Vanderbilt 63

(24-7, 10-4 SEC)

Kansas State 60

(24-8, 12-4 Big 12)

    11:30 PM ET, March 21, 2005

    Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Washington

    1 2 T
    VAN 34 2963
    KSU 25 3560

    Top Performers

    Vanderbilt: C. Thomas 18 Pts, 6 Reb

    Kansas St: K. Wecker 29 Pts, 8 Reb

    Vanderbilt holds off Wildcats rally to advance

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Ashley Earley and her Vanderbilt teammates knew Kansas State was 0-7 when the Wildcats score under 62 points.

    Make that 0-8.

    Carla Thomas scored 18 points and fifth-seeded Vanderbilt overcame a late Kansas State rally to beat the fourth-seeded Wildcats 63-60 on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

    "I think they scored 60," Earley said. "This is something we talked about before the season."

    Kansas State senior Laurie Koehn broke the NCAA record for 3-pointers, hitting three to finish her career with 392. Erin Thorn of BYU made 391 from 1999-03.

    "They did a good job defending us tonight," Koehn said. "They took us out of our offense a lot."

    Vanderbilt (24-7) will play top-seeded Michigan State on Sunday in Kansas City. Kansas State (24-8) lost in the second round of the tournament for the third straight year, ending hopes of playing close to home next week.

    The Commodores built a 57-43 lead with 7 minutes left, but Kansas State went on a 13-2 run, closing to 59-56 on Koehn's record-breaking 3 with 1:23 left.

    Thomas scored for Vanderbilt to make it 61-56, but Brie Madden made two baskets for Kansas State to cut it to 61-60 with 5 seconds left.

    After a timeout, Vanderbilt's Earley broke free at midcourt, caught a perfectly thrown pass from Abi Ramsey and made a breakaway layup with 2.1 seconds left. Kansas State had a final chance to force overtime, but Kimberly Dietz's desperation 3-point attempt fell well short.

    "I knew they would come back," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said.

    Thomas and Earley, who had 17 points, controlled the interior for Vanderbilt.

    Kendra Wecker led Kansas State with 29 points, and Claire Coggins added 14.

    Kansas State led by eight early, but made just two field goals the final 9:54 of the first half.

    Trailing 20-12, Vanderbilt took control, closing the half on a 22-5 run. Thomas scored eight points during the run and Dee Davis added seven as the Commodores led 34-25 at the break.

    Wecker and the Wildcats rallied early in the second half. Wecker scored nine of Kansas State's first 11 second-half points as the Wildcats closed to 40-36.

    But Vanderbilt followed with a 14-3 run. Davis scored six points to push the lead to 52-39 before the Wildcats' final rally.

    Koehn was just 3-of-13 on 3s and was harassed all-night by Vanderbilt's Davis and Ramsey. Even when Koehn had open looks, she struggled to make shots.

    "I was really proud of our defensive execution," Balcomb said. "We never let her get in her rhythm."

    Vanderbilt advanced to the regional semifinals for the fourth time in the last five years and improved to 24-6 in first- and second-round games.

    Last year, as a No. 2 seed, Kansas State lost to Minnesota 80-61 in Minneapolis. In 2003, Kansas State was a No. 3 seed and lost at home to 11th-seeded Notre Dame 59-53.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 63 60
    FG Made-Attempted 25-56 (.446) 25-53 (.472)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-13 (.462) 4-17 (.235)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-13 (.538) 6-8 (.750)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 16 8

    Game Leaders

    PointsC. Thomas 18K. Wecker 29
    ReboundsC. Thomas 6K. Wecker 8


    » Mar 21, 2005 VAN 63, @KSU 60Recap | Box Score