PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Matt Freije went cold in the desert.
Second-seeded Connecticut held Vanderbilt's all-time leading scorer to 3-of-18 shooting and cruised to a 73-53 victory over the sixth-seeded Commodores in the Phoenix Region semifinals.
Connecticut (30-6) advanced to a regional final for the second time in three years and will play eighth-seeded Alabama on Saturday.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings called Connecticut "probably the most talented team in the tournament," then watched the Huskies back his words.
If the Commodores were to have any chance of winning, they would have needed a big game from Freije, who scored 31 points in a second-round upset of North Carolina State.
But after leading Vanderbilt to its first Sweet 16 appearance in 11 years, Freije did little against freshman power forward Josh Boone and center Emeka Okafor, who often left his man to help on Freije.
"Obviously, Josh, really everybody, did a great job on Freije, who is a terrific player," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said. "Our kids did a wonderful job of recognizing Vanderbilt's offense."
"I think their athleticism and strength down low frustrated (Freije)," Stallings said. "I just told him to take his shots, to be aggressive. He was never able to get into a rhythm. We weren't going to win a lot of games this year without him having strong performances, without him being on top of his game."
Ben Gordon scored 20 points and Rashad Anderson added 15 for the Huskies, who shot 53 percent from the field and more than doubled the Commodores in rebounds, 44-21.
Connecticut immediately set a fast tempo, hoisting jumpers in transition and using its quickness to crash the boards for rebound baskets.
Okafor opened the game with a dunk and Anderson hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Huskies raced to a 25-8 lead in the first 10 1/2 minutes.
"Our team speed dictated the first eight to nine minutes of the game," Calhoun said. "I just felt looking at the body language of Vanderbilt that they were forcing shots."
"They were moving the ball well in transition and they were doing a lot of rebounding," said Vanderbilt guard Mario Moore, who had 12 points.
After a drought of nearly seven minutes, Corey Smith hit a 3-pointer with 8:12 left in the half for the Commodores (23-10), but Okafor - who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds - responded with a dunk and a bank shot in the lane to give Connecticut a 29-11 advantage.
A pair of free throws by Gordon with 50 seconds left gave Connecticut its biggest lead of the half, 45-23.
Freije made just 1-of-9 shots in the first half as Vanderbilt shot 30 percent while the Huskies were going 17-of-30 from the field.
Even without Freije contributing, the Commodores went on a 16-3 run to pull within 52-45 with 12:08 left. Dawid Przybyszewski and Smith each scored five points during the spurt.
But Connecticut scored the next eight points as Anderson connected from behind the arc, Okafor hit a pair of free throws and Gordon and Taliek Brown made layups, giving the Huskies a 60-45 lead with 8:39 left.
"We stepped it up on defense after they went on that spurt," said Gordon, who also had nine rebounds. "We also cut down on some careless turnovers and started dictating the tempo again."
Vanderbilt got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.