USM’s Fifield records 500th victory


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – There was little fanfare when the University of Southern Maine defeated Rhode Island College 75-63 to give women’s basketball coach Gary Fifield his 500th USM victory.

The crowd of 35 at Murray Center applauded Tuesday night when the public address announcer congratulated Fifield, who took the milestone in stride.

“It’s good to get it over with,” he said, suggesting that his players were trying too hard to get the 500th win for him. “They seemed a little tight.”

Now in his 20th season at USM, Fifield, 54, has compiled a record of 500-80, giving him the best career winning percentage among Division III coaches.

His teams have made the NCAA tournament 18 times and reached the Final Four five times, but are still looking for their first national championship.