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FGCU Women Eagles lose to Villanova Wildcats, 57-76

Braun, Michael

The No. 22 and 12th-seeded FGCU women's basketball team put up a valiant effort Monday night against No. 10 Villanova before falling to the fourth-seeded Wildcats 76-57 in the Second Round of the 2023 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Finneran Pavilion.

FGCU's season ends at 33-4. Villanova (30-6) advances to play either No. 2 Indiana or Miami (Fla.) in Friday's Greenville Regional Semifinal in Greenville, S.C. The Green & Blue also saw its 15-game winning streak come to a close, and fell to 6-21 all-time against ranked teams.

Graduate guard Sha Carter (Southfield, Mich./Wylie E. Groves HS/Walsh) scored a game-high 11 points for FGCU.

Villanova's Maddy Siegrist scored 31 points and sent the winningest team in the school's history into the Sweet 16 for the second time in program history with the win over Florida Gulf Coast .

The fourth-seeded Wildcats (30-6) won their record 30th game and celebrated the March Madness milestone in front of another packed house at the Pavilion. Siegrist, the first-team AP All-American, made 13 of 24 shots in what was likely her final home game. The four-year star has left some wiggle room that she could return for a fifth season, but all signs point toward her playing in the WNBA this summer.

The Eagles etched their names in the NCAA record book earlier in the tournament, winning their third game as a 12 seed – the most in tournament history. FGCU also knocked off Missouri 80-70 in 2018 and downed Virginia Tech 84-81 in 2022. San Francisco (1986), Kansas (2013), BYU (2014) and Quinnipiac (2017) all won twice and advanced to the Sweet 16 in their respective NCAA Tournament journeys, and Belmont won back-to-back first-round games in 2021 and 2022.

Monday's loss closed the book on FGCU's seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance and ninth overall in just 12 years of eligibility, joining squads from the 2021-22, 2020-21, 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2014-15, 2013-14, and 2011-12 seasons.

The FGCU Athletics Department and The Associated Press contributed to this report.