Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rookies from UConn come full circle

Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley have been involved with so many glorious moments on basketball courts in the state of Connecticut so it seemed rather fitting that when it came time to help the Washington Mystics clinch a WNBA playoff spot, that special event would occur within state limits.

Hartley had 13 points, her 18th double-digit scoring game of the season, and Dolson added four points as the Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun 71-67 on Friday night to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The win erased much of the drama from the final weekend of the regular season. If Washington lost to Connecticut, Washington could have been knocked out of the playoffs with a loss to the New York Liberty today and a New York win over Indiana on Sunday. Now the Mystics can start preparing for the postseason.

Hartley admitted after the game that it was a bit ironic that the playoff clinch took place in Connecticut.

"I used to play for UConn and Coach T (Mike Thibault) going against Connecticut and he used to coach here," Hartley said.

"I think it is really important (making the playoffs as a rookie). It is a great experience. There are some rookies who don't get this opportunity but you are playing and gaining experience that you can take with you for the next few years."

Hartley, who was in the starting lineup, and Dolson predictably got warm receptions from the Mohegan Sun Arena crowd.

"It is nice when you come back here and you have a bunch of people who want you to sign stuff or want you to take pictures," Hartley said. "I always stop and do that. Just the fans showing love, it is always nice to come back to your college and where your college is and have the fan support."

Wins by Washington and San Antonio on Friday allowed the Mystics and Stars to clinch the final two playoff spots. Half of the eight playoff teams feature former UConn stars as Diana Taurasi is the leading scorer for Western Conference regular-season champion Phoenix, Maya Moore is not only the top scorer for playoff bound Miunesota but is the league's top scorer as well. In the Eastern Conference, Tiffany Hayes is the No. 3 scorer for an Atlanta team which will be the top seed while Dolson, Hartley and Kalana Greene are all members of playoff bound Washington.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo you got todays schedule reversed. Ny at wash tonight and host indy sunday. Seeds still undetermined.

4:09 PM 

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