Cats Cruise in Chi-City

Desperate for a win, Villanova travelled to DePaul only two days removed from a painful loss to Providence and dominated the Blue Demons 54-31 in the second half to garner a much needed 94-71 win. The Cats ran out to an early lead which DePaul closed prior to half-time with some hot shooting. After twenty minutes of play the game was knotted at 40.
'Nova started the second half quickly as well. Possession after possession, Villanova took the ball right at the rim and attacked the DePaul defense. The combination of aggressiveness and good ball movement led to much easier looks at the basket than the Cats have had in weeks (maybe months). More often than not, 'Nova players converted these opportunities.
Out-rebounded the Blue Demons
Made some shots: 59.6% from the floor and 55.6% from three
Six players scored in double figures
Not so goods:
3PFG defense
Player Evals & Stats
Ryan Arcidiacono
33 Min, 7-12 FG, 5-10 3PFG, 4-6 FT, 2 Reb, 5 Asst, 4 TO, 0 Stl, 23 Pts
His defense was spotty, but Arcidiacono got back on track offensively - stroking the three-pointer, finding teammates in scoring position and making good decisions with the ball.
Darrun Hilliard
30 Min, 7-11 FG, 1-2 3PFG, 2-2 FT, 3 Reb, 4 Asst, 2 TO, 1 Stl, 0 Blk, 17 Pts
Played a better floor game and made better decisions than he did against the Friars. Hilliard seems to grow in confidence with nearly each passing game. Coach Wright has a player on his hands - with 2+ more years to continue to develop. With additional strength, Hilliard will be able to finish more consistently in the lane.
Jayvaughn Pinkston
27 Min, 4-8 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 3-4 FT, 4 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 2 Stl, 11 Pts
Pinkston did a better job of playing under control than is his norm - on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he was more decisive and defensively he stayed out of foul trouble. On offense he has a tendency to make a move, create enough space to have an advantage but then hesitate and either look to pass, hesitate or make another move. He generally avoided this pitfall in this game - if he had a floater and/or more confidence shooting a tear-drop runner he could score more effectively in the paint. Pinkston had difficulty holding on to the ball in traffic on more than one instance but fortunately those instances didn't turn into foul trouble.
James Bell
32 Min, 6-9 FG, 4-6 3PFG, 0-0 FT, 6 Rebs, 1 Asst, 0 TOs, 0 Blk, 2 Stl, 16 Pts
This was likely Bell's most consistent performance in a game this season - start-to-finish. He had eight early points to help the Cats run out to a lead and then suffered from a lack of touches for awhile. However, Bell stayed out of foul trouble, played turnover free basketball, stroked the three-ball well and was effective rebounding the ball.
Mouphtaou Yarou
30 Min, 3-7 FG, 5-5 FT, 7 Rebs, 1 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 11 Pts
His improved play is evidenced by the bump up in expectations. Yarou posts 11 and 7 and it is a below average game by his recent standards. He didn't shoot it great and though he was well-positioned to grab more rebounds the ball wasn't bouncing his way the way it did in recent 14 and 16 rebound performances.
Tony Chennault
17 Min, 4-5 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 2-2 FTs, 4 Rebs, 1 Stl, 3 Asst., 1 TOs, 10 Pts
The Blue Demons "red sea" defense was much Tony Chennault's liking as he was able to get to the rim, score from mid-range and drive and dish seemingly at will. He also did a nice job of helping out on the defensive boards.
Daniel Ochefu
23 Min, 3-5 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-3 FTs, 2 Reb, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 1 Blk, 0 Stl, 6 Pts
After some recent flat shooting performances from the floor, it was promising to see Ochefu score the ball effectively around the basket in the second half. He continues to show some skills as a passer from the high post. Additionally, Ochefu showed some quickness and court sense with his ability to guard multiple positions on the defensive end of the court. He covered quick players out towards the three-point line and did a decent job hedging and switching as necessary.
Achraf Yacoubou
6 Min, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 0 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 Stl, 0 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Pts
Didn't play enough consecutive minutes to really get into the flow of the game - particularly on offense.
Maurice Sutton & Mislav Brzoja
Each got a 1 minute run during garbage time.
Next up for the Cats is a rematch with the USF Bulls on Saturday afternoon. The game tips off at 3:00 PM - after the annual VUSports pre-game luncheon for 'Nova Nation subscribers! 'Nova advances to 14-9 overall and 5-5 in Big East play.