A Coach’s First Season: Harper Gets 100th Career Win

November 21, 2009
By Cherry Crayton

Sophomore forward Bonae Holston had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and three other NC State players scored in double figures as the Wolfpack women’s basketball team beat Davidson 79-54 Friday night at Reynolds, giving Coach Kellie Harper her 100th career win as a head coach.

“One-hundred wins is a milestone,” said Harper, who compiled a 97-65 record in five seasons at Western Carolina and is 3-1 at NC State. “I’m not sitting in my office calculating my wins; I’m worried about these girls getting wins for the season. But I’m proud of that. You can really put things in perspective very quickly, though, when you can look around at other coaches [across] the country and realize that it took me, . . .  in my sixth year, to get a hundreds wins.

“So to get a thousand,” she added, referring to her former  coach, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, who is the all-time winningest coach with 1,005  career wins, “I’ve got to coach 60 more years. That put things in perspective very quickly.”

(Summitt, incidentally, picked up her 100th career victory on Jan. 13, 1979, in a 79-66 win over NC State in Reynolds.)

Coach Harper and junior forward Tia Bell, who had 15 points and 9 rebounds,  talk about the win in the video below. Junior forward Brittany Strachan added 10 points and 8 rebounds, and freshman guard Marissa Kastanek scored 11.

For a full recap of the game and box score, visit GoPack.com.

Here is a By the Numbers breakdown of the game:

10 Points Tia Bell scored in a 3:13 span to lead the Wolfpack to a 22-8 lead with 10:05 left in the first half.

8 Points that Bonae Holston scored in a row, including six points off of put-backs on offensive rebounds, to extend the Wolfpack’s lead to 30-10 with 5:55 left in the half.

35 Largest lead of the game for the Wolfpack, which came on a Kim Durham (6 points) layup with 6:33 left in the game to push NC State’s lead to 71-36.

26 Points the Wolfpack scored off of Davidson’s 20 turnovers.

24.1 Field goal percentage that the Wolfpack held Davidson to in the first half, when the Wildcats shot 7 of 29.

31 Second-chance points scored by the Wolfpack off of its 23 offensive rebounds.

74.25 Average points NC State has scored in its four games.

61.75 Average points NC State has allowed in its four games.

3 Games in which freshman Marissa Kastanek has scored in double figures.

Next up for the Wolfpack: their first away game of the season. They’ll travel to Norfolk, Va., to face Old Dominion on Monday at 7 p.m. NC State magazine will tag along, so be sure to check in with us next week for a behind-the-scenes account of the road trip.

What does Coach Harper think about the upcoming road game against ODU?

“I’ve enjoyed having these home games . . . and the atmosphere,” Coach Harper said. “But it’s time for us to travel. I’m ready for a road trip. I think  a lot of bonding occurs on a road trip, not that we need any more bonding. I think it’s a lot of fun, and it will be a great challenge [playing ODU]. I’m pretty excited about the challenge. We want to play good teams, and they have a lot of tradition. I think it will really tell us where we’re at.”

And with four games behind them, and standing with a 3-1 record, how does Coach Harper think her team is doing so far?

“We’re improving every game, and that’s going to be the mark of the team this season,” she said. “We have to improve every game. I feel a lot better after this win than I did on Tuesday night [when NC State beat Florida Atlantic 84-70]. I felt like we were starting to get it. We’re not there, but we’re starting to try to execute what we want to do. We may only have the first step now, but we have the first step. It’s a building process.”

One bonus, non-related game note: Coach Harper enjoys reading. (“Pretty much anything,” she says.) Several weeks ago, when NC State magazine had a photo shoot at her house, she had about a third left to read in Stephenie Meyer’s New Moon, the second book of the popular Twilight series. A friend recommended it to her.  The movie adaption of the book premiered tonight. And yes, Coach Harper said:

“I finished the book. . . .  It was good. I am going to go and see the movie. I think Stephanie Aronson, our athletics trainer, and I are going to get together and find the time. . . to see the movie that all the teen-age girls want to go and see. . . . I haven’t moved on to a new book yet though.”

If you’re new to our blog, check out other installments in “A Coach’s First Season.” Just yesterday we posted an interview with senior guard Nikitta Gartrell and debuted guest blogger Patrick Kinas, the play-by-play voice of the Wolfpack women’s basketball team.

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