(4) Villanova 61

(19-2, 9-1 Big East)

DePaul 51

(9-13, 2-9 Big East)

2:00 PM ET, February 11, 2006

Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

1 2 T
#4VILL 32 2961
DEP 20 3151

Top Performers

Villanova: R. Foye 23 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

DePaul: K. Clarke 14 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

No. 4 'Nova dispatches DePaul; No. 1 UConn looms

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) -- Now, Villanova can worry about Connecticut.

Randy Foye scored 23 points and Kyle Lowry added 15 to lead the fourth-ranked Wildcats to their eighth straight victory, 61-51 over DePaul on Saturday.

Next up: No. 1 UConn on Monday.

"Earlier in the week, on Thursday, they were asking us about UConn, and [coach Jay Wright] told us you have to worry about DePaul first, we have to go in there and play a great team in DePaul and then worry about UConn after that," Foye said.

Although Saturday's game wasn't a letdown for Villanova, it wasn't a thing of beauty, either.

The Wildcats were 21-of-59 from the field, including 5-of-21 on 3-pointers, and had just six assists. But they were 14-of-19 from the free throw line, had five steals and scored 11 points off DePaul's 13 turnovers.

Foye was 8-of-20 from the field, including 4-of-12 on 3-pointers, but he hit several clutch shots in the second half. He had a layup and jumper during a six-point run late that increased the lead to 52-40.

The Wildcats (19-2, 9-1 Big East) were without third-leading scorer Mike Nardi, who missed his second straight game with tonsillitis. Wright said he considered inserting Nardi in the second half, before the Wildcats pulled away.

Lowry was 5-for-11 from the field and grabbed seven rebounds. He had 25 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals in Tuesday's 71-58 victory over Saint Joseph's.

"You've got to deal with it," Lowry said. "Every night you are not going to be shooting 55 percent and hitting 12 3s. Some nights are just going to come down to defense."

And Villanova's was good enough -- again.

"That's really what we've done all year," Wright said. "We just continue to find ways. I don't think we are ever going to be pretty. ... This is who we are."

Karron Clarke had 14 points and 15 rebounds for DePaul (9-13, 2-9), which has lost eight of nine overall and five in a row at home. The Blue Demons were 10-for-23 at the free throw line.

"That's probably how dentistry was in the 1800s, before they had anesthetics," coach Jerry Wainwright said. "That's how I felt."

So did his players.

"Free throws are haunting us lately," guard Sammy Mejia said after going 2-of-5 at the line.

Wainwright acknowledged that the backdrop at Allstate Arena is different from that of their gym on campus. But he also pointed out that he sees players with hitches in their stroke at the line.

"I don't know what else you can say; you need to make them," Wainwright said.

DePaul outscored Villanova 17-8 over the opening 9:31 of the second half to pull within 40-37.

With the score 46-40, Villanova's Bilal Benn put back an airball by Allan Ray, and Foye followed with a layup and jumper that made it a 12-point game with 3:37 left.

The game was the first between Villanova and new Big East member DePaul since February 1979. DePaul has not beaten a Top Ten team since December 2001, when it defeated No. 10 Missouri at the United Center in Chicago. Its last victory over a Top 5 opponent was by one point in overtime over No. 3 Cincinnati at Allstate Arena eight years ago.

A jumper by Wilson Chandler and a basket by Marlon Brumfield pulled DePaul within 32-24 early in the second half, but Foye hit a 3 from the left wing.

Another 3 by Foye made it 40-26, but Jabari Currie and Clarke hit from the outside to pull DePaul within 40-32. After a missed jumper by Ray, Chandler brought the crowd to its feet with a dunk that made it a six-point game. Mejia's 3-pointer then pulled DePaul within 40-37 with 9:29 remaining.

"When we cut it to three, that was one of the few moments in the game where we were actually being aggressive on the offensive end," Mejia said.

The Wildcats built a 32-20 halftime lead despite missing six of their first seven shots and hitting just 12 of 31 overall.

Villanova turns its attention toward Monday's showdown with UConn.

"It's definitely important, and you know it's going to be a big game, but you still have to go back and review the film on DePaul and see the mistakes that we made and correct them in practice tomorrow," Lowry said.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 61 51
FG Made-Attempted 21-59 (.356) 18-48 (.375)
3P Made-Attempted 5-21 (.238) 5-14 (.357)
FT Made-Attempted 14-19 (.737) 10-23 (.435)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
Largest Lead 17 2

2005-06 Season

» Feb 11, 2006 VILL 61, @DEP 51Recap