PISCATAWAY, N.J. (June 4, 2014) -- Two of the winningest women’s basketball coaches of all-time will square off in the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, as C. Vivian Stringer’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights will host Sylvia Hatchell’s North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday, Dec. 4 at the RAC.
Stringer, a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and member of the class of 2001 into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, begins her 20th season at Rutgers and 44th season overall as one of the winningest active women’s basketball coaches in the country having compiled a 929-341 career record. During her time “On The Banks”, Stringer has registered a 409-206 mark, having led the Scarlet Knights to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the national championship game in 2007, as well as the WNIT Championship title this past season.
UNC’s Hatchell, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004, has compiled a 935-331 overall record in her 39 seasons as head coach, including 28 on the sidelines with the Tar Heels. While at UNC, she has captured eight ACC titles and won the 1994 NCAA Championship.
Both coaches reached the 900-win milestone during the 2012-13 season.
Rutgers begins its first season in the Big Ten after finishing the 2013-14 season with the WNIT post-season title with a 28-9 overall record, the most victories since 2005. The Scarlet Knights return 10 letterwinners to the hardwood, including leading scorer and WNIT MVP Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) and American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.). Copper, a rising junior forward, averaged a team-leading 16.1 points along with 6.2 rebounds per game. Scaife, a rising sophomore guard, poured in 14.5 points along with 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest.
While Hatchell took leave from the program to go undergo chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, North Carolina finished 27-10 overall last season and reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels finished with a 10-6 record in the ACC and ended the year ranked at No.7 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and at No. 12 in the Associated Press Poll. Among the top scorers returning for the Tar Heels are rising sophomore guard Allisha Gray at 13.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, rising junior guard Xylina McDaniel at 11.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game and rising sophomore forward Stephanie Mavunga at 10.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest.
The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most competitive conferences on the women's basketball scene. Last season, the Big Ten sent nine teams to postseason play, tied for the most in conference history, and matched a Big Ten record with 15 combined tournament triumphs. At least one conference team has appeared in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 28 of the last 30 years.
Last season, the ACC was represented by nine overall postseason squads, including an ACC-record eight teams in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. The eight teams in the tournament marked the 20th consecutive season at least four ACC teams have been selected to the field.
2014 ACC/BIG 10 CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, December 3
Maryland at Notre Dame
Indiana at Boston College
Minnesota at NC State
Florida State at Purdue
Duke at Nebraska
Wake Forest at Michigan
Virginia at Illinois
Pittsburgh at Ohio State
Thursday, December 4
Iowa at Louisville
Penn State at Syracuse
Northwestern at Virginia Tech
Wisconsin at Miami
North Carolina at Rutgers
Georgia Tech at Michigan State
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