Jay Wright’s Wildcats blew by DePaul 88-62 yesterday to improve to 16-1 and 5-0 in Big East play. It took a little while for Nova to get rolling as DePaul kept it close for the first ten minutes of the game but after that it was all Wildcats. Sophomore forward from Baltimore, Daniel Ochefu notched a career high in points at 14 on 6-6 shooting while grabbing six rebounds. The sold out crowd of 6,500 at the Pavilion was rocking throughout the game as their Wildcats had an incredible 21 assists on 31 made baskets and only five turnovers.
After the slow first half, the pace really picked up in the second half with Nova outscoring DePaul 55-38 with help from freshman guard, Josh Hart, who was recently named Big East Rookie of the Week for the third time in four weeks, with his 13 points in just 22 minutes. Senior James Bell was the game’s leading scorer with 17 points while shooting 3-5 from behind the arc. Nova shot 6-11 from behind the arc in the second half and a very impressive 73 percent from the floor (19-26). JayVaughn Pinkston, who last week became the 52nd player in Villanova history to surpass 1,000 points was kept quiet scoring just eight points, just half of his season’s average. But in total five Wildcats scored in double-figures to help pick up for JayVaughn. Coach Jay Wright still pointed out Vaughn’s two assists and zero turnovers. Nova out-rebounded DePaul 37-26 and 17-9 in the second half.
Up next for Villanova is a tough matchup at the Wells Fargo Center tomorrow night against Creighton, who is coming off a tough loss at Providence yesterday. Jay Wright said “I have no idea how to game plan for them,” adding that each time he watches Creighton play he gets “caught up in how good they are.” DePaul, who fell to 10-9 and 2-4 in coference play, will travel home to take on Xavier. Five DePaul players scored in double-figures led by Brandon Young’s 13 on 4-14 shooting.