Philly Sports Live

Wildcats Grinds out win to Open Big East Conference Play

Villanova PA: The 1st half of the college basketball season came to end, it is time for conference play as the Villanova Wildcats took on DePaul Blue Daemons to open Big East Conference Play on Wednesday night from The Pavilion on the campus of Villanova University. The Wildcats enter conference play with 12-0 record and off a blowout win over American on December 21 while DePaul comes into battle with number 1 ranked Wildcats with a 7-6 record and off a loss to Missouri State on December 23.

DePaul won the tip to start the game and they games first points came on basket by Billy Garrett & Tre’Darius McCallum for 4-0 lead, Villanova got on the board & took their 1st lead on back to back 3 pointer by Mikal Bridges for 6-4 lead. Both teams would make some play & had some costly turnover mixed with sloppy basketball as the Wildcats took a 32-24 lead into halftime.

Villanova got ball to start the 2nd half and things continued from the 1st half, good defense and turnovers. DePaul would get the lead down to 4 at 37-33 and the Wildcats would wake up and take to them as they grew the lead up to 12 at 51-39 with 11:08 left. From that point on, it became a game that no one would see is that DePaul would go on a run and they would take the lead at 53-51 with 6:26 left. Late in the 2nd half with the game tied at 58, Josh Hart would make a huge play with basket & foul, makes the shot for 61-58 lead with 1:57 left. Villanova would have a 68-65 with 4 seconds left and Billy Garrett would throw up a shot that hit the front rim as the Wildcats hold on for the win and to extend their winning streak to 19 games. With the win, the Wildcats now go to 13-0 & have won their last 4 Big East conference openers and now head into battle against undefeated Creighton on December 31. With the loss, DePaul falls to 7-7 on the season and look to rebound on New Years Day against St John’s.

Final stats

Villanova Wildcats:
Josh Hart: 25 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists
Jalen Brunson: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
Kris Jenkins: 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals

DePaul Blue Demons:
Tre’Darius McCallum: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Brandon Cyrus: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
Billy Garrett: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists


Villanova coach Jay Wright:

DePaul Coach Dave Leitao: