A poor start to the game proved to be too much to handle for the DePaul Blue Demons, who were defeated 87-71 by the Villanova Wildcats on Sunday afternoon. It's the second loss of the season for DePaul against a Big East opponent, and a relatively disappointing one given how poorly Villanova has played of late. Coming into the game, Villanova had lost three straight games and eight of its past 11 games to drop below .500 on the season.
It didn't take long for the Wildcats to assert themselves on Sunday, though, as they jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and retained a double-digit advantage going into halftime. The Blue Demons kept things somewhat close in the second half, trimming Villanova's lead down to eight at one point, but they just couldn't stop Villanova's offense.
Fouls were a major issue for the Blue Demons, as they committed 29 of them and sent the Wildcats to the free throw line 34 times. With Villanova doubling DePaul's attempts at the charity stripe, the Blue Demons would've needed some key advantages in other facets of the game. Those advantages never quite came, though, as the Wildcats shot a higher percentage and got nearly twice as many rebounds. All of those things allowed Villanova to overcome some seriously sloppy play, as it turned the ball over 28 times compared to DePaul's 14.
Turnovers weren't quite enough to sway things in DePaul's direction given the shooting, rebounding and fouling woes. Brandon Young and Cleveland Melvin were once again solid for the Blue Demons, but that's about it. Young put up 22 points and 6 assists, while Melvin added 19 points and 4 rebounds. Villanova got 21 points from Maalik Wayns and 20 points from Dominic Cheek to lead the way.