The Villanova Wildcats took another step forward in their quest to be back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Big East Champions on Wednesday night. The Wildcats romped the DePaul Blue Demons 93-62 to move to 25-3 and 12-3 in Big East play.
Leading the charge for the vaunted Cats was Mikal Bridges. The junior sensation scored a game-high 27 points and needed only 12 shots to do so. Bridges converted on nine of them, good for a field goal percentage of 75 percent and shot 57.1 percent from long range on seven 3-point attempts. He was also 5-6 from the free throw line and committed only two turnovers in 33 minutes of action.
Jalen Brunson had a bit of an off night, scoring 11 points on nine shots. But, the rest of his team picked him up. Along with Bridges’ effort were the performances of Eric Paschall and the returning Phil Booth. Paschall put up 16 points on 60 percent shooting (6-10 FG) and Booth scored 14 points and made four of his six shots from the field.
On the whole, Villanova shot the lights out of the gym against DePaul. ‘Nova put up marks of 59.6 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point land. By contrast, the Blue Demons shot 43.3 percent from the floor and 20.0 percent from beyond the arc. ‘Nova had 21 free throws... and DePaul had zero.
Max Strus led all DePaul scorers with 21 points on the night. Strus shot 9-18 from the field but was a meager 3-9 from the 3-point line. Strus also added six boards and two assists to his line in 31 minutes of play. Marin Maric joined him in double figures with 12 points on 10 shots, making six of them.
This was, essentially, the expected result on Wednesday night. Villanova steamrolled through DePaul, and appears to be destined for the cellar of the Big East. They won’t be alone, as mighty St. John’s finally saw their win streak get snapped at the hands of the Marquette Golden Eagles. So both teams are currently sitting at 3-12 on the year in conference play. The more things change, the more they stay the same.