Villanova defeated DePaul in a blowout win on Wednesday night, 87-62 to 87-62. The Wildcats got out to a big lead in the first half, led by 17 at halftime, and never looked back. Even sloppy play by Nova in the second half couldn't bring DePaul back into the game. Villanova's offense came out hot and fired on all cylinders when it needed to.
Both teams began the game shooting well. DePaul started 6-of-9 from the field, but Villanova hit 5-of-8 just from 3-point territory. DePaul hung around with Villanova up to the 9:38 mark, when the Chicago squad trailed 26-22. They wouldn't score again until there was 4:36 remaining in the first half. Nova scored 11 unanswered points in the interim.
Brandon Young brought DePaul back within 10 points before the end of the half, but that's as close as it got. DePaul's leading scorer Cleveland Melvin left DePaul's program earlier this week, and DePaul missed his talent. The Wildcats entered the locker room up 48-31, riding tough baskets from JayVaughn Pinkston.
The 'Cats built up a sustainable lead to begin the second half, extending the lead to 64-40 in 6 minutes of gameplay before the game started to coast. Jay Wright's team became sloppy on the boards and on defense, allowing DePaul to score avoidable baskets. Perimeter defense softened, and slow interior help led to heavy foul trouble for JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu, the latter fouling out. Luckily the game was not close.
The Wildcats saw five players reach double figures. Hilliard led all with 22; Bell had 16, Pinkston and Arcidiacono had 14, and Jenkins had 11. This was just Jenkins' third time in double figures. As a team, Villanova hit 15 3-pointers out of 26 attempts. The Wildcats shot a 55.1% clip from the floor and a whopping 90.0% from the charity stripe.
Darrun Hilliard's stat line was bland but extremely efficient. His points mostly came from shooting 5-of-7 from distance. He had an air of confidence with the ball Wednesday night. Hilliard only missed 2 shots, including free throws.
JVP had a monster game in the paint, adding 11 boards in 26 minutes of play to achieve his second double-double of the season. JayVaughn made post play look easy as he tore into DePaul's flimsy front court. Not without depth, the Blue Demons checked five different players into the game over 6'9". But none of them could cover the junior from Brooklyn. Pinkston didn't have to use much other than his strength to reach the rim.
Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in 6 assists to the team's total of 16. In the past 7 games, Arcidiacono is averaging 5.43 assists per game. The sophomore is coming into his own as a facilitator, but his 4-for-4 performance Wednesday night from beyond the arc didn't hurt.
Brandon Young was the only bright spot for the Blue Demons, scoring a personal season-high of 27. The next highest point production came from Sandi Marcius, who chipped in 10. Freshman phenom Billy Garrett Jr. averages nearly 12 points a game but only scored 9 against the Wildcats. DePaul will have to find new players to step up in Melvin's permanent absence.
While Villanova rode their 3-point shooting to victory tonight, the Wildcats clearly had this game in hand. Foul issues and poor second half defense can be ignored for now. Honestly, the team looked bored up twenty-five. Nova will be far more entertained Sunday as they continue their road stint at Creighton.