Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer ties Coach K for most NCAA wins
STANFORD, Calif. – With an 88-63 win over Oregon, Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer tied former Duke men’s head coach Mike Krzyzewski for the most wins in NCAA basketball history (women’s or men’s) at 1,202 Friday night at Maples Pavilion. The Hall of Fame coach has a chance to pass Krzyzewski Sunday when the No. 8 Cardinal host Oregon State.
In true VanDerveer fashion, the legend kept the focus on her team, not her personal career accomplishments in her initial comments postgame.
“This is a great team win,” was the first thing she said. After several questions about reaching a milestone in career wins, she mentioned her work ethic and the quest to always improve after every contest.
“I always want to do better. Whatever I did today, I want to do a better job tomorrow. And I love coaching this team. They play hard. They care about each other and hopefully, the fans can see, and you all can see just how special it is and I’m really glad to be on this journey with them.”
The Friday night contest started with Stanford (16-2, 5-1 Pac-12) pressing the easy button, earning a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. However, with about four minutes left in the period, senior forward Cameron Brink had an awkward landing and left the court, hobbling to the locker room. Brink returned to the bench in the second quarter but didn’t play the rest of the game.
Oregon (11-8, 2-4) took immediate advantage of the missing Brink, going on a 13-0 run until Stanford scored with 38 seconds left in the period with a three-pointer from sophomore point guard Talana Lepolo. Sophomore guard Chance Gray was the catalyst for the Ducks scoring eight points. Despite the three-minute shooting slump, Stanford headed into the second quarter with a double-digit lead 25-10.
Stanford righted the ship in the second stanza with a balanced shooting effort led by junior forward Brooke Demetre, outscoring the Ducks 18-11 to earn a 17-point advantage at the half, 43-26.
“Our second half I think we played pretty well,” VanDerveer said. “I thought everyone really contributed. They played really hard.”
Junior forward Kiki Iriafen had an outstanding third quarter, scoring ten points and helping Stanford put Oregon far behind them to seal a dominant second half.
Heading into the last quarter, Stanford had a comfortable 63-43 lead as Brink, their shot-blocking and rebounding leader, watched from the bench.
Iriafen led all scorers with 21 points plus 15 rebounds. Four other Stanford players were in double figures: Lepolo (13 points, eight assists; freshman forward Nunu Agara (12 points; junior guard Elena Bosgana (11 points); and Demetre (10 points). Graduate student guard Hannah Jump was also a key contributor with eight points, five rebounds, and five assists.
Overall, Stanford shot 51% (36-70) from the floor compared to 40% by Oregon (23-58). The Cardinal also outrebounded the Ducks 38-32 even without Brink for most of the game. Her injury status is unknown.
Gray paced Oregon with 19 points plus five assists. Junior center Phillipina Kyei added 14 points and six rebounds.
During the postgame presser, Iriafen and Lepolo expressed their gratitude and awe when discussing VanDerveer’s accomplishments.
“Kiki mentioned that Tara’s been winning since our parents were kids,” Bay Area native Lepolo said when she discussed putting VanDerveer’s record in perspective.
“She’s a huge inspiration not only not only for the girls in the Bay Area but all across the nation.”
Next up for Stanford is a Sunday afternoon contest against Oregon State in Maples Pavilion at 2 p.m. PT. the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Oregon finishes its Bay Area road trip at California on the same day at noon to begin a Pac-12 Network women’s basketball doubleheader.