Hatcheel nets 500th career victory

Published 5:03 am Friday, February 8, 2008

By By Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL — Coach Sylvia Hatchell didn’t get into any trouble for celebrating her latest big victory at North Carolina by throwing toilet paper.
Hatchell claimed her 500th victory at the school Thursday night when the third-ranked Tar Heels beat Clemson 79-47.
Freshman point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid scored 20 points for the Tar Heels (21-2, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and added seven assists and no turnovers.
Hatchell’s milestone win came three days after a 93-76 victory at No. 11 Duke. After winning at Cameron Indoor Stadium, she coated a tree downtown on Franklin Street with toilet paper and received a verbal warning from Chapel Hill police.
This time, guard Heather Claytor handed her a roll as the game ended, and she tossed it into the air, drawing cheers from the home crowd. The celebration ended with players donning ‘‘500’’ caps after they controlled the game from the tip.
In her 22nd season at North Carolina, Hatchell is 500-194 and is the third ACC women’s coach to reach 500 wins at her school, joining N.C. State’s Kay Yow and Virginia’s Debbie Ryan.
Hatchell’s coaching career began at Francis Marion, where she won 272 games in 11 years.
Although Hatchell noticed the letdown she feared in the wake of Monday’s emotional victory, her Tar Heels still opened with a 10-0 lead.
Clemson (10-14, 3-6) missed its first 14 shots before Sthefany Thomas made a layup with 14:10 left in the first half. Thomas led Clemson with 14 points and Lele Hardy added 11 points and 14 rebounds.
It also didn’t help matters that North Carolina outrebounded the Tigers 50-37.
Once the Tar Heels got the cobwebs out, they coasted on another hot shooting performance. North Carolina shot 54.2 percent for the game. Jessica Breland and Erlana Larkins both recorded double-doubles with Breland scoring 13 points with 10 rebounds and Larkins getting 12 and 12.
Breland even made her first 3-pointer of the season. It was the second straight game where one of the Tar Heels’ formidable frontcourt players hit her first basket of the season from behind the arc.
But the best shooter was unquestionably DeGraffenreid, who followed up a 18-point performance at Duke by tying her season high. DeGraffenreid scored 17 in the first half alone and opened the second with a behind-the-back pass to Rashanda McCants for a bucket.