BUncasville, Conn. – Geno Auriemma won his 1000th game as top-ranked UConn beat Oklahoma, 88-64, on Tuesday night in the Hall of Fame women’s Holiday Showcase.
Auriemma became the fourth women’s coach to reach the 1,000-win mark, joining Pat Summitt, Tara VanDerveer and Sylvia Hatchell, who earned her milestone victory earlier Tuesday. Mike Krzyzewski is the only men’s coach to have won 1,000 games.
He is the fastest to achieve the mark, doing so in his 1,135th game. The Hall of Fame coach has gone 500-36 since winning his 500th game in 2003. That includes winning 100 of his last 101 contests.
Sitting by Auriemma’s side for the 1,000 wins has been associate head coach Chris Dailey. She’s been with Auriemma since he took over at UConn in 1985. Dailey led the Huskies to seven of those victories while filling in as head coach. Auriemma was suspended for four games in 1989 for playing an extra game that season. That year, the Huskies won their first Big East tournament title with Dailey at the helm.
She also coached three games when Auriemma’s father died in 1997. All seven of those wins are credited to Auriemma.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Huskies dumped Gatorade buckets full of confetti on Auriemma and Dailey.
Players from Auriemma’s first team in 1985 that beat Iona for win No. 1 were in attendance and introduced to the sellout crowd. Fans held up signs they were given that said “GEN1000 career wins.”
Auriemma was presented with his Hall of Fame jacket and a cake from the Mohegan Sun where the game was played. A video was played that included tributes from former players like Breanna Stewart, who won 151 games at UConn — second most of all time.
“Wow coach, 1000 wins!!!! You have created and are continuing to create an untouchable legacy in the world of sports, let alone basketball,” Stewart told The Associated Press in a text. “We set the bar high at UConn and you have continued to do that.
“I’m so happy to say that I am a part of your 1,000 wins!”
UConn (9-0) led 48-33 at the break before Oklahoma cut its deficit to seven midway through the third quarter, shocking the crowd. The Huskies responded with a 13-3 run to close the period that was capped by a steal off an inbounds play for a layup by Katie Lou Samuelson to give UConn a 64-47 advantage headed into the fourth quarter. Napheesa Collier, who scored 21 points to lead the Huskies, had seven of them during the spurt.
The numbers are hard for even North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell to take in.
She has become the third women’s Division I coach to net her 1,000th career victory.
Hatchell reached the milestone Tuesday after North Carolina beat Grambling State, 79-63. She is 1,000-376 during a 43-year career that started with 11 seasons at Francis Marion.
“As far as the 1,000 wins, gosh, I just can’t believe I’ve coached that many games,” said Hatchell, who has battled leukemia and was declared cancer-free in 2014.
This is her 32nd season at North Carolina, and she has led the Tar Heels to eight ACC titles, three Final Fours and the 1994 national championship.
East Tennessee State 81, (at) Detroit Mercy 73: Kam Chatman scored 20 to lead the Titans (4-8), who have dropped six straight including all four since coach Bacari Alexander returned from suspension.
Central Michigan 91, (at) UMKC 86 (OT): David DiLeo had 29 points and 15 rebounds and Shawn Roundtree scored 23 as the Chippewas (9-2) survived on the road in overtime. Cecil Williams also scored 21 for Central Michigan. Xavier Bishop scored 23 for UMKC (3-10).
(At) Western Michigan 87, Goshen 36: Coach Shane Clipfell picked up his 100th career victory as the Broncos improved to 7-5, 4-0 at home.
Big Ten men
(At) Ohio State 94, Citadel 65: Kam Williams and Keita Bates-Diop each scored 17 as Ohio State (10-3) won its fifth straight game.
(At) Penn State 80, Binghamton 65: Mike Watkins scored 12 and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Penn State (10-3).
(At) Iowa 94, Southern Utah 64: Luka Garza scored 17, Tyler Cook and Isaiah Moss each added 16, and Iowa (7-6) won its third straight.
(At) Northwestern 85, Lewis 48: Bryant McIntosh had 24 points and seven assists, Gavin Skelly scored 15 on five shots and Dererk Pardon added 12 as Northwestern (9-4) won their fourth straight.