N.C. State 84, Robert Morris 52

Sunday, March 18th 2007, 2:29 pm

By: News On 6

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Marquetta Dickens sure wasn't going to let Kay Yow's trying season end in the first round of the NCAA tournament again.

The senior scored a career-high 25 points and the Wolfpack resumed its late-season surge by beating Robert Morris 84-52 in the Fresno Regional on Sunday, giving the program and its Hall of Fame coach their first NCAA victory in six years.

Ashley Key added 11 points for the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (24-9), whose last NCAA win came against Villanova in the second round of the 2001 tournament. Yow's team had lost in the first round in each of the past three seasons after missing the field in 2002 and '03.

The Wolfpack, who led the entire way, will play the Baylor-Chattanooga winner in the second round.

N.C. State has won 11 of 13 since Yow returned from a 16-game leave to concentrate on her cancer treatment. She was diagnosed with cancer in 1987 and it first recurred during the 2004-05 season.

During its late-season run, the Wolfpack beat state rivals Duke and North Carolina, both No. 1 seeds in the tournament.

Chinata Nesbit scored 20 points to lead the 13th-seeded Colonials (24-8), who shot 26 percent in the first half to fall behind 44-21.

The Wolfpack had little trouble against an opponent making its first NCAA appearance. Dickens scored six points in N.C. State's 14-4 run to open the game, a double-digit margin the Wolfpack maintained the rest of the way.

Dickens came in averaging 7.7 points, but finished 10-for-15 from the field. The helped the Wolfpack shoot 58 percent while playing in the RBC Center, home to the school's men's basketball team and the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.

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