BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Natasha Brackett scored 26 points and
Auburn dominated on the inside to beat North Carolina State 79-59
in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday.
The Tigers (22-8), the seventh seed in the East Regional, were
the champions of the WNIT last season but not one player on the
roster had any NCAA tournament experience.
It didn't seem to matter.
Le'Coe Willingham and Mandisa Stevenson each had 10 rebounds and
Auburn, making its first tournament appearance since 2000, advanced
to play second-seeded Connecticut, a 91-55 winner over
Rachel Stockdale hit 5-of-7 3-pointers to lead the 10th-seeded
Wolfpack (17-15) with 15 points.
North Carolina State jumped out to an early lead behind three
straight 3-pointers by Stockdale but Brackett scored 14 points in
the first half and the Tigers shot 64 percent in the game's first
A 16-4 run late in the half gave the Tigers a 46-33 halftime
lead, and the Wolfpack never threatened the lead again.
Brackett finished 10-of-16 from the floor, including four
3-pointers. Stevenson finished with 18 points and Willingham added
Auburn held the Wolfpack's Kaayla Chones to six points, nearly
nine below her team-leading average. Four of her points came on