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Official Pat Summitt Rules Thread!! 880 Wins!!!!!

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Courtesy of espn.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Pat Summitt stood at midcourt surrounded by her husband, son and 79-year-old mother, waved to cheering fans and smiled when Tennessee unveiled the new name for its court.

The hardwood at Thompson-Boling Arena will be called "The Summitt" in a fitting tribute to the coach who stands alone at the top of NCAA basketball.

Summitt broke Dean Smith's career victory record Tuesday night, getting No. 880 in the Lady Vols' 75-54 win over Purdue in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Summitt tied Smith with an easy win over Western Carolina in the first round Sunday night and passed the former North Carolina men's coach with another convincing victory. The 52-year-old Summitt improved to 880-171 in 31 years at Tennessee, while Smith was 879-254 when he retired in 1997 after 36 years with the Tar Heels.

"Obviously, to be in the company with Coach Smith, to think about all the people that were a part of these wins, I never thought I'd live this long," Summitt said.

After the game, NCAA officials presented Summitt with the game ball and a plaque. She hugged husband R.B., son Tyler, and mother Hazel Head, who surprised her daughter by being at the game.

The team posed for a picture with the players holding up newspaper pages with a huge 880 in orange on the front.

Summitt also was surprised at the renaming of the court in her honor.

"It really touches me," she said. "I never even thought about anything like that ever. I don't think there could have been a better gift in terms of the feeling that I had and how much I love this university."

Top-seeded Tennessee (28-4), seeking its seventh national title under Summitt, advanced to face fourth-seeded Texas Tech in the semifinals of the Philadelphia Regional on Sunday.

The players said Summitt kept everyone's minds on advancing in the tournament, not the record.

"She did a very good job of keeping our focus and she continually was harping on us that this was a game in the tournament and we've got to get to the Sweet 16, and if we do that we'll get the record," Shanna Zolman said.

Ninth-seeded Purdue (17-13) tried its best to stall Summitt's chase, hanging tough with the Lady Vols in the first half.

But Tennessee's defense was too much for Purdue in the second half. The Boilermakers didn't have a field goal in the first 6:35 of the second half, while the Lady Vols pushed their lead to 20 with a 19-6 run.

"Congratulations to Coach Summitt," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "I'm really happy for her, and I'm proud of my team for how they fought and battled."

Tye'sha Fluker tied a career high with 18 points and had 10 rebounds. Shyra Ely added 16 points, Zolman 15 and Nicky Anosike 11.

Sharika Webb had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Katie Gearlds added 13 for the Boilermakers, who made only four field goals in the second half.

Summitt paced in front of the bench and clapped at each turnover her team forced. She flashed "The Stare" at officials and at her players. At one point, Summitt waved her arms around when a Purdue player drove past her to the basket as if she was going to guard her.

Summitt overtook Texas' Jody Conradt as the winningest women's college coach early in the 2002-03 season.

Summitt holds nearly every NCAA tournament record for a women's coach, including NCAA titles (six), Final Four appearances (15), Final Four wins (17), tournament appearances (24), tournament games (104) and tournament wins (87).

"A lot of players come and go, but the great ones leave and other great ones arrive," Summitt said. "They wear the orange with tremendous pride."

And many of her tournament runs have started in Knoxville, where the Lady Vols are to 46-0 in NCAA tournament play.

Summitt took over the women's program at Tennessee in 1974 at age 22 when there were no scholarships and she had to wash the uniforms and drive the team van. The Lady Vols nickname didn't even exist.

A mere 53 fans watched Summitt win her first game, a 69-32 victory over Middle Tennessee on Jan. 10, 1975.

Thousands of orange-clad supporters came to see Summitt reach 880 on Tuesday, creating an atmosphere even more electric than usual.

Among those in attendance were Tennessee football coach Phillip Fulmer, former Lady Vols assistant Mickie DeMoss, former Lady Vol guard Kara Lawson and former men's basketball coach Buzz Peterson, who was fired last week after four seasons.

The fans are likely to see many more wins. Summitt's record could stretch well past 1,000 before she retires.

"Let me just say to all you fans, you're a part of this. You've helped us build a great tradition," Summitt said over the loudspeaker after the game.

"This basketball team is on a mission, so stick with us!" she said.

Summitt is the second college coach to pass Smith this season.

Harry Statham of McKendree College in the NAIA did earlier this season and finished with 896 wins

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