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Villanova sweeps top Big East women’s player, coach honors

March 3, 2022 GMT
FILE - Villanova head coach Denise Dillon calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Nov. 12, 2021, in College Park, Md. Dillon was named Thursday, March 3, 2022, as the Big East's women's coach of the year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
FILE - Villanova head coach Denise Dillon calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Nov. 12, 2021, in College Park, Md. Dillon was named Thursday, March 3, 2022, as the Big East's women's coach of the year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
FILE - Villanova head coach Denise Dillon calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Nov. 12, 2021, in College Park, Md. Dillon was named Thursday, March 3, 2022, as the Big East's women's coach of the year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
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FILE - Villanova head coach Denise Dillon calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Nov. 12, 2021, in College Park, Md. Dillon was named Thursday, March 3, 2022, as the Big East's women's coach of the year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)
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FILE - Villanova head coach Denise Dillon calls to her team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland, Nov. 12, 2021, in College Park, Md. Dillon was named Thursday, March 3, 2022, as the Big East's women's coach of the year. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Villanova swept the Big East’s top honors on Thursday, with Maddy Siegrist selected women’s basketball player of the year and Denise Dillon chosen the league’s coach of the year.

Siegrist, who missed six games in November and December with a broken right hand, set the conference scoring record, averaging 27.9 points over 17 Big East games in leading the Wildcats to a second-place finish behind UConn.

The junior is the first Villanova player to win the award since Shelly Pennefather in 1987.

Dillon coached the Wildcats to a 21-7 record, including 15-4 in the Big East. Her team had been picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches poll.

DePaul’s Aneesh Morrow was named the Big East freshman of the year and UConn’s Nika Muhl was voted the conference’s top defensive player. Morrow, who averaged 21.5 points and 14 rebounds, led the nation by putting up double figures in both scoring and rebounding in 26 games.

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Muhl, who averaged better than two steals a game, led a UConn defense that game up just 55.4 points per game, including 50.8 against Big East opponents.

Lior Garzon of Villanova and Lauren Jensen of Creighton shared the Big East award for most improved player. Morgan Maly of Creighton was selected the sixth-woman of the year, and Marquette’s Chloe Marotta received the league’s sportsmanship award.

The conference tournament begins Friday at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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