Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dolson, Hartley save their best for last

It wasn't a season of smooth sailing for UConn's All-American duo of Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley.

                                                                                                 (Associated Press photo)
Juniors Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson delivered in a major way in Tuesday's
national championship victory over Louisville.
Dolson had a stress fracture in her right ankle which led to her missing more practices than she was able to take part in during the NCAA tournament and severly limited her offensive impact. Hartley lost her timing following a month-long hiatus in the preseason due to an ankle injury and struggled all season long to find the range from the perimeter and especially to get her mojo back.

However, they were able to leave any of their previous ailments and issues behind them as they combined for 25 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, five steals and two blocked shots to lead the Huskies to their eighth national title but first one since they have been at Connecticut.

"These last two years we kind of went through some growing pains a little bit, especially me and Stefanie we just had to develop, become better players, become better leaders for the rest of our teammates," Hartley said.

Earlier in the NCAA tournament UConn coach Geno Auriemma expressed his concerns whether Dolson would be able to survive the rigors of playing six games with her dealing with the issues in her right ankle and left foot. However. when Dolson woke up on Tuesday morning she was feeling better physically than she had been in some time.

"It did feel a lot better," Dolson said. "I came out real confident and ready to play just knowing that it was one more game, 40 more minutes and that was all I had to endure, that was worth it. Going out there, fighting through the pain every game during the tournament was worth to get this win for myself and for this team.

"I have grown up a lot as a person and a player in this last month of being injured and it has taught me a lot about the game and myself and my team. It means a lot that I was able to go out there and help my teammates to win a national championship."

While Dolson was thrilled to wake up feeling as well as she did, Hartley was just glad she was able to get any sleep the night before the game.

"I swear I had a dream, I was imagining this moment and the excitement," Hartley said. "Last night I couldn't sleep, I was up and I was sitting there and I was trying to force myself to go to sleep but I was really excited, really anxious to get out there and play for a national championship."

Labels: ,


Anonymous Joe said...

Great effort from Hartley last night. Her steal and layup to tie the game at 14-14 helped key the 19-0 run that put UConn on top for good.

and the improvements in Dolson's game year by year has been extraordinary. If she improves from this year to next year at the same rate, look out!

9:19 AM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home