Start the Dance: Cougar women’s hoops ready for first-round challenge from Villanova | News, Sports, Jobs

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BYU head mentor Jeff Judkins directs his staff throughout practice at the Crisler Middle in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Friday, March 18, 2022. (Courtesy BYU Picture)

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BYU head coach Jeff Judkins directs his group in the course of practice at the Crisler Centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Friday, March 18, 2022. (Courtesy BYU Image)

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BYU seniors Teagan Graham (left) and Paisely Harding pose for a photo prior to observe at the Crisler Centre in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Friday, March 18, 2022. (Courtesy BYU Photograph)


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In 2021, the BYU women’s basketball workforce started the NCAA tournament as the underdog, a No. 11-seed going through the favored No. 6-seed Rutgers.

In that game, the Cougars did just enough to edge the Scarlet Knights and get the 69-66 upset.

Now in 2022 BYU finds by itself in the opposite place as it is the No. 6 seed and No. 11 seed Villanova is the 1 wanting to triumph over the odds in Saturday’s 1st round matchup in Ann Arbor, Mich.

But the Cougars have been there prior to and have a large total of expertise.

They also know, nonetheless, that the Wildcats are a risky opponent.

“We know that they’re a high-economical offensive workforce,” BYU senior forward Teagan Graham mentioned at the NCAA tournament push conference on Friday. “Obviously they have the next-main scorer in the nation, so we’ve been performing a great deal of scouting to type of break that down and cease distinct looks. Our coaches have a really excellent activity program for us.”

Villanova star sophomore Maddy Siegrist provides a big challenge, in accordance to the Cougars.

“She’s unquestionably a single of the best gamers in the place,” BYU head mentor Jeff Judkins mentioned. “We’ll have our palms total. It won’t be just one human being who can just completely shut her down. It has to be a crew defense that can help and check out to not let her get baskets uncomplicated.

“But she does a good task with scoring in so many diverse methods. She can rating from the outdoors and drives and article-ups and rebounds, so she’s type of a nightmare. It is a real tough matchup. I imagine we have 3 or 4 players that have had to guard somewhat gamers like this. Tomorrow we’ll uncover out true quickly what we can do.”

Just one thing that could be a benefit for the two groups is that there are similarities in their offensive methods.

“They’re a truly great five-out, reducing offensive team,” Cougar senior guard Paisley Harding stated. “They’re definitely wanting to get just about every other open up in their offense, no matter whether that’s with screens, reducing off a single an additional. Which is one thing we enjoy towards every one working day as BYU basketball gamers participating in in opposition to each and every other. We have not performed in opposition to numerous groups like that this yr, so I’m super fired up to be able to perform type of like ourselves in that part.”

Judkins thinks the Cougars present their very own troubles that the Wildcats will have to endeavor to counter.

“Where this staff has enhanced from early in the yr is that there are more players who have been scoring and more players remaining capable to do things offensively for this staff,” Judkins claimed. “I observed this calendar year with us it’s been a crew work. It has not been a single or two players that totally dominate the ball or dominate every little thing. These men have performed together, and it is what helps make it enjoyment for me as a coach to mentor that form of team since I never know who’s heading to have the most effective matchup tomorrow. Which is what we’ll choose benefit of.”

As he’s said all yr, he thinks his group has the possible to make some sounds in the match that begins Saturday.

“I consider it seriously will help if we can do some problems and present men and women that there is a good deal of excellent basketball in our meeting and also out in the west,” Judkins explained. “I kind of have an understanding of it. You are two several hours ahead of us and a great deal of our online games are late and you can’t watch them all.

“Hopefully we obtained a good time. We perform at 1 p.m. (11 a.m. MDT), which is a superior time below in the east, and it’ll be very good for our followers to be in a position to see us. We just want to go out and just do our greatest and perform our activity, and regardless of what transpires takes place.”

Women’s School Basketball

NCAA Event

No. 6 seed BYU vs. No. 11 seed Villanova

Saturday, 11 a.m. MT

Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tv: ESPNEWS

The Phrase: BYU gained its fifth standard-season convention title under Judkins with a 15-1 document in league participate in … Villanova received the only prior matchup back again in 1995, a 61-58 earn at the Lifeless River Tip-Off Event in Maine … This is BYU’s 15th over-all visual appeal in the NCAA Tournament and 11th beneath head mentor Jeff Judkins. The No. 6 seed tops the program’s past high mark of a No. 7 seed, achieved three distinctive moments (2019, 2016, 2006). BYU has received at the very least one sport in the NCAA Match 5 situations and state-of-the-art to the Sweet 16 two times (2014, 2002).

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