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Pitt beats Villanova in Big East first round

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HARTFORD, Conn. – Marcedes Walker scored 20 points and Xenia Stewart 18 as Pitt rolled to a 69-63 victory over Villanova this afternoon in the first round of the Big East women’s basketball tournament at the XL Center.

The Panthers (21-9) advanced to the quarterfinals, where they will play fourth-seeded Notre Dame (23-7) at noon Sunday.

Walker was 10 of 15 from the field, scoring 12 points in the second half, and led Pitt with seven rebounds. Stewart made 7 of 15 shots, including a 3-pointer, and 3 of 6 free throws. Pitt did not commit a turnover in the first half and finished with a season-low five.

Lisa Kurz led the Wildcats (15-15) with a game-high 23 points, while Stacie Witman and Lisa Karcic scored 10 each.

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