McGraw earns 900th victory; Ionescu meets Curry
NEW YORK (AP) — Muffet McGraw earned a milestone win against the school where she got her coaching start.
McGraw became the fourth-fastest coach to reach 900 victories on Sunday when No. 2 Notre Dame beat Lehigh 95-68. McGraw only needed 1,172 games to reach the milestone. Only Geno Auriemma (1,034), Pat Summit (1,072) and Tara VanDerveer (1,104) did it faster.
“Thought it was really fitting that Lehigh was our opponent today, seeing that’s how I got my start as a head coach. Seems like a long time ago, but I have great memories of being there,” McGraw said. “It was really special to have Lehigh here, to be surrounded by former players and the current team, along with (her husband and son) Matt and Murphy. Definitely a memorable moment in my career.”
The ninth Division I women’s basketball coach to reach that plateau, McGraw was recognized afterward with a video presentation from her husband and son that brought tears to her eyes. She then posed for pictures with both teams and many former players.
GREATNESS MEETS: Oregon Ducks guard Sabrina Ionescu met Warriors guard Stephen Curry after Golden State played Portland on Saturday night. Curry knew all about Ionescu’s NCAA record triple-doubles. The two posed for a photo which Curry put up on Instagram . That already has garnered over 4,000 new followers for Ionescu.
WELCOME BACK PORTER: Missouri got a big boost with Cierra Porter returning to the active roster this weekend to complete her final year of collegiate eligibility. The senior forward originally decided to step away from basketball in June.
“We are obviously very excited to welcome Cierra back,” head coach Robin Pingeton said. “She has had a very successful three years here, she brings great experience, and adds much needed depth to our post position. After allowing her knee to calm down and get some rest with some time away, Cierra started feeling pretty good again and wanted to see if she could make one last run at it.”
Porter played 11 minutes and scored four points in the Tigers win over Arkansas State on Sunday.
In three years for Mizzou from 2015-18, Porter averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while recording 98 blocks and 68 steals. Porter earned All-SEC Freshman Team honors in 2015-16 after scoring 8.6 points and grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game. Last season, Porter helped Mizzou advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season after averaging 9.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while leading the team with 31 blocks.
Her 266 total points in her debut season rank as the 10th-most in school history. Among program records, Porter ranks seventh all-time in free-throw percentage (.793) and career rebounding average (7.0), and ninth in free throws made in a season (141, 2016-17).
PUTTING POINTS ON THE BOARD: Saint Francis U senior guard Jess Kovatch became the all-time leading scorer in Northeast Conference and school history in a loss to Montana this week. She had 20 points in the game and 2,345 in her career. She surpassed Jess Zinobile, who set the conference scoring mark of 2,338 from 1996-00 in her time in Loretto.
“It’s an honor,” Kovatch said. “Coming in as a freshman, going all the way back, you don’t really think about that. Throughout my four years, I have to thank my teammates for giving me the ball and my past coach for creating plays and making sure I was open and setting me up for success. I have to thank my current team for helping me achieve my goal tonight.”
Kovatch is the leading active scorer in the nation with over 300 more points than Cal’s Kristine Anigwe.
Her 389 career three-pointers are also first among active NCAA competitors and an NEC record. She is tied for eighth in NCAA history in career triples.
RARE WIN OVER A RANKED TEAM: Harvard upset No. 14 Cal on Sunday, the first win over a Top 25 team for an Ivy League school since Yale beat then No. 15 Florida State in 2010. Harvard still has the most famous upset, knocking off No. 1 Stanford in the NCAA Tournament in 1998. That was the only other time the Crimson have topped a ranked team, according to the league.
TIP-INS: Allazia Blockton has 1,989 career points to become the all-time leading scorer for Marquette on the women’s and men’s side. Jerel McNeal is the men’s all-time leader with 1,985 career points. … Oregon State leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage this year, after topping the country in that category last season. The Beavers are the only team with three players in the top-50 nationally in 3-point percentage (Aleah Goodman – 19th, Kat Tudor – 34th, Destiny Slocum – 49th). Presbyterian, Kentucky and Drake are the only squads with two players in the top-50. … Boston College (11-2) is off to its best start in a few seasons after beating Dartmouth on Saturday. The Eagles are led by new coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee this season and have no seniors. The team is fourth in the ACC in scoring behind Notre Dame, Syracuse and Louisville. … Redshirt junior Haley Gorecki became the seventh Blue Devil to register over 500 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in less than 50 collegiate games at Duke. Gorecki totaled a season-high 26 points and 11 rebounds against East Carolina this week on her way to collecting her second straight double-double. She is one of only two players in the ACC that has collected double-digit marks in rebounds and assists this season.