Commodore women enjoy extra day of rest

Friday, March 2, 2001 at 1:00am

The Vanderbilt women's basketball team got an extra day to wait for their first game in the Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament at The Pyramid in Memphis.

The Commodores (19-8 and ranked 15th nationally) are seeded fourth, earning them a first round bye. They will play the winner of the Louisiana State-Kentucky game at 6 tonight. The Commodores have victories over both teams having beaten Kentucky 91-61 on the road and stopping LSU 86-75 at home.

The Commodores have two SEC tournament titles (1993 and '95) under coach Jim Foster, who is a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.

Foster was faced with one of his younger teams this season and every game has been a learning experience.

"Basketball, like life, is a learning experience," Foster said. "With each game hopefully we learn more about what we are capable of doing as a team."

Sophomore center Chantelle Anderson and junior forward Zuzi Klimesova have both been named to the All-SEC first team. Anderson leads the nation in field goal percentage (73.9 percent) and has reached 1,000 points faster than any player in the history of the program. She leads the team in scoring with 20.8 points per game.

Klimesova is second in the conference in field goal percentage (58 percent). She is the leading rebounder with 7.9 per game and the second leading scorer with 16.3 points per game.

Also scoring in double figures are junior guard Jillian Danker with 12.8 ppg and freshman forward Jenni Benningfield with 10.5 ppg.

Foster downplayed the fact the Commodores earned a bye. With such a young team he stressed his players should be eager to play as many games as possible.

"The fact we finished in the top four teams in the league, that we earned that, is more significant than not having to play an extra game," Foster said.

With only six players getting playing time against Georgia last Sunday, Foster should be happy for any breather.

Guard Juli Colli, who has missed four games with a foot injury, is expected to be ready for the tournament.

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