WALTHAM, Mass. – The very exclusive 1,000-win club grew by one Wednesday night as Bentley University's Barbara Stevens became just the fifth women's basketball coach, and seventh college basketball coach overall, to reach that amazing total with a 78-66 win over Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference action at the Dana Center.
Stevens, who reached the milestone in 1,274 games over the course of 41 seasons, joined the ranks of Pat Summit, Tara VanDerveer, Sylvia Hatchell and Geno Auriemma, along with men's coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Herb Magee, in the elite group of 1,000-game winners. All six are enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.
Stevens, who came to Bentley in 1986 after six years at Clark University and three at UMass, recorded 843 of the 1,000 victories during her 32 seasons as the Falcons' head coach, a tenure that has included the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship and 14 regional titles.
Her team, currently ranked fifth nationally in Division II, improved to 17-1 overall and 11-1 in the NE10 with the history-making win while Adelphi dropped to 9-10 (5-6 NE10).
An 18-point swing in the second quarter put Stevens' team in front to stay as Bentley took a 40-31 lead into the locker room after trailing by nine about eight minutes earlier, 22-13. The Falcons outscored the Panthers 27-9 over the final 7:32 of the quarter after Adelphi scored the first ten of the second.
The Falcon comeback begin with an 11-2 burst that included four points from junior forward Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) and a three from the left corner by senior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard School).
Lux and Bennett topped the list of five double-digit scorers for Stevens. Lux turned in her ninth double-double, finishing with 17 points and 16 rebounds, while Bennett, in her first start of the campaign, knocked down four of seven triples en route to a season-best 16 points.
After Adelphi twice pushed its lead back to five, the Bentley D pitched a shutout over the final 3:23 while the offense provided 14 unanswered points. Lux connected on a pair of free throws, senior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) tied the game at 31 with an old-fashioned three-point play and Lux put the Falcons in front for good with another three-point conversion.
The first-half scoring ended on three-pointers by senior forward Cassie Smith (Metuchen, N.J./ Edison HS) and Bennett, from the right and left wings, respectively.
After upset-minded Adelphi got back within five midway through the third, Bentley limited the Panthers to only one point over the final five minutes and carried a 56-43 lead into the final stanza.
Bentley used a 7-0 spurt to extend its lead to a game-high 17, 63-46 with 6:59 left, with the run including another Bennett three-ball.
Adelphi battled back once again, a 13-3 run bringing the visitors to within seven, 66-59 with 3:43 to play. That run featured a trio of threes, including two from freshman guard Katie Murphy (Smithtown, N.Y.).
The Falcons countered with 10 straight, a three-point play by Macchi Smith on a drive getting it started. Senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) scored the next five on a fast-break lay-up off a steal and a triple from the right wing, and Lux made it 76-59 with a basket with 1:24 to play.
The "Barbara Stevens" chants from the large Dana Center started with about 17.5 seconds left and shortly thereafter, the 1,000-win club had its newest entrant.
Lux (2 steals, 1 block in addition to her double-double) and Bennett (4-for-7 from 3) were in joined in doubles by Green, Macchi Smith and sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS). Green hit five of six shots en route to a 12-point night, Viapiano scored the same on 6-of-8 shooting, and Smith filled the stat sheet with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Junior guard Niajah Morgan (Bronx, N.Y.) led Adelphi with 20 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Both teams shot about 40 percent and connected eight times from three. However, advantages of 46-39 rebounds, 16-8 free throws and 33-20 on points off turnovers helped Bentley prevail.
Stevens will start on her second 1,000 Saturday afternoon when Bentley hosts Southern Connecticut State in a 1:30 pm encounter.