Bentley’s Barbara Stevens gets 1,000th coaching win

Barbara Stevens
Bentley College women's basketball coach Barbara Stevens. –Bentley College

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — Barbara Stevens of Division II Bentley became the fifth women’s basketball coach to reach 1,000 victories when her Falcons defeated Adelphi 78-66 in a Northeast-10 game Wednesday night.

Stevens (1,000-275) joined North Carolina’s Sylvia Hatchell and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma as coaches reaching the milestone this season — with both Hatchell and Auriemma getting there on the same night.

With 17.5 seconds left in the game, the student section began a “Bar-bara Ste-vens chant.”

When the final buzzer sounded, one of the Bentley players dumped a Gatorade bucket — filled with paper — on the coach, and Stevens received a hug from Adelphi coach Missy Travesi.

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Stevens was presented with a bouquet of flowers and posed with her team for pictures at center court. All fans in attendance received a “Stevens 1000” t-shirt.

The Falcons (17-1) had to defeat a nemesis to get Stevens to her milestone on the first try, as Adelphi (9-10) coming in with four straight wins over Bentley.

Stevens called timeout with her team down 22-13 and the Falcons responded by outscoring the Panthers 27-9, closing the first half on a 14-0 run to establish control.

Up by nine at the half, the Falcons saw a 12-point lead shaved to five but then finished the third quarter on a 9-1 run to lead by 13 after three.

The lead was 14 before Adelphi ran off seven straight points to cut its deficit in half with 3:39 remaining. The Panthers would get no closer as the Falcons went on a 10-0 run to put the game away.

Stevens also coached at Clark and Massachusetts, totaling eight years between the two before taking over at Bentley for the 1986-87 season. Her first team went 24-5 and the winning has not stopped.

The only coach to be named WBCA Division II National Coach of the Year five times, notched her first win Dec. 1, 1977. No. 100 came in the MAIAW Championships in 1982; No. 200 was recorded Feb. 6, 1988; No. 300 came March 1, 1991; 400 was Jan. 21, 1995; 500 came Nov. 20, 1998; 600 was Jan. 26, 2003; 700 came Jan. 5, 2006, 800 was earned Dec. 9, 2010; and 900 Jan. 25, 2014.

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She has had 12 30-win seasons, Bentley won the Division II national title in 2014 (with a 35-0 record) and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.