Villanova extends dominance of DePaul, sweeps season series

Eric Dixon scored 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting as Villanova trounced visiting DePaul 94-69 in a Big East contest on Friday evening.

Brendan Hausen made 5-of-6 3-point attempts — all in the first half — and finished with 17 points as the Wildcats (11-5, 4-1 Big East) swept the season series from the Blue Demons (3-13, 0-5) and defeated DePaul for the 25th time in the last 26 meetings.

Mark Armstrong scored 15 points and Tyler Burton chipped in 14 points and 10 boards for Villanova, while TJ Bamba contributed 10 points.

Da’Sean Nelson scored 20 points for the Blue Demons, who made 40 percent of their 3-pointers (8 of 20) as part of a respectable 46.3 percent shooting performance but still lost their fourth straight game. DePaul remains the only winless team in Big East play.

Chico Carter Jr. (14 points) and Jalen Terry (12) were the other double-digit scorers for the visitors.

DePaul trailed 18-15 about nine minutes into the game before the hosts began to create some separation. Dixon knocked down two free throws and converted a layup before Burton’s two foul shots pushed the Villanova lead to 24-15.

The Blue Demons clawed back to get their deficit within two points, but consecutive 3-pointers by Hausen and a layup by Hakim Hart restored a double-digit cushion. Hausen then made another long-range shot before Bamba knocked down two free throws to make it 42-27.

DePaul closed the first half with five straight points and got back within single digits early in the second half. But any hopes of a comeback did not last long. The Wildcats quickly rattled off a 10-2 run, including five points by Bamba, to open a commanding 17-point advantage.

Villanova’s lead stretched to 20 for the first time when Burton’s layup made it 81-61 with 5:07 remaining. The Wildcats led by as many as 27 down the stretch.