No one doubted for a second that head coach Debbie Ryan would be picking up her 700th career victory last night against UMBC. We only wish it was that it had happened at home. Congratulations to Coach Ryan, who has shown nothing but resolve, dedication, compassion, and at times, a little tough love, to her teams. Her teams know it was well worth it, and we congratulate her and the entire Virginia Women's Basketball Family on this accomplishment. Read the press release after the jump.
Virginia head coach Debbie Ryan earned her 700th-career victory as the Cavaliers defeated UMBC, 68-57, on the road Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.
Ryan joins six other active coaches with 700 wins and becomes the 12th to ever to accomplish the feat. Ryan's career record now stands at 700-298.
"I'm proud for the University of Virginia and I'm proud for my players," Ryan said. "Those wins belong to the players, the coaches who have coached with me, the administration and the University of Virginia."
In the first half, UMBC (0-1) guard Michelle Kurakowski was 7-for-10 from the field for 17 points to lead the Retrievers. Chelsea Shine had eight points and China Crosby had seven, as the teams were tied 34-34 at halftime.
"UMBC came out with their guns loaded and I thought they had a good gameplan," Ryan said. "When we were able to change the tempo of the game we were able to make a difference and get some separation."
Virginia (1-0) had to wait until the seven-minute mark of the second half to get that separation, when a jumper by Monica Wright put the Cavaliers up, 49-48. From there, Virginia went on an 11-0 run to take a 60-48 lead on a fast break lay-up by Wright with 3:21 left in the game.
The Cavaliers held on for the 68-57 win. Wright scored all of her 15 points in the second half, while Shine finished with 12 points and seven rebounds and Crosby had nine points and four rebounds.
Virginia's home-opener is Sunday (Nov. 15) vs. Manhattan. Tip-off from John Paul Jones Arena is 2 p.m.