Pat Summitt became the first coach in women's college basketball history to win 800 career games when No. 5 Tennessee beat No. 25 DePaul, 76-57, last night in Knoxville.
Summitt is just the fourth men's or women's coach in Division I with 800 victories, joining North Carolina's Dean Smith, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and Jim Phelan at Mount St. Mary's.
Summitt's record stands at 800-161 in 29 seasons with six national championships, second only to John Wooden's 10 titles at UCLA.
"I know everybody thinks I'm going to run out of gas. It's amazing. I love [coaching]," Summitt said. "I do actually enjoy practice as much as games. Just the preparation that goes into it. At game time, I like to be able to watch the results of our teaching and coaching in practice situations. When I don't feel that way, I'm out of here."
Tennessee (12-3) didn't allow for much suspense in whether Summitt would have to wait for the next game to reach the milestone.
After the Blue Demons (12-4) tied it at 2 in the opening minute, it was all Tennessee. The Lady Vols slowly built a lead and then went on an 18-0 run in the first half.
Reserve Brittany Jackson started it with consecutive three-pointers. Loree Moore caught a pass behind her, dribbled it around her back and drove to the basket and then Tye'sha Fluker capped the run on a putback that gave Tennessee a 36-10 lead with 5 minutes 19 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Lady Vols' lead didn't drop below 19 points the rest of the way.
As the last seconds ticked away, the fans rose to their feet and chanted, "800, 800, 800!"
When the game ended, Summitt walked over and hugged DePaul Coach Doug Bruno, then hugged each player as orange and white confetti rained on the court.
Ashley Robinson led Tennessee in scoring with 12 points while Shyra Ely had 11 and Gwen Jackson added 10.
The Blue Demons were led by Khara Smith's 18 points and Charlene Smith's 14.
DePaul had trouble against Tennessee's much bigger post players and couldn't get any good looks from beyond the arc.
The Blue Demons, outrebounded 49-26, played only two players over 6 feet tall. The Lady Vols had seven.
The Lady Vols increased their record over DePaul to 13-0 and snapped the Blue Demons' five-game winning streak.
Despite the lopsided score, the Lady Vols didn't hold back. Summitt continued to substitute players and yell out directions and encouragement from the bench.
Summitt was hired as a graduate teaching assistant and women's coach at Tennessee in 1974 at age 22. She earned her first career victory in the team's second game in January 1975.
It took Summitt nearly four years to reach her 100th win on Jan. 13, 1979, at North Carolina State.
The Lady Vols won 85-62 at Wisconsin on Dec. 5, 1999, as Summitt joined Texas Coach Jody Conradt as the only two women's college basketball coaches to reach 700 wins. Conradt now trails Summitt with 797 wins.
* NOTRE DAME 71, ST. JOHN'S 42: In New York, Jacqueline Batteast had 24 points and 11 rebounds as the No. 21 Fighting Irish (10-4, 2-1 Big East) improved to 12-0 all-time against the Red Storm.