Villanova buries DePaul with big 2nd half

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DePaul's Charles McKinney pressures Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono during the first half Tuesday in Rosemont. DePaul lost, 94-71. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

ROSEMONT – Ryan Arcidiacono scored 23 points and Villanova put together an impressive shooting display to pull away for a 94-71 victory at DePaul on Tuesday night.

Darrun Hilliard had 17 points and James Bell finished with 16 for the Wildcats (14-9 overall, 5-5 Big East), who bounced back from a pair of disappointing losses to Notre Dame and Providence. Villanova made 22 of 32 shots in the second half and shot 60 percent from the field for the game.

Arcidiacono helped the Wildcats grab control after the teams were tied at 40 at the break. The freshman guard scored five points in an 11-3 run that opened a 51-43 lead for Villanova.

The Wildcats poured it on from there, making 11 of their first 12 shots in the second half to run the lead out to 12. A 3-pointer from Bell sparked a 14-2 spree that stretched the advantage to 85-60 with 4:49 left.

Cleveland Melvin scored 19 points and Jamee Crockett had 16 for DePaul (10-12, 1-8), which has dropped seven straight games. The Blue Demons were coming off a pair of overtime losses against St. John's and Notre Dame. DePaul shot 45 percent from the field and was outrebounded 33-27.

The Wildcats placed six players in double figures. Mouphtaou Yarou and JayVaughn Pinkston each scored 11 and Tony Chennault had 10 points.

With both teams in desperate need of a win, the Blue Demons and Wildcats played a roller-coaster first half that included a handful of spurts for each side.

Moses Morgan hit a free throw with 4:02 left to give DePaul a 30-28 lead, but Villanova then scored nine of the next 12 points. Chennault and Yarou each hit a pair of free throws, Hilliard slashed to the hoop for a nice layup and Arcidiacono capped the surge with a 3-pointer that made it 37-33 with 1:58 to go.

Melvin responded with the last seven points of the half, including a tying layup with 17 seconds remaining. The 6-foot-8 junior had a game-high 13 points at the break.

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