrist finished with at least 20 points, breaking the record held by current Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum.

Already selected as a first-team All-American by the Associated Press, Siegrist was named one of the finalists for the Naismith Award on Tuesday alongside South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley.

Friday’s meeting with No. 9-seed Miami could be the last time Siegrist puts on a Villanova uniform. She is a projected top-five pick in the WNBA draft but has not ruled out the possibility of returning for a fifth season.

When that decision has to be made, she will make it with complete confidence in God’s plan for her.

“We’ll see what happens,” Siegrist told the Villanovan. “You have to have faith. Unfortunately, I don’t have the crystal ball. However God’s plan is gonna unfold, it’s gonna unfold and I think every opportunity after this year is gonna be great. I think I have a lot of basketball left, whether it’s here, professionally, wherever. So I’m excited for it.”

Tipoff between the Wildcats and Hurricanes in Greenville, South Carolina, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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