Women's Hoops: UConn 69 Vanderbilt 50

The #1 Connecticut Huskies made a statement Sunday afternoon, as they defeated the #3 Vanderbilt Commodores 69-50 Sunday afternoon to claim the 2001 WNIT championship.

Vanderbilt held the lead only once in the game, at 3-2 on a 3-pointer by Jenni Benningfield. After that, it was all Connecticut. Throughout the first half, the Commodores stayed within striking range. Each time that the Huskies stretched the lead to double digits, the Commodores responded to cut the lead back to under 10. When the teams headed to the locker, the Huskies led 36-27, thanks to 19 first half points from Swin Cash.

Coming out of the locker room, Vandy briefly cut the lead to 7 points on a basket by All-American candidate Zuzi Klimesova. But after that, the usually efficient Commodore offense stalled. A lone jumper by Klimesova at at 16:28 was Vandy's only field goal until Ashley McElhiney hit a 3-pointer with 11:12 remaining. In those eight minutes, the Connecticut lead had ballooned to 20 points.

But the nightmare wasn't over. The drought continued, with only a basket by Chantelle Anderson breaking up another scoreless stretch of five minutes. In all, Vandy managed only 7 points in the first 14 minutes of the second half. With 6 minutes left in the game, Connecticut led by 30 points at 66-36. Both teams substituted liberally, and Vandy finished on a 14-3 run to give a final score of 69-50.

Swin Cash led all scorers with 19 points, all coming in the first half. Eleven rebounds gave her a double-double for the game. Vanderbilt was led in scoring by Zuzi Klimesova with 16 points, followed by Chantelle Anderson and Ashley McElhiney with 10 each. Klimesova also was leading rebounder with 11, giving her a double double.

For game, the Commodores shot 41.5% from the field and 26.3% from behind the arc. The Commodores only had 4 free throws, but made only one of them. The Huskies shot 48.3% for the game, 40% from 3-point range and 7 of 9 (77.8%) from the line. Connecticut also won the battle of the boards 38-26, and turned the ball over only 9 times compared to 13 for Vandy.

The Commodores (3-1) next travel to Western Kentucky to play the Lady Hilltoppers on Wednesday night.

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