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(Saturday, January 18th)
Final Score: (6) Villanova 88, DePaul 62
Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - James Bell posted 17 points and eight rebounds as No. 6 Villanova defeated DePaul, 88-62.
Daniel Ochefu had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats (16-1, 5-0 Big East), who have won five straight since a loss to Syracuse on Dec. 28.
"Good game for us. I think we beat a good team today," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "We were able to watch them on film their last two games, including Tuesday night against St. John's. I think this is a really good team and I think we played well."
Brandon Young scored 13 points to lead the Blue Demons (10-9, 2-4), who had won two straight coming in.
"The thing that really bothered us was our inability to make offensive plays," said DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell. "I thought we had some initial stops but we didn't stop it. As the game went on, Villanova seemed more energetic, running down dead balls and that kind of thing."
The game was tight for much of the first half, but Bell hit a pair of free throws to kick off a 9-2 run for Villanova, which Ryan Arcidiacono capped on a jumper for a 25-18 lead with four minutes left.
Ochefu later hit a pair of baskets and, after Young put in a layup, Arcidiacono closed the half with a jumper to give the Wildcats a 33-24 lead at the break.
DePaul got the first four points of the second half, but Ochefu's 3-point play started an 8-0 run for Villanova with Darrun Hilliard's free throw giving the team a 41-28 lead.
Villanova kept its lead at double digits the rest of the way, and a Bell 3- pointer and Josh Hart dunk with seven minutes left gave the team a 69-52 advantage.
The Wildcats continued to build their lead in the final minutes for the easy finish.
Villanova hosts Creighton on Monday ... DePaul hosts Xavier on Monday ... The Wildcats lead the series, 17-8 ... Villanova shot 55.4 percent from the field, while DePaul made just 40.7 percent of its shots.
01/18 23:07:24 ET
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