History made as Tara VanDerveer gets win No. 1,203 as Stanford downs Oregon State, 65-56

“It is a big number and I’m very appreciative of the great players I’ve coached and the great places I’ve been and the attention it’s brought to women’s basketball.”

STANFORD, Calif. –  No. 8 Stanford topped Oregon State 65-56 in front of a sold-out crowd Sunday afternoon at Maples Pavilion in a history-making win that gave Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer 1,203 wins, the most of any coach in NCAA basketball history. She tied the record held by former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski on Friday with a victory over Oregon and two days later ascended to the top of the hill for wins in college basketball.

“I want to bring attention to the beauty of women’s basketball and the wonderfulness of these players that work so hard,” VanDerveer said postgame. “I’m so jealous because I never got to do what they get to do. But I’m able to watch a little girl’s dream play out through them.”

Immediately following the record-breaking contest, fans enjoyed a celebration for VanDerveer that included two video presentations and chats with former Cardinal greats including Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Azzi plus ESPN analysts Ros Gold-Onwude and Chiney Ogwumike. Gold-Onwude moderated the chat and helped present VanDerveer with gifts including a custom jacket from Nike that featured 1,203 tally marks for each win in the coach’s career so far.

Holding Off Oregon State

The triumph over Oregon State didn’t come easy as the defensive-minded teams struggled offensively, both shooting less than 30 percent from the floor in the first quarter. With the score tied at 10 all after the first period, Stanford regrouped well enough to outperform the Beavers, offensively and on the boards.

Junior guard Kiki Iriafen led all scorers at the break with 14 points and was the only player in double figures at that point with her team holding a 28-22 advantage at halftime. While Oregon State continued to fight tooth and nail against the Cardinal, Stanford began to pull away in the last quarter to seal the win for their Hall of Fame coach. VanDerveer noted the excellent sportsmanship of the Oregon State team during her postgame presser.

“I think that there were a lot of things that stood out to me today as people showing a lot of class and I’ll start with at the end of the game. Oregon State and their players or coaches all congratulated me.”

Iriafen set a new personal single-game scoring record (30), putting up 36 points along with 12 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Talana Lepolo added 14 points and six assists. Junior forward Brooke Demetre scored 10 points.

Sophomore forward Raegan Beers led Oregon State with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Accolades from Legends

She also mentioned her appreciation for Krzyzewski, popularly known as Coach K, for recording a congratulatory message that was played postgame. Coach K called VanDerveer  “a guardian of the sport.”

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for Tara VanDerveer, who is already one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “This is yet another milestone to add to an amazing legacy. More important than all the astounding numbers and career accomplishments, she’s positively impacted countless lives as a coach and a mentor.”

The postgame video presentations also included messages from other legends of the game including South Carolina coach Dawn Staley, Olympic and former WNBA star Lisa Leslie, and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

The Beat Goes On

While recounting Tara’s career, Gold-Onwude lauded the 1,203 victories but commented “Why stop there?” A full month of Pac-12 games remains where the coach can build on the record with a weekend in the Southwest on the immediate slate. The Cardinal travel to Arizona State for a game on Friday, Jan. 26, followed by a matchup at Arizona two days later.

Oregon State heads home to face Colorado on Friday and Utah on Sunday.

In the meantime, the Cardinal can take some time to celebrate VanDerveer’s astounding milestone before preparation for the Arizona trip begins.

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