December 09, 2004

C. Vivian Stringer 700 Wins

(20) Rutgers 68, Princeton 46

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- No one really seems to know what the ``C'' stands for in C. Vivian Stringer's name, but she jokes that it stands for ``Coach.''

``My Dad really wanted a boy he could name Charles, but they always knew I was going to be a coach,'' Stringer said as she savored her 700th career win Wednesday.

It came as No. 20 Rutgers breezed by Princeton 68-46 at the Rutgers Athletic Center. She became just the fourth coach in women's basketball to reach the 700 club.

``If I ever thought about getting to 700, I never would have done it,'' said Stringer, in her 10th season at Rutgers.

She now has a combined record of 700-240 in 33 years at Cheyney, Iowa and Rutgers. The only coaches ahead of her on the all-time list are Tennessee's Pat Summitt (856), Jody Conradt of Texas (851) and the retired Sue Gunter of LSU (708).

``Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and Sue -- we've all been good friends since we were 21, 22, 23. It's a privilege to have known those guys,'' said Stringer, presented with a bouquet of flowers from her players and a white basketball with ``700'' on it. She waved to the crowd several times after the game. Fans chanted ``700'' and held ``700'' signs in the final minute.

``For the sake of the fans, it was really nice,'' Stringer said. ``I appreciate the outpouring of support. I love our fans. The setting was just right.''

Stringer is the only coach to take three different schools to the Final Four and was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

Princeton coach Richard Barron paid tribute to Stringer's accomplishment.

``It's because of people like Vivian Stringer that I've got a job,'' Barron said. ``We owe her a lot and we wanted to show her the proper respect.''

The milestone was never in doubt after the Scarlet Knights (5-1) scored the first 18 points. Nikki Jett had seven of her 17 in that run.

Led by Katy O'Brien with 15 points, Princeton (2-4) got no closer than 25-16 with 6:36 left in the first half.

The milestone was never really in question as the Scarlet Knights (5-1) used a suffocating defense to score the first 18 points of the game, paced by seven from senior guard Nikki Jett. The closest Princeton (2-4) got the rest of the way was nine at 25-16 with 6:36 left in the first half.

Rutgers, behind 12 points from Jett, led 33-20 at the half and scored the first five points after the break.

Courtney Locke scored all 15 of her points on 3s.

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