In a game where DePaul (11-12, 5-5) led by as many as 11 points in the first half, Villanova (19-2, 6-2) held the Blue Demons to 18 points in the second half.
“We didn’t have the same energy and drive in the second half,” said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell.
The Blue Demons were unable to overcome Villanova’s physicality which focused on DePaul point guard Billy Garrett, Jr. and disrupted the Blue Demons’ offensive rhythm.
Yet, 21 personal fouls were called on DePaul to just 14 called on Villanova in the contest. The Wildcats went to the free throw line 11 more times than the Blue Demons.
“If the game is going to be called that way, it’s trench warfare, you’ve got to find a way to get through it,” Purnell said. “It’s no question they made a conscious effort to be physical and bump Billy and trap him.”
Ryan Arcidiacono led the way for Villanova with 18 points, all of which came in the second half.
Jayvaughn Pinkston contributed with 14 points and Darrun Hilliard added 11 points for the Wildcats.
The Blue Demons started five Chicagoans for the first time under Purnell at DePaul, Garrett, Tommy Hamilton IV, Myke Henry, Rashaun Stimage, and Jamee Crockett. All five also played for the Mac Irvin Fire AAU program.
Garrett led DePaul with 14 points and eight assists. Tommy Hamilton IV and Forrest Robinson chipped in with nine points apiece.
The Blue Demons next host the Seton Hall Pirates at Allstate Arena on Tuesday night for another Big East matchup.
Postgame Notes from DePaul Sports Information
DePaul had just one player in double-figures for the second time this season... Blue Demons are 0-2 in those games... the 55 points are the fewest this season... previous was 59 at Oregon State on Dec. 18... Rashaun Stimage made his first career start... DePaul used its fourth different starting lineup of the season... Villanova leads the series, 20-8... the Wildcats have won 10 straight meetings.
Villanova Rallies in 2nd Half Past DePaul
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