RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Kiara Leslie scored 13 points and North Carolina State beat Elon 62-35 on Friday in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Aislinn Konig added 12 points to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (25-8) advance to a second-round matchup with Maryland in the renewal of a past Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry. Leslie played two seasons at Maryland before coming to N.C. State last summer as a graduate transfer.
Shay Burnett had 12 points for the 13th-seeded Phoenix (25-8), who had their 13-game winning streak snapped. N.C. State held Elon — which shoots 45 percent from the field — to a season-worst 24 percent shooting while winning a rematch of their 70-57 victory on Dec. 16.
N.C. State never trailed, led by 10 at halftime and broke the game open with a 10-0 run early in the third quarter. Konig capped that burst with a 3 off a kickout following a scramble that made it 37-19 just over 4 minutes into the third. Erika Cassell pushed the lead into the 20s with a 3 some 70 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Elon: Charlotte Smith has surely figured out how to take the Phoenix to the tournament, and now the challenge is to finally win a game. Elon, which made its first appearance a year ago, has gone one-and-done both times as a double-digit seed. Their 13-game win streak — their longest since the move to Division I — ended amid their worst shooting performances of the season.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack’s defense put on a show in their first home tournament game since 2007 — when late coach Kay Yow returned after fighting cancer and led a stirring run to the Sweet 16. Now, after taking care of Elon for the second time this season, they’ve won at least one game in back-to-back tournaments for the first time since 1998 and ’99.
N.C. State takes on fifth-seeded Maryland on Sunday in the second round.