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DePaul men’s basketball nearly ruined Villanova’s Big East Tournament


NEW YORK — Justin Moore hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in the second half, and sixth-seeded Villanova survived a major upset by beating DePaul, which trailed by 24 points, 58-57 on Wednesday and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

Needing a win to complete their NCAA Tournament resume, the Wildcats (18-14) will face third-seeded and 10th-seeded Marquette on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Jalen Terry’s shot gave the Blue Demons (3-29) a 57-55 lead with 1:13 remaining, but DePaul was unable to capitalize on its advantage. Villanova was down two with 17 seconds left and Moore came out of the timeout with a play that allowed him to get a good look from the 3 and swipe his shot.

“Thank God for Justin Moore,” coach Kyle Neptune said.

Moore finished the game with 10 points, while Villanova shot 11 for 35 from three-point range.

“Right now I just wanted to win. Great players do great things,” Moore said.

DePaul ran onto the field with timeout remaining but was unable to make a shot when Terry turned the ball over. The Blue Devils ended the season with a 20-game losing streak.

Terry scored 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead DePaul, which ranked 11th in the game.

“I feel like we are more connected today than any other day. “I don’t know what happened,” Terry said.

The Blue Demons had perhaps the worst season in Big East history, becoming the first team in the conference to go 0-20 in the regular season. Coach Tony Stubblefield was fired in late January and replaced by assistant Matt Brady, who finished his interim coaching tenure winless.

“I’m grateful to our players for playing a 40-minute game,” Brady said.

The Wildcats took a 52-50 lead with Eric Dixon’s 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the second half, but Elijah Fisher used a layup to tie the score with 3:25 left in the game.

Dixon scored 21 points to lead the Wildcats.

Da’Sean Nelson gave DePaul a 55-52 lead with a 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the game, but Dixon hit a direct 3-pointer to tie the score.


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