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Villanova clamps down on DePaul, pulls away for 67-43 win

Villanova gets back to its winning ways at the Finn.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova dominated DePaul Tuesday night en route to a 67-43 home victory. Justin Moore scored a game-high 16 in the win, while Collin Gillespie added 14. Eric Dixon also had a double-double for the ‘Cats with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The victory marks the 22nd straight win against the Blue Demons.

Additionally, the victory comes off the heels of a road win against Georgetown and a rare home defeat to Marquette last week. That loss at Finneran Pavilion was the first since 2018. To the Villanova players though, it was not about winning or losing coming back home.

“Whether it’s a win or loss, it’s just important for us to come back and get better,” Moore said. “That’s what we take pride in, coming back the next day and getting better and having a great attitude.”

DePaul cut a 13-point Villanova halftime lead to just six at the second media timeout. The Wildcats went on a scoring drought that lasted four and a half minutes before Gillespie finally hit a three. After that three-pointer, it was all Villanova.

The ‘Cats outscored the Blue Demons 27-9 to finish the game and secured a 24-point victory.

Justin Moore was feeling it early for the ‘Cats. About halfway through the first half, the junior had scored 11 of Villanova’s 14 points.

“I was just being aggressive and taking my looks when they’re there,” said Moore. “Being aggressive and trying to get to the rim and take my open shots.”

It was all about a game of runs in the first half which separated the ‘Cats and Blue Demons. Villanova went on a 7-0 spurt about midway through the first half to go up 24-15. DePaul would get it to 24-20 but Villanova would go on an 11-0 spurt to go up 35-20. The Blue Demons were limited to only two points in the final four minutes of the first half.

DePaul’s Jalen Terry shot an air ball early and was clearly rattled by the Villanova students afterward. The starting guard was limited to three points and committed two turnovers.

DePaul ranks ahead of Villanova in points per game at just under 76. The Villanova defense held the Blue Demons to only 43 points. The Wildcats limited the Blue Demons to shooting just 32.6% for the game and 5-of-15 from deep (33.3%). They also converted 15 DePaul turnovers into 18 points off turnovers.

However, Villanova Wright knows that this is one tough conference no matter the record on the other side.

“This league, you guys get tired of hearing me say it, but there’s nowhere where you go in the league where it’s not the most important sport on campus. Every game is an important game,” said Wright.

DePaul ranks towards the top in the Big East in offensive rebounds. The Wildcats defense limited the Blue Demons to only one offensive rebound in the second half, while giving up six in the first half.

“We did out rebound them which is an accomplishment, ‘’ said Wright. “We weren’t executing in the first half, but we know they’re a great offensive rebounding team, and they did a great job in the first half. I thought we did a really good job in the second half. That was important for us in the second half,” added Wright.

With the win, Villanova improves to 15-5 overall and 8-2 in the Big East. Next up for the ‘Cats is a massive home game against St. John’s this Saturday from Finneran Pavilion.

Meanwhile, with the loss, DePaul drops to 10-9 overall and 1-8 in the Big East.