Big East Basketball Wrap-Up: Villanova Defeats DePaul, 87-71

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Dominic Cheek #23 of the Villanova Wildcats drives to the hoop against the South Florida Bulls during the first round of the 2011 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament presented by American Eagle Outfitters at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The Villanova Wildcats got their first Big East basketball conference victory of the season with an 87-71 win over the DePaul Blue Demons on Sunday at The Pavilion.

Coming into the game Villanova was 0-3 in Big East play for the first time since well, ever. The Wildcats were not planning on making it 0-4 on Sunday. They shot 63% in the first half of the game and held a 48-36 lead at the half. DePaul, coming off a rare Big East win, only shot 36.4% in the first half.

DePaul shot a little better in the second half but was not able to close the scoring gap after the first ten minutes. The most aggravating thing for DePaul is that despite their full-court press forcing Villanova into 28 turnovers (their most in a game since 2003), the game was still a blowout. Villanova was able to beat the press for layups and dominated the boards 45-23. Nova also led the conference in free throw shooting entering the game and didn't falter in that category with a 27-34 night. DePaul only had 17 free throws for the game.

Maalik Wayns led the Wildcats with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Dominic Cheek chipped in 20 points for Villanova. Brandon Young had a game-high 22 points and 6 assists for DePaul. Cleveland Melvin had 19 points and 4 rebounds for the Blue Demons.

There are two Big East games on the schedule on Monday: West Virginia at No.8 Connecticut (7 p.m., TV: ESPN2); Cincinnati at No. 9 Georgetown (9 p.m.. TV: ESPNU).

For more postgame Villanova coverage, visit The Nova Blog. For more DePaul postgame coverage, visit SB Nation Chicago's storystream.

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