Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone agreed that the Big East was wide open this season because Villanova lost four players to the NBA and would be reeling? Then the first few weeks of the season happened and Villanova lost four nonconference games and everyone doubled down and said they would be vulnerable in conference play?
Well, Wednesday night on Chicago’s frigid lakefront, the Villanova Wildcats picked up their eighth straight victory in Big East play, defeating DePaul by an 86-74 margin.
Three-point shooting was the name of the game for the Wildcats, as it so often is. Jay Wright’s bunch connected 15 times from long range, marking the sixth straight game when they’ve hit 12 or more three-pointers. Collin Gillespie and Saddiq Bey led the way with four three-pointers each, as Bey also recorded his first career double-double, hauling in a game-high 11 rebounds.
Eric Paschall and Phil Booth may not have been as electric from deep, but they still filled up the box score for ‘Nova, with Paschall recording 20 points and Booth recording 19, as the senior leaders continue to propel the Villanova offense.
For DePaul, it was the same thing it’s been the last 18 times they’ve played Villanova (the losing streak is now at 18 games, dating back to 2007), they looked good at times, but the Wildcats had more talent and played a complete game.
Femi Olujobi led DePaul with 20 points and eight rebounds. The Blue Demons gave up 14 offensive rebounds which Villanova turned into 11 second chance points.
Villanova improves to 17-4 and 8-0 in Big East play. They’re the first Big East team to start conference play 8-0 since Marquette did it in 2008-09. Villanova will look to improve to 9-0 Sunday when they host Georgetown.
DePaul falls to 11-9 on the season and 3-6 in Big East play. They’ll host Providence on Saturday.