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Young's 27 Not Enough as Blue Demons Fall to No. 6/6 Villanova
Brandon Young posted a game-high 27 points on Wednesday.

Brandon Young posted a game-high 27 points on Wednesday.

Feb. 12, 2014

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­­ROSEMONT, Ill. - DePaul found out on Wednesday night why Villanova is the sixth-ranked team in the country.

The Blue Demons fell behind by 17 points at halftime and could not recover in an 87-62 BIG EAST Conference loss at Allstate Arena.

The Wildcats relentlessly attacked the basket while also moving the ball quickly in setting up teammates for 3-point shots. They made 13 of their first 23 from behind the arc and wound up shooting nearly 58 percent from distance.

DePaul (10-15, 2-10 in the BIG EAST) was led by Brandon Young with a season-high 27 points and three steals while Sandi Marcius had 10 points and seven rebounds and Billy Garrett Jr. scored nine points.

Villanova (22-2, 10-1) had five scorers in double figures with Darrun Hilliard's 22 leading the way for their sixth win in a row. Hilliard was 5-of-7 from three-point range.

"We didn't play very well tonight and Villanova had everything to do with that," said DePaul coach Oliver Purnell. "They are playing at a very high level and shot the ball extremely well.

"They also shared the ball extremely well and that led to their eight 3-pointers in the first half. That was the ballgame. They got so many uncontested threes because of their unselfishness."

Villanova stretched a 17-point halftime lead to 61-34 early in the second half with a 13-4 run culminated by a James Bell jumper and a Hilliard 3-point shot. The Wildcats made nine of their first 18 from beyond the arc and wound up with 15-of-26 while DePaul was 4-of-14 from long distance.

"It was tough," Young said. "We were not focused for 40 minutes out there. We didn't give enough effort on defense.

"We're trying to see better days and keeping our heads up. We need to concentrate on our opponents and keep on fighting for 40 minutes."

DePaul came out shooting, matching the BIG EAST's No. 2 offense in the opening minutes. The Blue Demons made six of their first eight shots including 3-pointers by R.J. Curington and Garrett.

Marcius provided some early offense with two baskets down low and a free throw. DePaul was down one when Villanova's 8-2 spurt gave the visiting team a 26-19 lead in the middle of the first half.

A Bell 3-point shot and Hilliard's three-point play increased the Wildcat lead to 32-22 with less than eight minutes until halftime. That turned into an 11-0 Villanova burst and a 37-22 advantage.

Young countered with five consecutive points in trimming the lead to 10. Nine unanswered Wildcat points made it a 19-point game late in the first half and DePaul went into its halftime locker room trailing 48-31.

Young had 16 points in the first 20 minutes, but the Blue Demons' nine turnovers led to a 13-2 advantage for Villanova in points off turnovers.

"Without Cleveland Melvin, Brandon has to be more aggressive for us on offense," Purnell said. "He has to take more shots and get to the basket which I think he did tonight. He has to do a little bit more.

"It would be great if younger guys like Tommy Hamilton IV and R.J. Curington stepped up and took on a bigger role down the stretch. That would be welcome."

That would help to halt a seven-game losing streak.

"What is frustrating is that we haven't won in a while," Purnell said. "We're battling and not getting it done.

"I still believe we can get on a roll and play some of our best basketball coming into the BIG EAST tournament."

The Blue Demons will look to get back on the winning track with a 1 p.m. game Saturday at Providence.

Notes: Today's meeting was the 26th all-time between the two schools... Villanova leads the matchup 18-8, including wins in the last eight games... the Blue Demons are on a season-high seven-game losing streak... Young hit a pair of threes to pass Tom Kleinschmidt (1991-95, 120) and tie Bobby Simmons (1998-01) for eighth on DePaul's all-time three-pointers made list... Young finished with 20-plus points for the 27th time in his career...