Chapel Hill, N.C. — The Wolfpack women took to the basketball court Sunday without Coach Kay Yow. The Hall of Fame coach announced last week that she will not return to the team this season due to health issues related to her battle against cancer.
Before the N.C. State women took on North Carolina at the Smith Center, the announcer took a moment to recognize and honor Yow. There was also a big show of support in the stands and on the court.
"It was really important to show our support for them while they are going through this with Kay Yow,” said Loren Moles, N.C. State student.
The game against UNC was the first time the N.C. State Woman's Basketball team has hit the court since Yow announced she would not return.
"We wanted to show Kay Yow that we are here to support her and we hope she gets better real fast, so she can be back for next season,” said Graham Groseclose, N.C. State student.
Yow, 66, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. The disease recurred in the 2004-05 season, forcing her to miss two games while attending an eight-day nutritional modification program. She also missed 16 games to focus on treatment two seasons ago before returning to lead her team on an emotional late-season run.
Associate head coach Stephanie Glance is leading the team in Yow's absence.
"Her team showed today the qualities and characteristics of coach Yow with the spirit and the heart that they played with out there today,” said Sylvia Hatchell, UNC head coach.
The Wolfpack women played hard against undefeated UNC, but the Tarheels took the victory. In overtime, North Carolina defeated N.C. State 75-66.
"It was sort of a test today to see what we are made of, and what we are going to look like through a lot of that adversity. And we just told the team, they passed the test with flying colors,” Glance said.
Sunday's victory was a major milestone for Carolina's coach as it marked Hatchell's 800th career win. Ironically, she said she also got her 5th, 6th and 700th win against the Wolfpack. The coach was honored during a ceremony after the game.
Yow ranks as one of the game's winningest coaches with 737 career victories in 38 years. She has also coached the U.S. Olympic team to the gold medal in 1988, and earned four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, 20 NCAA tournament bids and an appearance in the 1998 Final Four during her 34 years at N.C. State.