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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stewart vows to play tomorrow; Dolson is fine

If it were up to Breanna Stewart, the UConn freshman forward would have played in Saturday's NCAA tournament opener against Idaho. But after feeling some discomfort in her left calf, the decision was made to sit her.

                                                                                            (Associated Press photo)
Breanna Stewart is hoping to play against Vanderbilt after missing UConn's
NCAA tournament opener against Idaho with a left calf injury.
Well, Stewart was back at practice on Sunday and plans on playing against Vanderbilt in tomorrow's second-round game.

"I am doing a lot better," Stewart said before Sunday's and I am practicing today. No, I will be able to go. I am ready to roll. It feels better and I think I will play. If they try tell me I shouldn't, I am going to tell them that it feels good."

Stewart said she has never had an issue with her calf before.

"It was just a one-time thing," Stewart said. "I think it is getting better. I think when it first happened it didn't feel the greatest."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma is hoping to have the services of Stewart, who has been practicing better than she has all season heading into the postseason.

"I hope she goes through (Sunday's) workout and feels pretty good and no problems," Auriemma said before Sunday's practice. "We are not going to do a lot and I don't think she needs to do a lot either and we will see how she feels tomorrow and I am plan on her playing.

Auriemma praised Stewart's toughness and perhaps her attempt to practice after suffering the injury did more harm than good.

"It is not the first time she has been hurt and not the first time she has tried to fight through something that I have seen other kids who have not been able to fight through," Auriemma said. "Stewie avoids the training room like all the great players do."

Auriemma said he has noticed a difference in Stewart since the end of the regular season.

"I don't know it was exactly but the week that we had leading up to the tournament was different, she just had a different look about her, a a different attitude about her and you could see it," Auriemma said. "It was so evident, it wasn't even like you had to look for it. I told the coaches that if we win the (Big East( tournament, Stewie is going to get MVP and they are like ;yeah, right.' I said just look at her, people have this look about them when you know that they are ready to go and they are prepared. She had it and she was doing things that she hadn't done since probably preseason."

Keeping on the subject of injuries, junior center Stefanie Dolson has been some of her practice time limited in the last week according to UConn coach Geno Auriiemma due to a lower leg issue.

"It's just soreness, end of the season stuff a lot of teams go through it at this time of the year and you just have to play through it," Dolson said.

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