The No. 12 Villanova Wildcats brought their hot hands with them into a chilly Chicago, and the DePaul Blue Demons barely had a chance.
Fresh off of an impressive second-half shooting performance that led to a 20-point win over the Temple Owls, the Wildcats one-upped that impressive display of marksmanship with a three-point barrage that relentlessly unleashed on DePaul.
Villanova tied a season-high 18 threes, as it shot a nice 69.2 percent from deep, en route to a lopsided 91-71 victory over the Blue Demons.
The last time that these two teams faced each other, the Wildcats had to battle back from an early deficit to eventually take the game in overtime. This time around, there was no anxiety, only amazement.
The ‘Cats found their groove from long-range early into the game, with eight of their first 10 made shots coming from beyond the arc, including a streak four-straight threes to begin the game.
Justin Moore buried the three to end that remarkable opening stretch, making it 29-15, with 8:41 left in the first half. DePaul didn’t have the firepower to match from long range, but it tried to work its way inside.
Unfortunately for the Blue Demons, the Wildcats never let up. ‘Nova cruised to a comfortable 20-point lead at the half, after shooting 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from three-point land as a team.
In the second half, while the Wildcats slowed things down a bit towards the closing minutes, they still posted an impressive 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) showing from beyond the arc.
Villanova’s lead was never in jeopardy. Once it pushed the margin into double figures, it never dipped back down. The Wildcats led by as high as 31 points, after a Collin Gillespie three made it 75-44, with 9:04 to go in the game.
Gillespie and Saddiq Bey led the long-range artillery with five treys apiece. Moore supplied four three-pointers. Cole Swider added a pair off the bench, while Jermaine Samuels and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl also hit from deep.
Bey finished with a game-high 20 points, three rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Gillespie and Moore added 17 points each. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree impressed in his 16 minutes of action off the bench, chipping in 11 points (4-of-4 shooting), seven rebounds, and two assists towards the winning effort.
With Charlie Moore struggling this time around, the Blue Demons frustration kept building up. Moore had torched Villanova in their previous meeting for 29 points, six assists, and three steals.
On Wednesday, Moore didn’t really get to leave his mark, finishing with a quieter eight-point outing, off of an inefficient 2-of-10 shooting clip on the floor. Jalen Coleman-Lands paced the Blue Demons with 17 points. Meanwhile, Paul Reed had 13 points and seven boards.
With the win, Villanova improves to 20-6 overall and 9-4 in Big East action. It will continue its road trip, as it prepares to head into the Cintas Center to play the Xavier Musketeers on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET.