Iowa State advances to Sweet 16 for third straight year
Updated: Monday March 19, 2001 2:53 PM
AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Once Angie Welle quit worrying about the defense, she was just fine.
Welle came back strong after a frustrating first half and scored 26 points as Iowa State beat Florida State 85-70 Sunday in the Midwest Regional to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.
A 67 percent shooter, Welle was 4-for-10 in the first half as Florida State did a good job challenging her shots. But she got free for some layups in the second half, made 7-of-9 shots in the period and finished with 13 rebounds.
"They played tough defense and they're great shot-blockers, so maybe I was thinking about that too much," Welle said. "After halftime, I tried to relax and not concentrate so much on how they were playing me."
Megan Taylor made five 3-pointers and added 22 points in her final home game for second-seeded Iowa State (27-5), which tied the school record for victories and will play in the regional semifinals at Denver next Saturday.
Seventh-seeded Florida State (19-12) had pulled off a major upset earlier in the season when it won at Duke. But the Seminoles could not work the same magic against Iowa State, which finished 62-2 at home in the careers of seniors Taylor and Erica Haugen.
"Getting there three years in a row, now you're talking about Tennessee, Connecticut -- I'm not putting us in that ballpark, don't write that down. I'm just saying it's not easy," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said.
"I think we've done it with class and dignity representing our school and our fans. It's exciting."
The Seminoles made the Cyclones earn it. They cut a 13-point second-half deficit to five before Welle scored eight points during a 17-4 run that put it out of reach.
"The took advantage of our defensive mistakes," Florida State's Brooke Wyckoff said. "They just kept running the ball and hitting threes in transition, hitting threes off screens and pounding it inside."
The starters scored all but one point for Iowa State. Tracy Gahan had 14, Lindsey Wilson 13 and Haugen nine on three 3-point baskets. Katelyn Vujas led Florida State with 15 points.
Iowa State concentrated its defense on Wyckoff and April Traylor, mixing a triangle-and-two with its usual 2-3 zone. Traylor, who scored 30 points in a first-round win over Tulane, was scoreless the first 17 minutes and finished with 10. Wyckoff, averaging 14.8, had eight.
"Brooke and April both have had off nights and we've had other players step up in their stead. We really didn't have that one player tonight,' Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "They played tremendous defense, not only on the two of them, but in the interior as well."
Iowa State led 37-31 at halftime despite Welle's struggles. At one point late in the half, she walked away muttering to herself after missing a 3-footer.
But she beat the Seminoles down the floor for layups twice early in the second half and that helped the Cyclones open it up.
"Coach Fennelly never told me to stop shooting, so I listened to him," Welle said with a laugh.
Added Fennelly: "I told her if you quit shooting, you're coming out of the game."
Gahan's 3-pointer and Welle's layup gave Iowa State its biggest lead to that point, 47-35, with 18:01 left. Another layup by Welle in transition made it 49-37, and Taylor's 3 from the left corner put the Cyclones up 54-41.
Florida State closed to 57-52 on Petra Hoffman's 3 with 10:58 left but made only one shot over the next 6:23 and Iowa State pulled away.
Welle drove for a basket from the top of the key and sank two
free throws to finish a 7-0 run that made it 64-52. A basket inside
by Welle stretched the lead to 70-56 and her fastbreak layup put
the Cyclones ahead 74-56 with 4:54 left.