VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) _ Jenny Mitchell's layup with two seconds remaining capped a rally that gave Wake Forest a 53-51 victory over Villanova in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament Wednesday night.

Wake Forest, 23-7, tied the game on a jumper by Alice Neal with 47 seconds remaining. Neal then fed the ball to Mitchell for the game-winning shot.

Villanova tried a desperation inbounds pass from half-court in the final seconds but never got off a shot.

Wake Forest will meet Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday night in the second round.

The Demon Deacons ralled from a 44-40 deficit by holding Villanova scoreless for six minutes. They took their largest lead of the game, 49-44, on a free throw by Phyllis Edwards with 3:40 left.

Villanova, 20-9, then outscored Wake Forest 7-0 to take a 51-49 lead on a layup by Carole Oaten with 1:38 left.

Villanova never trailed throughout the opening half and built its biggest lead at 33-17 on a jumper by Oaten 1:34 before intermission.

Leading 34-21 at the half, Wake Forest outscored Villanova 13-4 in the opening 6 1/2 minutes to close to within 38-34 on a three-point play by Lisa Dodd with 13:23 left.

Wake Forest then outscored the Lady Wildcats 11-4 to take their first lead of the game, 45-44, on a layup by Neal with 8:04 remaining.

Dodd led Wake Forest with 15 points and Mitchell added 11 points. Lisa Angelotti lead Villanova with 18 points, including 14 in the first half. Pasik and Oaten each added 10.