AUSTIN, Texas -- Dominique Wilson scored 23 points and Miah Spencer added 13 to help No. 6 seed North Carolina State beat No. 11 Auburn 62-48 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers' high-pressure defense forced a turnover in the first eight seconds but the Wolfpack easily handled it the rest of the way. Despite a cold shooting start by both teams, Spencer's 3-pointer at the buzzer put N.C. State up 21-11 at the end of the first quarter and the Wolfpack cruised from there.
N.C. State (23-8) led by 17 at halftime and pushed it as high 23 by the end of the third quarter.
Auburn (17-15) came into the tournament after losing nine of its last 12 in the regular season. The Tigers shot just 25 percent and managed just one field goal and four total points in the second quarter. Auburn didn't cut the lead under 20 until a final flurry over the last 3 minutes.
North Carolina State leaned heavily on point guard Spencer to handle Auburn's pressure and settle the offense, and her absence with foul trouble early in the second quarter saw the Wolfpack nearly grind to halt in a game where they were in complete control. N.C. State led 30-13 before Spencer sat for the final five minutes of the second quarter and the Wolfpack managed just two more points the rest of the half.
Auburn had a rough start and never got going. Guard Khady Dieng took a shot in the mouth near the basket in the early moments and fell to the floor before having to come out for several minutes. Katie Frerking, the Tigers' leading scorer this season, didn't score while taking just four shots in the first half and finished with nine points, far below her season average of 16.