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DePaul Drops Game to Villanova at Allstate Arena
Jamee Crockett scored 16 points against Villanova on Tuesday night.


Jamee Crockett scored 16 points against Villanova on Tuesday night.

Feb. 5, 2013

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ROSEMONT, Ill. - DePaul has battled back late in games this season, but Tuesday night's rough stretch in the second half was just too much to overcome.

The Blue Demons dropped a 94-71 BIG EAST Conference game to Villanova at Allstate Arena in which the hot-shooting Wildcats took command with a 28-9 run.

In that eight-minute stretch of the second half, Villanova (14-9, 5-5 in the BIG EAST) converted four three-pointers and seemingly hit shots from all over the court.

The Wildcats opened the second half hitting 22 of their first 27 shots in a display of shooting accuracy that Villanova coach Jay Wright said he had never seen in his 12 years at the helm.

"Our defense wasn't great, and I felt like we didn't have the juice that we had the last couple of games," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "When they're shooting the three-ball like that, they are tough to handle."

The Wildcats shot nearly 70 percent in the second half including 85.7 percent from three-point range. DePaul dropped to 10-12, 1-8 in the BIG EAST.

"The second half was our downfall," Purnell said. "When they scored 11 of the first 12 times down the floor, that was pretty much it. We were fighting uphill from there.

"Their freshman point guard (Ryan Arcidiacono with 23 points and five assists) was a handful. Their big guys were setting good screens and we were not fighting through them with physicality."

Coming out of a 40-40 halftime tie, Villanova opened the second half with an 11-3 run and Purnell called a timeout to regroup. Jamee Crockett (16 points) and Cleveland Melvin (19 points) scored to narrow the gap.

The Wildcats stretched their lead to 61-51 on a Jayvaughn Pinkston layup as the visiting team was having success penetrating the Blue Demon defense and dishing off for scores inside.

Arcidiacono's three-pointer in the middle of the second half gave the Wildcats a 68-53 lead. Worrell Clahar (12 points, team-high seven rebounds, five assists) came back with a three-point play but Arcidiacono buried another three. After a Crockett bank shot, James Bell hit a three to put Villanova ahead by 18.

With a less than six minutes to go in the game, the Wildcats culminated that 28-9 run and pulled out to an 85-60 lead. Arcidiacono led six Villanova players in double figures.

"We didn't come out with the energy we had the last few games," Crockett said. "We didn't do what we had to do on defense to stop them."

Melvin nodded his head.

"It's pretty tough right now," Melvin said. "In the second half, we didn't have the hard edge that we had in the first half. We've got to do a better job of keeping that hard edge."

It was a close first half as both teams exchanged mini-runs. Villanova went on a 7-2 burst in taking an early seven-point lead. DePaul responded with back-to-back three-pointers by Donnavan Kirk and Clahar.

The Wildcats led by four when Melvin scored in the lane and Crockett hit a pair of free throws. Another Clahar three gave the home team a 29-26 lead.

Villanova came back with an 8-1 spurt in reclaiming the lead 34-30. Clahar struck again with his third swish from beyond the arc. Arcidiacono answered with a three of his own. Not to be outdone, Melvin connected from long distance. Capping off this offensive flurry, Mouphtaou Yarou converted a three-point play.

Melvin closed out the first half with two-straight baskets that tied the game 40-40.

Next up for the Blue Demons is a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Marquette.

Postgame Notes:

- Tuesday was the 24th all-time meeting between DePaul and Villanova... the Wildcats lead the series by a 16-8 margin... Villanova has won six straight meetings in the series.

- Brandon Young's first three-pointer moved him into a tie for 18th on DePaul's career three-point field goal list... he is tied with Rashon Burno (1998-02).

- Worrel Clahar's three three-pointers matched a career high... previously he made three three's at Louisville on Jan. 14, 2012.