Georgia Downs Iowa St., Advances To Sweet 16
Lady Bulldogs use defense to top Cyclones
March 19, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After a woeful offensive performance in an opening round victory over Belmont, Georgia coach Andy Landers challenged the leadership on his team.
Senior Cori Chambers sure was listening.
Chambers scored all 18 of her points in a perfect first-half performance, leading the third-seeded Lady Bulldogs to a 76-56 victory over Iowa State in the Dallas Regional on Monday night.
Tasha Humphrey had 21 points and seven rebounds for Georgia (27-6), which shot 61 percent and made eight 3-pointers in the first half to advance to the school's 17th regional semifinal and fifth in a row.
"They seemed to have a lot of clarity on the offensive end in the opening minutes," Landers said.
Lyndsey Medders had 11 points and nine assists for sixth-seeded Iowa State (26-9), which trailed by 25 points midway through the first half and couldn't compete with Georgia's quickness on the perimeter and physical defensive play.
The game was a rematch of the 1999 Mideast Regional Final won by Georgia, 89-71, and this one was just as lopsided.
After shooting just 32 percent in an ugly 53-36 victory, Georgia couldn't miss early on Monday night.
Landers said on Sunday, "I'm the leader. I just hope I have willing followers."
He preached precision and focus, then watched his players execute the game plan flawlessly in the first half.
The Lady Bulldogs missed just twice in the first nine minutes and went 6-for-6 from 3-point range to bury Iowa State. They will play the winner of Purdue-Georgia Tech in Dallas on Sunday.
Chambers, who tied Wanda Holloway's school record by playing in her 134th career game, hit all seven of her field goals, including four 3-pointers, in the first 20 minutes as Georgia just kept on coming.
"My teammates just got me the ball," Chambers said. "I had some good opportunities to shoot the ball when I was open. That made it great and easy to do."
It really was that effortless for Georgia.
The stunned Cyclones were no match. They committed six turnovers in the first eight minutes and were down 29-4 before they caught their breath.
"Cori Chambers was not supposed to shoot as many shots as she did tonight," Medders said. "We didn't follow our game plan and we're going to have to live with it."
Iowa State cruised past Washington in the first round thanks to strong guard play and accurate 3-point shooting, but Medders and Alison Lacey were bottled up on Monday night.
"They were all around us tonight," said Toccara Ross, who had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Medders was just 4-for-13 from the field and the Cyclones were 6-for-22 from 3-point range.
Ashley Houts and Janese Hardrick dominated the perimeter, flying past the slower Cyclones on several coast-to-coast dashes. Houts hit two 3s of her own in the first half, and the thousands of vocal Cyclones fans who made the 3 1/2 -hour bus trip up from Ames, Iowa, couldn't save their team this time.
Iowa State shot just 34.5 percent and missed its chance for the school's fourth trip to the round of 16 and first since 2001.
"I told them, 'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened,"' Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "Everyone in this room ought to be smiling big-time tonight."