VanDerveer wins 899th game as Stanford tops Purdue
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AP) — Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is focused only on the next game, not her impending milestone.
VanDerveer earned her 899th career victory as No. 6 Stanford beat 16th-ranked Purdue 86-69 on Tuesday. With her next win, the Hall of Famer will become the fifth women’s basketball coach to reach 900, joining Pat Summitt, Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer and Jody Conradt.
VanDerveer will get her first opportunity on Wednesday when the Cardinal (5-1) face Florida Gulf Coast.
“I’m just glad that we got this win under our belt,” VanDerveer said. “I know that everyone keeps reminding me of it but I look at it as Florida Gulf Coast is our next opponent and we are going to watch video on them tonight and prepare for tomorrow like any other game.”
While VanDerveer downplayed 900 wins, her team was ready to help her reach it.
“We are excited,” said Chiney Ogwumike, who led the Cardinal with 22 points. “It’s a great milestone for Coach Tara, I mean 900 wins is a lot of wins.”
Ogwumike got in early foul trouble, playing only nine minutes in the first half. Stanford led just 40-35 at the break before the senior All-American got going. She made nine of her 11 shots from the field as the Cardinal shot 62 percent for the game. She led five Cardinal players in double figures.
Stanford led 66-54 midway through the second half before Purdue scored the next five points, capped by Courtney Moses’ 3-pointer with 7:22 left. The Cardinal responded by scoring 13 of the next 18 points to put the game away.
Purdue wasn’t able to get closer than 13 the rest of the way.
“This was a big momentum game because a lot of people made big contributions, like Sara James, The Bird (Erica McCall),” Ogwumike said. “So I think that we can build off the things we had today and get better from it. Our aggressiveness, especially in the second half, overcoming the foul trouble helped us separate and win.”
KK Houser scored 20 points and Moses added 12 to lead Purdue (4-1), which made just four of 23 3-pointers.
“KK Houser was unbelievable tonight, and our freshmen (Bridget Perry and Ashley Morrissette) did some great things,” Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said. “We competed well and played them equally for most of the game. To their credit they know how to take over a game, and when they did that we settled for outside shots.”
Purdue will face TCU on Thursday.