Vanderbilt vs North Carolina
March 23, 2002
Hilton Coliseum • Ames, Iowa


AP Sports Writer

AMES, Iowa - Shaquille O'Neal has nothing on Chantelle Anderson when it comes to getting hacked. The difference is that Anderson makes her free throws.

Anderson sank 14 of 16 free throws in scoring 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as top-seeded Vanderbilt beat fourth-seeded North Carolina 70-61 Saturday night in a Midwest Regional semifinal.

"We got the ball to Chantelle where she could be effective," Vanderbilt coach Jim Foster said. "That happened to be the free throw line tonight."

Vanderbilt (30-6) righted itself after losing most of a 13-point halftime lead and moved into a regional final showdown Monday night against Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee, the No. 2 seed.

Tennessee, which split two regular-season games with Vanderbilt, advanced with a 68-57 victory over 11th-seeded Brigham Young.

"It's always a big game to play against them, but at this point in the season, every game is a big game," Vanderbilt's Jenni Benningfield said. "We've got to play with a lot of emotion and leave our heart on the floor."

Vanderbilt held North Carolina (26-9) well below its 80.5 scoring average and slowed guards Coretta Brown and Nikki Teasley with a triangle-and-two, guarding them man-to-man while the three other players stayed in a zone.

Brown scored 19 points but shot just 7-for-18. Teasley had only three points on 1-for-14 shooting, though she did hand out nine assists.

"I don't feel like they did anything special," Teasley said. "I got the shots I wanted. They just didn't fall for me."

Anderson was limited to eight shots, but North Carolina could not guard her on the free throw and she made the Tar Heels pay for sending her there.

"It was really rough inside," Anderson said. "They decided to throw everyone at me, try to foul me, disrupt me."

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell said she noticed on game tapes that Arkansas and Louisiana State were allowed to get physical with Anderson in the Southeastern Conference tournament without having fouls called.

"It seemed like we couldn't put our bodies on her the way we'd seen on other tapes and ended up putting her on the foul line," Hatchell said.

"What would you call it? Hack-a-Telle?" Foster said. "It doesn't work when the person you're hacking goes 14-of-16."

Benningfield and Ashley McElhiney each scored 13 points and Jillian Danker had 12 for Vanderbilt. Paige Sutton scored 12 for North Carolina.

North Carolina trailed just 53-49 when Leah Metcalf hit a 3-pointer with 6:22 left. But the Tar Heels went more than 4{ minutes before scoring again and Vanderbilt ran off eight straight points to get out of danger.

Anderson sank four free throws, Zuzi Klimesova hit a 17-footer and McElhiney dropped in two free throws for a 61-49 lead with 1:53 remaining.

Vanderbilt's last basket was a 3-pointer by McElhiney with 7:32 left. The Commodores scored their final 19 points on free throws and finished 22-for-29 at the line.

"This game was ugly," Danker said. "It was a bang and gut it out type of game tonight. We were clawing for everything we got out there."

North Carolina stayed close despite Vanderbilt's 60 percent shooting in the first half and trailed 26-22 after Brown scored with 4:59 left.

But McElhiney, Klimesova and Danker each hit a 3-pointer as Vanderbilt ended the half with a 9-1 run to take a 35-23 lead. The Commodores played the final 4:35 of the half without Anderson, who went to the bench with her second foul.

North Carolina closed quickly in the second half, outscoring Vanderbilt 11-3 to cut the lead to 38-36 with 15:50 to play. The Tar Heels trailed 42-40 after Chrystal Baptist scored over the 6-foot-6 Anderson, but never got any closer, though it took Vanderbilt until the 3:03 mark to get the lead back to double digits.

Coach Jim Foster
"I think when you've played 36 games you've seen just about every type of defensive strategy. We got frustrated a little but when we adjusted we were fine. It was a physical game. They had a lot of bodies and fouls to give. The only difference between Shaq and Chantel tonight is at the foul line. What would you call it - 'Hack a 'Tel?' It doesn't work if the player goes 14-for-16 from the foul line."

On Facing Tennessee:
"With the magnitude of Monday's game, it doesn't matter who you play. The fact that is Tennessee may make it easier to get up for. There actually might be more black and gold at Monday's crowd -- that would be a novel experience."

Chantelle Anderson:
"I think that so many people overlook the fact that we have five people that can score. If people focus too much on high-low game - we have other people that can score. I felt that I had pretty good looks in the first half - the number of shots taken are deceiving because I went to the free throw line. I felt a little like Shaq.

Jenni Benningfield:
"We're an inside-outside team. Most of my three's came from the wing - they sagged off me so I had open shots. (on playing Tennessee) "We're always focused. It doesn't matter who we play - we just play Vanderbilt basketball. Every game is big."

Jillian Danker
"This game was ugly. North Carolina is very big, physical athletic team. They could match up well with us. It was a bang and gutted type of game tonight. I think it was vey important to hang on to the lead, we wanted to keep the pressure on them. We were clawing for everything we got out there tonight."

(on Tennessee)
"Tennessee is a good, strong, physical team. We have played them before so they know our stuff."



Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)