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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

UConn's Jefferson downplays back issues

It is not unusual to see Moriah Jefferson tumble to the court after an aggressive drive to the basket as she did midway through the first half in last night's win over East Carolina.

It was, however, a bit out of the ordinary to see the junior point guard remain on the floor resting up against the padded basketball support while the opposing team raced up the court.

When East Carolina took advantage of Jefferson's absence to score one of its eight first-half baskets. When the fans realized that Jefferson hadn't moved even after the Pirates' fast-break layup, Gampel Pavilion got rather quiet.

Teammate Breanna Stewart made her way down to check on her teammate and when something Jefferson said made Stewart chuckle, there was a sense of this being a false alarm. Jefferson slowly made her way off the court, received some treatment and then took a seat next to associate head coach Chris Dailey which signaled that she was ready to go back into the game. However, before that happened, she headed past the bench and did some stretches with a student trainer to loosen up her back a little bit. Following the game Jefferson downplayed the incident.

"I've had a little bit of a back issue and I just kind of ran into (the basketball support) and irritated it but I am fine," Jefferson said. "I don't even remember what we were talking about (when Stewart started to laugh) but I will be all right."

Obviously an injury to a player like Jefferson would change the fortunes of this UConn team so UConn coach Geno Auriemma must have been a little antsy when he first saw Jefferson staying on the court but not long after he felt confident that it was little more than a false alarm.

"Moriah falls down all the time so I didn't put a lot into that." Auriemma said. "There was no sense of urgency because there was nothing that came from her that indicated that there was going to be a major problem. When she said she got a cramp I wasn't surprised and when she said that she wanted to go back in, I wasn't surprised so fortunately it wasn't anything serious."

Jefferson played 19 minutes, the fewest among the starters, and finished with 11 points, four assists and three steals.

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