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Hakim Hart scores 20 points as Villanova defeats DePaul by 36 | Villanova vs. DePaul Recap

Written by on December 25, 2023

Villanova’s Big East season is off to a fantastic start as the Wildcats defeated DePaul, 84-48, on Saturday afternoon to improve to 2-0 in conference play. Hakim Hart continued his impressive season with a 20-point performance against the Blue Demons. The Wildcats shot 53.6% from the field and 54.5% from behind the arc. It was Villanova’s most complete game of the season with both the offense and defense playing at the top of their game.

Overall Game Stats

Villanova

Hart made 7-10 shots from the field with four rebounds. He made all four three-point attempts. Eric Dixon shot 50% from the field for 12 points. TJ Bamba played 31 minutes with 11 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Villanova had 18 total assists against DePaul. The Wildcats did struggle with 16 turnovers, but Villanova’s great shooting and defense canceled out the turnover issues.

DePaul

Villanova held DePaul to just 20 points in the final twenty minutes. Da’Sean Nelson, Jaden Henley, and Chico Carter, Jr. all finished with 11 points for the Blue Demons. Carter Jr. was DePaul’s best player on Saturday. Despite four turnovers, he shot 5-12 from the field with four assists. The Blue Demons made just 30.4% of the shots they took from the field. They also converted just 4 of their 24 three-point attempts in the game. DePaul shot 1 for 11 from behind the arc in the second half.

Game Recap

First Half: Villanova scores 46 in the first twenty minutes

In the beginning of the first half, Villanova and DePaul were tied at 8 with 14:32 left. However, the Wildcats took a 13-11 lead with 12:46 left in the first and never lost the lead. Villanova used an 11-0 run in the first half to lead by as many as 19 points with six seconds left. They took a 46-28 lead into halftime in Wintrust Arena.

Hakim Hart and Eric Dixon combined for 22 points in the first twenty minutes. Villanova outrebounded DePaul, 20-13. TJ Bamba was a +17 when on the court in the first half. The Wildcats made 55% of their shots from the field while making 7 of 10 three-point attempts. It was one of their best offensive halves of the season.

Second Half: Wildcats cruise to the victory

The second half started with more points for Villanova as Bamba knocked down a three-pointer to extend the lead to 21 points. Hakim Hart continued his great game with two more threes. The Wildcats took a 40-point lead with 5:33 left to play thanks to two free throws from Mark Armstrong. Armstrong accumulated nine points and three assists against the Blue Demons. Villanova finished the game with a 36-point easy victory over DePaul.

AP Top 25 Soon? Game Thoughts + Road Ahead

Villanova needed to prove they could win the games against struggling teams and games they should win on paper. They did just that on Saturday afternoon against DePaul. The Wildcats played a complete game of basketball with both the offense and defense thriving. They won both road games to begin their Big East Schedule to improve to 2-0 in conference play and 9-4 overall.

With their current three-game winning streak, including the upset win at #12 Creighton and blowout victory against DePaul, Villanova should be back into the AP Top 25 very soon. Villanova’s next game will take place on January 3rd at 8:30pm against 7-6 Xavier. This will be the Wildcats’ Big East home opener. WXVU will have live coverage of this game beginning with pregame coverage at 8pm.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, everyone! Thank you for your support throughout this year.