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DePaul basketball throttled 94-71 by Villanova for 7th straight loss

Ryan Arcidiacono Jamee Crockett

Ryan Arcidiacono, Jamee Crockett

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Updated: February 5, 2013 11:58PM



The woes of losing — from close games to overtime games to a lopsided 94-71 loss to Villanova on Tuesday — are wearing on DePaul.

‘‘It’s pretty tough now, but we know what we have to do to get over the hump,’’ junior forward Cleveland Melvin said after his team’s seventh straight loss. ‘‘We have to compete the full 40 minutes. We have to be more consistent and do what we have to on defense.’’

After taking St. John’s and Notre Dame to overtime last week, the Blue Demons (10-12, 1-8 Big East) and coach Oliver Purnell felt they were turning a corner. They stayed confident through the first half Tuesday, in a 40-40 tie at the half against the Wildcats.

But it all fell apart in the second half as the Wildcats (14-9, 5-5) went on a blistering scoring spree, shooting 85.7 percent, including 55.6 percent from three-point range, in the final 20 minutes in a victory Villanova coach Jay Wright called his team’s ‘‘best game of the year.’’

The Wildcats scored on 11 of their first 12 possessions in the second half, effectively leaving DePaul in the dust.

‘‘We were pretty much fighting uphill from there,’’ Purnell said.

Villanova freshman Ryan Arcidiacono hit 5 of 10 three-pointers on his way to 23 points, leading all scorers.

‘‘We were just trying to make plays for each other,’’ he said. ‘‘We made extra passes and got some open looks.’’

The energetic Demons who fought hard Saturday against Notre Dame were missing.

‘‘It was a combination of our defense not being great and we didn’t have the juice we had the last couple games, especially in the second half,’’ Purnell said. ‘‘Villanova was great, and especially [Arcidiacono] was tough to stop.

‘‘But the second half was our undoing,’’ he said.

Melvin led the Demons with 19 points, while Jamee Crockett added 16. Senior guard Worrel Clahar had 12 points with five assists and junior Brandon Young had 11 points with five assists.

But Villanova had six players in double digits.

It gets no easier with No.  24 Marquette up next on Saturday.

‘‘We have to move on and not let this game get to us,’’ Melvin said.



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