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Wildcats shut down Eagles in first half

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Kate Dessart Mager scored 15 points and Liad Suez added 11 to lead Villanova to a 41-37 upset of No. 22 Boston College in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament Sunday.

The game was a matchup of the last two tournament champs and the final Big East appearance for defending champ Boston College. The Eagles (19-9) join the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

The fifth-seeded Wildcats (19-10) move on to Monday's semifinals, where they will face top-seeded Rutgers.

BC set a dubious mark in its Big East finale when it scored a tournament record-low nine points on 4-of-20 shooting in the first half. Villanova led 23-9 at the break, a cushion too big to overcome against the Wildcats' typical deliberate pace that used up nearly every second of the shot clock.

The fourth-seeded Eagles didn't hit their first 3-pointer until Kindyll Dorsey drained one with 9:52 left in the game. She hit her second with 0.8 seconds remaining to pull the Eagles to 39-37, but Dessart Mager made a pair of free throws on Villanova's next possession to seal the win.

The Wildcats had eight steals in the first period and built their biggest margin on a 17-2 run midway through the half. Dessart Mager had seven points in the spurt and Suez capped the run with a 3 to give the Wildcats a 23-7 lead.

The Eagles have never beaten Villanova in the Big East tournament. Aja Parham led Boston College with 10 points and nine rebounds.