UNCASVILLE, CONNECTICUT — Two of the top three seeds in the 2023 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament took the court for the first time on Saturday night. The No. 2 seed needed a free throw with less than a second remaining to escape being upset, while the No. 3 seed waited until even later than that to secure victory and advance to the semifinals.
Welcome to March, folks!
The evening session of the Big East Tournament may have contained the two most thrilling games that took place amidst all of the conference tournament and end-of-regular-season craziness on Saturday, and it started with the second-seeded Wildcats, who came back from a six-point deficit with less than three minutes to go to defeat No. 7 DePaul 71-70. On the game’s final possession, Lucy Olsen was fouled taking a free-throw line jumper with 0.7 seconds remaining and the game tied at 70. After making the first free throw, she intentionally missed the second to allow the time to run out on the pursuit of the rebound. Maddy Siegrist, the nation’s leading scorer, tied the game for Villanova on a jumper with 22 seconds remaining, the last of her 26 points.
Aneesah Morrow recorded 24 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for the Blue Demons, who lost all three games this season to Villanova by a combined 11 points.
Not to be outdone, No. 3 Creighton pulled off a high-wire act in the nightcap, as Morgan Maly’s tip-in at the buzzer confirmed Creighton’s 75-74 overtime victory over No. 6 Seton Hall and set off wild celebrations from the Bluejays contingent. The Pirates, who defeated Creighton on a last-second shot in last year’s tournament in the same round (and with both carrying the same seeds from last year’s tourney), took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Bluejays rallied.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday’s games, with the photos taken by ALOST senior photographer Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 17 pictures in total.