Sunday, March 25, 2001

Vanderbilt 84, Iowa St. 65

AP Sports Writer

        DENVER — Chantelle Anderson insisted it wasn't as easy as it looked. Iowa State respectfully disagreed.

        Anderson scored 34 points and Ashley McElhiney added 23 as third-seeded Vanderbilt advanced to the Midwest Regional final with an 84-65 victory over second-seeded Iowa State on Saturday night.

        Vanderbilt, which plays top-seeded Notre Dame on Monday night, built a 13-point halftime lead and stretched it to 22 on four occasions in the second half.

        Anderson, who entered as the nation's leading field-goal shooter at 73 percent, made 16 of 23 shots, most of them layups.

        The second-team All-America center scored 24 points in the second half, many of them while Iowa State center Angie Welle was sidelined with foul trouble.

        But McElhiney was even hotter, hitting her first seven shots, including five 3-pointers, before finally missing on a long-range shot with 7:56 remaining. She finished 7-for-9, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range, and was 4-for-4 from the line.

        “It definitely wasn't easy,” insisted Anderson, who sported a wide grin during the waning minutes. “I didn't even notice the score until I would look up, and even then it would be a surprise to see the score. We worked for this tonight.”

        Zuzana Klimesova added 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Vanderbilt (24-9), which was making its first final 16 appearance since 1997.

        Iowa State (27-6) was led by Welle, who scored 20 points despite playing only 12 minutes of the second half. Tracy Gahan had 14 points, and Lindsey Wilson and Megan Taylor had 13 each.

        The Commodores shot 57 percent compared to Iowa State's 45 percent and outrebounded the Cyclones 35-26.

        Monday's regional final will match the top two centers in the country — Anderson and Notre Dame's Ruth Riley, a first-team All-America selection.

        “This game isn't about me vs. Ruth Riley,” Anderson said. “It's about Vanderbilt vs. Notre Dame.”

        Vanderbilt got 81 of its points from just four players, and coach Jim Foster used only two reserves, both of whom played sparingly.

        Foster especially likes seeing Anderson and McElhiney on the court.

        “From midway through the first half and through the course of the second half,” Foster said, “I thought Chantelle made some intelligent reads. She is very difficult to guard 1-on-1.

        “I don't want to play any games without McElhiney. She gets us where she needs to be, helps us execute, helps us be a very good team.”

        Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said his team “tried everything we could on defense. We pressed more tonight than we did all year. We just got beat by a better team.

        “The sign of a great team and the sign of Vanderbilt tonight was when we made a defensive mistake, they made us pay for it. That is why they are still playing.”

        Fennelly said his team's No. 1 goal was to keep Welle out of foul trouble. “We couldn't do it. They did a great job of putting her in a position where she had to foul. It is tough with Angie on the bench with three fouls, and then she is in the game for 20 seconds and gets her fourth.”

        Vanderbilt had three players in double figures in the first half to forge a 40-27 halftime lead. McElhiney and Jillian Danker each had 11 points in the half, and Anderson added 10.

        The Commodores outshot Iowa State 59 percent to 38 percent in the half.

        A pair of 3-pointers by Danker helped give Vanderbilt an early six-point lead. Iowa State cut the deficit to 24-23 on Lindsey Wilson's 3-pointer with 7:28 left in the half, but the Commodores responded with seven straight points, capped by another 3-pointer by Danker.

        McElhiney made three consecutive 3s in the final 2:54 of the half.

        Anderson's two free throws and a spin move for a layup put Vanderbilt up 44-29 three minutes into the second half.

        McElhiney's 3-pointer started an 8-0 run that was capped by Anderson's layup for a 64-42 lead. Iowa State, appearing in its third straight round of 16, got no closer than 12 after that, on Welle's layup with 4:24 left.

        Anderson scored 10 of the Commodores' last 14 points.

        VANDERBILT (24-9) — Klimesova 6-11 1-2 13, Benningfield 1-6 0-0 3, Anderson 16-23 2-3 34, McElhiney 7-9 4-4 23, Danker 4-8 0-0 11, Colli 0-0 0-0 0, Hager 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-60 7-9 84.

        IOWA STATE (27-6) — Gahan 6-9 0-0 14, Welle 9-17 2-3 20, Haugen 0-6 0-0 0, Wilson 5-11 0-0 13, Taylor 5-11 0-0 13, Cipinyte 0-1 0-0 0, Junod 2-4 0-0 5, Robson 0-1 0-0 0, Cizek 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 2-3 65.

        Halftime—Vanderbilt 40, Iowa State 27. 3-Point goals—Vanderbilt 9-16 (McElhiney 5-6, Danker 3-5, Benningfield 1-4, Hager 0-1), Iowa State 9-23 (Wilson 3-6, Taylor 3-6, Gahan 2-3, Junod 1-1, Robson 0-1, Haugen 0-6). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Vanderbilt 35 (Klimesova 9), Iowa State 26 (Taylor 8). Assists—Vanderbilt 28 (Klimesova 8), Iowa State 20 (Wilson 8). Total fouls—Vanderbilt 10, Iowa State 14. A—10,559.

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