The two teams set an NCAA record for most points scored in a women's game. There were terrific individual performances, including the second women's triple double in ACC history, by Cavalier guard Dawn Staley, who had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists despite fouling out in regulation; 30-point scoring by the Wolfpack's Rhonda Mapp, who made 15 of 17 free throws; and a 27-point effort by State's Andrea Stinson, who fouled out in the second overtime.
There were also several dramatic comebacks, most notably Virginia's recovery from a 20-point deficit in the second half. And there were clutch plays galore, the last of which came in the third overtime when Cavalier forward Tonya Cardoza picked off an N.C. State pass and drove the length of the court for a game-winning layup with 2.5 seconds left and the score tied at 120.
When it was all over, both coaches, Virginia's Debbie Ryan and State's Kay Yow, appropriately used the game as a soapbox to promote women's basketball. "We're worth seeing," said Yow. "The game, men's and women's, is the same. We just can't play above the rim. But this game shows we can provide entertainment and it's worth watching."
The victory, coupled with No. 1 Penn State's 84-70 loss to 10th-ranked Rutgers, will probably lift Virginia back to the No. 1 ranking it lost last week. The Lady Lions' stay at the top may have been brief, but their future opponents obviously know how good they are. Big Ten coaches voted 7-3 against admitting Penn State into the conference for next season but voted unanimously to admit the Lady Lions the following year—when all five of their current starters will have departed.
Joby Wright played for Indiana coach Bob Knight and was Knight's assistant for 10 years before becoming the head coach at Miami of Ohio this season. He apparently learned his lessons well, because in only half a season Wright's behavior has already made him a subject of controversy. So far, the following are among the lowlights of his tenure at Miami, which was 9-6 at week's end.
?Dec. 3: On the bus ride home from an 80-75 loss at Eastern Kentucky, a Redskin player upsets Wright by laughing at a movie that is being shown on video. When the bus arrives at about 2 a.m., Wright calls a team meeting, which lasts for about a half hour, and then orders the players to return for a 6 a.m. practice.
?Jan. 2: Miami guard Jamie Mercurio misses three foul shots with the score tied at the end of regulation time against Bowling Green. Although the Redskins win 82-81 in overtime, Wright calls a midnight practice following the game. He opens the workout by tossing a roll of toilet paper to Mercurio as commentary on his poor performance at the free throw line. Wright later defends his action, saying, "It was a joke and the players took it that way."
During that practice, Wright also makes each of his players carry a teammate piggyback style while running laps around an indoor track.
?Jan. 5: To cut costs, the men's and women's teams travel together by bus to play at Eastern Michigan. The men lose 86-71, but the women win 57-53. On the ride back to campus, Wright again becomes incensed. This time it's because members of the women's team, whose coach, Linda Wunder, isn't on the bus, begin laughing and talking boisterously. He goes to the back of the bus and profanely berates some of the women players.