Summitt reaches 1,000th
Pat Summitt didn't bother to brush the glittering specks from her hair left by the orange and white streamers. Her voice wavered as she thanked her players, coaches, administrators, and fans for all their support over the decades.
The coach known for her searing glare could only smile. She had reached 1,000 victories, an unprecedented height even she finds dizzying.
"Wow," the Tennessee coach said. "This may be a little hard for me."
Summitt became the first Division 1 basketball coach - men's or women's - to win 1,000 career games as her 12th-ranked Lady Vols beat Georgia, 73-43, last night in Knoxville, Tenn. It was their second chance in four days at giving their coach her latest and one of her greatest milestones.
And she's got a new contract to go along with it. Summitt signed a contract extension through 2014 earlier this week and earned a $200,000 bonus with this win.
These baby Lady Vols (17-5, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), with seven freshmen on the roster, are nothing like the squads that brought Summitt her seventh and eighth national championships in the previous two seasons. This is an inexperienced group that had Summitt joking about whether they would even be up to the task of winning the 17 games she needed to reach 1,000.
"It's a time to reflect on a number of things, the administration saying yes to women's basketball and giving us an opportunity to play on the biggest stage in the women's game. I appreciate that," she said.
The landmark win came on the court named for Summitt, 56, who just keeps racking up achievements for others to chase.
The Lady Vols erased any doubt that this would be the night to celebrate by grabbing the lead in the first half of a sloppy game and pushing the lead to double digits on the first bucket of the second half, a layup by Glory Johnson.
Johnson finished with a career-high 20 points to lead the Lady Vols. Alex Fuller had 13, Kelley Cain added 12, and Angie Bjorklund 11.
Georgia (15-8, 5-3) went cold for nearly seven minutes in the first half and couldn't recover.
Duke 81, Virginia 67 - Jasmine Thomas scored 22 points and the No. 4 Blue Devils (19-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) used an 11-0 run to pull away in the second half vs. the No. 17 Cavaliers (18-5, 4-5) in Charlottesville, Va.
Auburn 72, Mississippi 65 - DeWanna Bonner scored 23 points and Whitney Boddie had two free throws and a late layup, lifting the No. 6 Tigers (22-1, 7-1 SEC) over the visiting Rebels (14-9, 3-5).
UNC 93, Virginia Tech 77 - Rashanda McCants scored 23 points to help the eighth-ranked Tar Heels (20-3, 5-2 ACC) beat the Hokies (11-12, 1-7) in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Florida 92, Alabama 71 - Sha Brooks scored 29 points to lead the No. 11 Gators (21-2, 7-1 SEC) over the Crimson Tide (12-11, 0-8) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Maryland 87, N.C. State 66 - Kristi Toliver scored 15 points and the No. 13 Terrapins (18-4, 6-2 ACC) used a torrid first-half shooting performance to rip the visiting
Bryant 83, Monmouth 71 - Cecil Gresham scored 27 points and Adam Parzych added 21 off the bench as the Bulldogs (6-17) defeated the Hawks (6-18) in West Long Branch, N.J.
Rhode Island 71, Charlotte 64 - Jimmy Baron scored all of his 19 points in the second half, including the clinching bucket with 25 seconds left, to lead the Rams (16-7, 5-3 Atlantic 10) over the 49ers (7-14, 1-6) in Charlotte, N.C.
Xavier 83, Temple 74 - B.J. Raymond scored 23 points as the No. 9 Musketeers (20-2, 8-0 A-10) beat the visiting Owls (12-9, 4-3).