Senior guard Brandy Montgomery (above) is averaging 13.7 points per game for the Tigers.
Auburn, Ala.--Last year the Auburn Tigers defeated St. John’s of the Big East in the opening round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in the state of Texas and on Friday they will try to do it again in the Lone Star state as they take on North Carolina State.
Auburn (17-14) is the lower seed at No. 11 going into the contest vs. the Wolfpack, which is 22-8 overall and a No. 6 seed after finishing the season ranked 17th in the coaches and AP?Top 25 polls.
“They have had some really good wins,” Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said about her team’s opponent for an 11 a.m. CDT tipoff at the Erwin Center in Austin, Tex., on the campus of the University of Texas. “They are a really good team and Wes (Moore) is a very good coach. There is a reason why he did so well at Chattanooga.”
Moore has a winning record at North Carolina State where he is in his fourth season with an 85-42 mark. Friday’s contest will be just the third time the Tigers and Wolfpack have played with AU holding a 2-1 lead in the series.
Last year Auburn played in Waco, Tex., and reached the round of 32 before falling to No. 1 seed Baylor, which was playing on its homecourt. If the Tigers defeat North Carolina State they will likely have to play Texas, a N3. 4 seed, on its homecourt. The Longhorns will play14th-seed Central Arkansas in the opening round.
Auburn’s game vs. the Wolfpack will be televised on ESPN2.
Both teams have had success with an up-tempo style of play. “I think we are a little different although they do like to push the ball in transition,” Williams-Flournoy said. “They have got some senior guards who can really play and a very athletic post player.
“They are definitely not a pressing team,” she noted. “There are not many teams in the country like us that are a pressing team. We do both like to push the ball up the floor and score in transition.”
Auburn’s coach pointed out that she thinks her team’s defense will be a plus on Friday. Auburn is second nationally in turnovers forced at 22.2 per contest. “Going against teams that haven’t seen our press is definitely beneficial for us,” she said.
“It’s an exciting time for our young ladies,” Coach Flo said. “They have really put in the work. We had the resume. Everybody wants to look at what you have done lately and although it hasn’t been the best we put in some really, really good work earlier so the committee understood how tough of a schedule we played with our strength of schedule being extremely high and our RPI (45) being extremely high. That definitely benefitted us in the end.”