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Villanova dispatches DePaul in Big East battle

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Hakim Hart scored a game-high 20 points off the bench as visiting Villanova dominated DePaul 84-48 on Saturday afternoon in a Big East matchup in Chicago.

Villanova (8-4, 2-0 Big East) have won three in a row while DePaul (2-9, 0-1) has lost seven of its last eight games.

The win is the largest conference win by any school in the country so far this season.

Villanova was ranked No. 22 in the preseason poll and the Wildcats look like they want to get back in the rankings, especially after showings like this, and a 68-66 overtime win over No. 12 Creighton on Wednesday.

Three-point shooting was a key as Villanova knocked down 12 of 22 of its attempts from behind the arc. DePaul, however, made only 4 of 24 on threes.

The Wildcats held a 46-28 lead at the half and increased their advantage with a series of scoring runs throughout the second half as DePaul struggled for defensive answers to stop the flurries.

Brendan Hausen’s corner 3-pointer gave Villanova a 66-34 lead with 10:23 remaining while DePaul went on a scoring drought of 6 minutes and 15 seconds. Da’Sean Nelson finally hit a jumper with 9 minutes left to end a 16-0 Wildcats scoring run.

Villanova got 12 points from Eric Dixon and 11 from TJ Bamba, while Nelson, Chico Carter Jr and Jaden Henley had 11 points apiece for DePaul.

In the first half, Villanova broke open a 6-6 game behind Hart, who scored his team’s next 10 points, including a dunk and a pair of three-pointers.

DePaul led by four points three minutes into the game but never led again after the 13:56 mark of the first half.

Villanova hit 7-of-10 3-pointers in the half, outrebounded the Blue Demons 20-13, and outshot DePaul 54.8 to 35.7 percent from the field.

Villanova leads the series between the schools with a 34-8 record since 1950.

— Field Level Media

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