Paschall, Booth lead No. 14 Villanova over DePaul, 86-74

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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CHICAGO — Eric Paschall scored 20 points, Phil Booth added 19 points and eight assists, and No. 14 Villanova won its ninth straight game by beating DePaul 86-74 on Wednesday night.

Freshman forward Saddiq Bey matched a career high with 16 points and set one with 11 rebounds for Villanova. He shot 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.

The Wildcats (17-4, 8-0 Big East) hit 15 from beyond the arc after making 17 in a romp over Seton Hall on Sunday. The defending national champions beat DePaul (11-9, 3-6) for the 18th straight time.

Femi Olujobi led the Blue Demons with 20 points and eight rebounds. Eli Cain scored 17, but DePaul lost for the fourth time in five games despite shooting 53 percent.

While much of Chicago was shut down because of frigid conditions, with temperatures dropping to around minus-23, the game went on as scheduled. And once again, Villanova had a tough time with DePaul.

After rallying from 14 down to win by five at home on Jan. 2, the Wildcats led 40-36 at halftime after Cain nailed a step-back 3 in front of the Villanova bench at the buzzer.

But they went on an 11-2 run to start the second half, with Bey scoring on a tip-in and hitting a corner 3 to make it 51-38.

Another 3 by Bey got it up to 56-42 before Paschall’s free throw put the lead at 15.

BIG PICTURE

Villanova: The Wildcats have been rolling along since consecutive three-point losses to Penn and Kansas in mid-December knocked them out of the Top 25.

DePaul: The Blue Demons are back in familiar territory, tied for last in the Big East with Butler.