MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.
- North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell
won her 1,000th career game with a 79-63 victory over Grambling State on Tuesday afternoon at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
Hatchell, a 2013 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame inductee, is only the third women's basketball coach in history to reach 1,000 career victories, joining former Tennessee legend Pat Summitt (1,098 wins) and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer (1,018). Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (1,082) is the only men's coach among Division I basketball coaches to hit the 1,000 mark.
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma won his 1,000th victory later on Wednesday night with a home win over Oklahoma.
Hatchell has 728 wins in 32 seasons with the Tar Heels, after amassing 272 victories in 11 seasons at Francis Marion, a Division II school located about 60 miles up the road in Florence, South Carolina.
Senior Jamie Cherry
led North Carolina (10-2) to its eighth consecutive win by scoring 22 points.
had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Janelle Bailey
added 15 points and Paris Kea
finished with 14 points for her 25th straight game in double figures.
An 8-0 run gave Carolina some breathing room in the second half. A brilliant three-point play from Cherry put the Heels ahead 57-47 with two minutes, 35 seconds left in the third period. Meanwhile, at the other end of the floor the UNC defense gave up 10 points in the quarter and led 61-49 heading to the final period.
The lead grew to as many as 21 points in the final minute as fans began to chant One-Thousand to help commemorate the milestone victory in Myrtle Beach, a familiar destination for a program that has played at least one game every year on the Grand Strand for 24 straight seasons.
Koenen got the Tar Heels moving in the right direction in the second quarter after trailing 23-19 after 10 minutes. The Savage, Minnesota, native knocked down a pair of three-pointers and had 11 points by halftime. Freshman Leah Church
drilled two triples as well as Carolina found itself leading 44-39 at halftime over the Tigers.
Carolina returns to the court against Mercer on Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.