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WBB: NC State Downs Auburn to win Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational

Posted November 10, 2012

— Junior forward Kody Burke recorded her first double-double of the season with 26 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, while senior guard Marissa Kastanek poured in 24 points of her own to lead the NC State women’s basketball team to an 85-71 victory over Auburn in the championship game of the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational.

After averaging 22.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks over the course of two games, Burke was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Kastanek, Auburn’s Tyrese Turner and Hasina Muhammad, Wofford’s Morgan Wrightson and Maine’s Ashleigh Roberts joined Burke as members of the All-Tournament Team.

The combined effort by Burke and Kastanek marks the first time the Wolfpack had a pair of 20-point performances in the same game since Nov. 17, 2010 when Kastanek (25), and Amber White (21) achieved the feat against Alabama.

“I’m really proud of our team, our effort and our poise,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “I really feel good where they are mentally, and where they’re at with their attitude. Just a few little things I asked them to do, they went out and did it. I’m really proud of our team. They’re feeling good about themselves, and after a win like this, they should.”

After a bit of a sluggish start, caused by turnovers, Auburn went ahead 19-10 just seven minutes into the contest, the Wolfpack rallied back with a 27-14 run to close the first half and take a four-point lead into the locker room, 37-33.

The Pack shot just 13-of-36 (.361) from the field and 6-of-15 (.400) from three-point range in the period, while holding the Tigers to 12-of-38 (.316) shooting from the field, and just 2-of-12 (.167) from beyond the arc.

“We knew Auburn was going to show us a lot of different looks. I felt like it would take us a few minutes to settle in. We talked today in walkthrough about what we wanted to do. We really didn’t change a lot of schemes throughout the game.”

Auburn cut the NC State lead to 41-38 just two-and-a-half minutes into the second half, but the Pack broke out with an 18-5 run over the next 6:14 to extend its lead to 59-44, and put the team up by double-digits for the final 11 minutes of the game. The Wolfpack went on to shoot 19-of-33 (.576) from the floor in the second half to seal the victory.

“We did a great job of finding each other tonight,” Kastanek said after the game. “In practice, we’re doing a great job of learning what we can do.”

Sophomore guard Len’Nique Brown chipped in across the board and flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 26 minutes off the bench. Junior center Markeisha Gatling pulled down 10 boards for the Pack, marking the second-straight game in which she has notched double-figure rebounds.

As a team, NC State shot 32-of-69 (.464) overall and 10-of-23 (.435) from three-point range, while holding the Tigers to a 23-of-67 (.343) performance from the field and just 4-of-19 (.211) from, beyond the arc. Auburn managed to shoot a respectable 21-of-27 (.778) from the free-throw stripe.

NC State (2-0) will remain at home for its next contest on Thursday, Nov. 15 against Longwood. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m., at Reynolds Coliseum.

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