Rutgers coach Stringer reaches win No. 899

C. Vivian Stringer didn't want to focus on her impending milestone. To her, it's just another round number.

Stringer earned her 899th coaching win as Rutgers rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to beat Cincinnati 55-46 on Saturday night.

"The number doesn't matter," the Hall of Fame coach said. "To me, it's about changing lives and using basketball as a life changer. See these young women do something special."

Stringer is on the cusp of becoming the fourth women's coach to win 900 games. Pat Summitt holds the NCAA record with 1,098 wins, while Jody Conradt and Sylvia Hatchell each have 900 victories. Hatchell just won No. 900 on Thursday, leading No. 16 North Carolina past Boston College.

Only three men's coaches have reached the 900-win plateau: Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Bob Knight.

Stringer's first chance at 900 will come Tuesday at DePaul, the same team against which she earned her 800th victory.

"Ever since I got here I've been grateful to play with such a passionate coach and I've learned so much here," said Monique Oliver, who led Rutgers with 13 points. "To be a part of history is amazing."

The Scarlet Knights (14-8, 5-4 Big East), who have made the past 10 NCAA tournaments, are going to have to go on a run to make it this season.

They trailed 30-23 at halftime and were down nine early in the second half before rallying behind a stellar defensive effort. Rutgers held Cincinnati to just one basket over a nearly 16-minute stretch.

Betnijah Laney and Shakena Richardson added 12 points each for the Scarlet Knights.

Dayeesha Hollins scored 20 for Cincinnati (8-15, 0-10).

- Associated Press

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