Chattanooga 44

(29-3, 20-0 Southern)

Vanderbilt 60

(26-7, 8-6 SEC)

    7:00 PM ET, March 22, 2004

    McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee

    1 2 T
    CHAT 24 2044
    VAN 27 3360

    Top Performers

    Chattanooga: M. Warfield 12 Pts, 3 Reb

    Vanderbilt: C. Thomas 15 Pts, 11 Reb

    Vandy cruises back into the Sweet 16

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Carla Thomas had 15 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks, and Vanderbilt beat Chattanooga 60-44 Monday night to advance to the round of 16.

    The second-seeded Commodores (26-7) are in the regional semifinals for the 11th time and will face Stanford.

    Vanderbilt won its 10th game in a row by ending the nation's longest winning streak.

    Chattanooga (29-3), playing on its home court as the 10th seed in the Midwest Regional, extended its streak to 27 with a 74-69 victory over No. 7 seed Rutgers in the first round.

    It was the first win in the NCAA tournament for the Lady Mocs, who have won the Southern Conference tournament four straight years.

    Hillary Hager and Jenni Benningfield each scored 12 points for the Commodores, who held Chattanooga to 27 percent shooting from the field. Hager also had 11 rebounds.

    Reserve Miranda Warfield scored 12 while Katie Galloway added 11 points and Nicole Mattison had 11 rebounds for Chattanooga, which lost at McKenzie Arena for the first time since Feb. 6, 2003, a span of 17 games.

    Vanderbilt led most of the first half and was ahead by just three at halftime.

    The Commodores opened the second half with a decisive 18-3 run that pushed their lead to 45-27 with 12:40 remaining.

    The Lady Mocs, feeling their dream season slipping away, countered with an 8-0 run that cut the Commodores' lead to 10 with 7:48 left.

    Chattanooga's fans roared and stomped, but Benningfield hit a layup at the other end to quiet the crowd.

    The Lady Mocs scored again, and Benningfield followed with a driving layup and Hager had a 3 and a basket to restore Vanderbilt's lead to 16 with 4:21 to go.

    Chattanooga made a final push when Galloway and Warfield hit back-to-back 3-pointers to reduce the lead to 12 with 3:12 remaining, but the Lady Mocs ran out of time.

    The Commodores went ahead 8-6 after Thomas' layup with 12:01 left and extended their lead to as many as seven points before halftime.

    Chattanooga tied it twice and cut it to a point two times late in the first half but couldn't get a run going.

    Thomas, a freshman center, played only 14 minutes in the first round and didn't score.

    The Commodores redeemed themselves after losing in overtime to Boston College in the second round last year. They improved to 11-4 in second-round games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 44 60
    FG Made-Attempted 17-66 (.258) 29-54 (.537)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-21 (.190) 3-10 (.300)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-8 (.750) 2-6 (.333)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 9 (0/0) 11 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsM. Warfield 12C. Thomas 15
    ReboundsN. Mattison 9H. Hager 12


    » Mar 22, 2004 @VAN 60, CHAT 44Recap | Box Score