Saturday, March 05, 2005

Summitt ties Rupp for career wins

Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt's 876th career win yesterday moved her into a tie for second on the all-time wins list with legendary Kentucky men's coach Adolph Rupp.

''It's interesting since I grew up a Kentucky Wildcat fan and watched their teams play,'' Summitt said. ''I never had the opportunity to meet Coach Rupp, but obviously it's hard to even imagine being mentioned in that company.''

Summitt needs just three wins to tie North Carolina's Dean Smith for the Division I career record.

If the Lady Vols win the SEC Tournament, Summitt could break Smith's record in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Knoxville.

Having words: UT's Shyra Ely and Auburn's Natasha Brackett had to be separated in the final minute of yesterday's game as they argued. Ely had just been fouled by Louise Emeagi, and Emeagi bent over in pain when she was hit by Ely's elbow.

''You get really emotional through the course of the game,'' Ely said. ''It was nothing.''

Brackett and Ely had both calmed down after coming back from their team's huddles.

Barbara the Great: Barbara Brackman Capobianco was recognized at halftime of Vanderbilt's game last night by the Southeastern Conference as one of the SEC Greats.

Playing for the Commodores from 1981-85, Brackman Capobianco is the seventh all-time leading scorer in Vanderbilt history with 1,631 points. In her first season, she averaged 19.4 points per game to earn Women's Basketball News Service freshman All-America honors.

She led the team in rebounding her sophomore season and in assists her senior year. Her 22 rebounds against Union during the 1982-83 season still stands as a single-season record, although it was tied twice by Wendy Scholtens. Her single-game career highs in points (34) and assists (13) are also among the top performances in the history of the program.

Auburn gets Summitt's vote: Auburn had one last chance to state its case for an NCAA Tournament bid. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they had to do it against the No. 5 team in the country.

But after two tough wins over Auburn (16-13), Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt said she would vote for the Tigers if she was on the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

''They've played most people in this league very, very close,'' Summitt said. ''But have they won enough games? I think we who live in this league and coach in this league understand the talent that they have.''

Shot-swatter: Auburn's Marita Payne set an SEC single-season record for blocked shots this year. With four blocks in the Tigers' opening-round win over Kentucky, Payne's total of 134 pushed her past former Vanderbilt All-American Heidi Gillingham (131, 1991-92).

Payne had another seven blocks in yesterday's 64-54 loss to Tennessee, giving her 141 for the year.

Numerology: Georgia Coach Andy Landers joked earlier this week about helping improve freshman forward Tasha Humphrey's game by letting her wear tearaway jerseys like legendary Bulldog tailback Herschel Walker — a dig at the defensive grab-and-hold tactics used against her by many opponents.

Missed by Landers, though, was that Humphrey wears the same jersey numeral — 34 — that Walker wore while running roughshod between the hedges at Sanford Stadium during the early 1980s.

It's probably fitting that the two share the same number, given the first-year success of each. In addition to being named SEC Freshman of the Year, Humphrey was a first team All-SEC performer as well and is being discussed as an All-America candidate.

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