Villanova men’s basketball clinched the Big East title with a 83-62 win over DePaul on Tuesday night. It was an eventful night of big plays and big moments for the Wildcats. The win marks the 39th straight victory in the Pavilion. The last loss at their home court came on February 3, 2013 to Providence when the current seniors were freshmen.
Junior Kris Jenkins led all scorers with career high 31 points. He also knocked down a record tying eight 3-point field goals tying Allan Ray and Darrun Hilliard. Fellow Junior Josh Hart finished the night with 18 points.
Eli Cain finished with 14 points and four assists on 5 –of -11 shooting on the night for DePaul. Mike Henry chipped in with 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Both finished in foul trouble with four fouls.
Although the Wildcats have dropped to no. 2/3 in the nation, Villanova secured the No.1 spot in the Big East as they advance to 15-2 in conference play, 26-4 overall.
The season is not over yet for the Wildcats and hopefully they have many more games to play. The final regular season game of the season is on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center against Georgetown.
The Big East Tournament presented by Jeep Brand, kicks on March 10 at noon at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats claim their third straight regular season championship and hope to win their second consecutive tournament title this season.
Villanova got out to an an early 11-3 lead, but the Blue Demons followed with a 7-0 run with 14:20 to play in the period. After a Villanova timeout, Jenkins came out and drained four 3-pointers in a span of 2:37. He went on a 14-0 run that included a steal and basket to give his team the 25-10 lead with 10:26 left in the first half. The Blue Demons went into the half down 51-33.
The Wildcats shot 68% from the field, going 19-of-28 in the first half. DePaul shot 12-of-22 going 55% from the field. At the start of the second half the home team went on another run, outscoring the Blue Demons 7-2, including another three pointer from Jenkins and never looked back.
Villanova coasted to an 83-62 win to clinch the Big East regular season conference. Although this was a team goal, it was not the end goal. The real work begins in the course of this next month as they fight for a Big East Tournament title, top bid in the NCAA Tournament, and a long tournament run in March Madness.
Tip-off for the final regular season game in the Wells Fargo Center is on Saturday shortly after noon against the Georgetown Hoyas. The game will air nationally via the Fox network (Fox 29 in Philadelphia along with 610 Sports Radio WTEL).