Nov. 10, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Auburn women's basketball team fell to 1-1 on the season Saturday night, dropping an 85-71 decision to host North Carolina State in the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational Championship Game. Junior Tyrese Tanner scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Tigers.
For their efforts in the tournament, Tanner and Hasina Muhammad were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Auburn took an early nine-point lead, but could not keep up with the 1-2 punch of Marissa Kastanek and Kody Burke. Kastanek scored 15 of her 24 points in the first half while Burke scored 20 of her 26 in the second.
"Like we know, a good basketball team is going to make a run," said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. "We made our run in the first half and they came back and made their run. What we failed to do was make our run back again and it came from a lack of defense. I thought our defensive effort was horrible."
Auburn led by nine early in the first half, but a 10-4 Wolfpack run brought them within two. North Carolina State then closed out the half by out-scoring Auburn 14-8 to take a 37-33 lead into the locker room.
North Carolina State stayed in control in the second half, out-scoring Auburn 48-38 in the period and leading by as many as 17 points.
Auburn finished the game with four players in double figures, led by Tanner's 26. Blanche Alverson and Hasina Muhammad scored 12 points each while Najat Ouardad scored 11. Alverson hit two 3-pointers in the game, moving her into fifth place all-time at Auburn in career 3-pointers with 150. She surpassed Kristen Mulligan, who hit 149 in her career.
For Tanner, it topped her career high of 23 points she scored against Alabama last season at home and was her fourth career 20-point game.
"We finally got Tyrese to understand that she has to attack the basket," said Williams-Flournoy. "We have a tendency to stand out there and shoot the 3. We are not good enough 3-point shooters to do that and with a team tonight that was up a little bit and we could attack the basket on, Ty was able to attack the basket and get to the line."
Offensively, it also marked the second game in a row for Auburn to score more than 70 points in consecutive games, a mark it had not reached since early in the 2011-12 season.
"It is funny because we should have scored more than that," said Williams-Flournoy. "We had some opportunities in transition, but we could not get the guards to run the floor.
"It is a change in style of play. We have to get them used to running the floor for layups and not stopping at the 3-point line, because we are pushing in transition, Jet is pushing them up the floor and we have to be able to get layups."
Defensively, Auburn forced 20 Wolfpack turnovers, scoring 22 points off them. It marked the second game in a for the Tigers to eclipse the 20-plateau in both categories. Tanner and Alverson had three steals each to lead Auburn. Alverson also blocked three shots with seven rebounds.
Tanner led Auburn on the boards for the second game in a row with eight. N.C. State's Burke pulled down a game-high 12.
Auburn will return to action at 6 p.m., Thursday as the Tigers play their home-opener against Alabama State.