Season over for UConn's Samuelson
Just 39 seconds into the game Samuelson drove to the basket and scored after the ball had originally been knocked out of her hands. Her coached expressed their delight with the play but little did they know she suffered a broken bone on that play.
Samuelson would play another 16 1/2 minutes but at halftime it was discovered the severity of her injury.
"I guess it happened on the very first basket when she drove it to the basket, she said she felt something but didn't really say anything and just continued to play on it," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "It wasn't until late in the first half that we found out there was something wrong. By halftime in the locker room, when she wasn't back in the locker room right away, we knew it was something. Before the second half started, (UConn athletic trainer) Rosemary (Ragle) told me that she has a broken bone in her foot and she is out. We addressed it with out team real quick and 'play on.'"
Samuelson, who came into the game as the Huskies' third-leading scorer in the postseason, was not made available to the media but her teammates weighed in on the loss of the team's top 3-point shooter.
"You never want to see a teammate go down especially somebody who works as hard as she does," UConn sophomore guard Kia Nurse said. "We kind of have to keep moving through it and somebody else has to step up and it is not even an individual person stepping up, it is each and every person stepping up and playing to their level.
"You look in the locker room and have to deal with it, then it is back to business. Lou does a whole lot of things. Obviously she is a great outside shooter so that helps stretch the defense a lot. She has passion and love for the game and hat is something you love to have in a teammate."
Auriemma went over to Samuelson early in the third quarter when she returned to the bench wearing a protective boot on her left foot, he put a hand on each side of her head and offered words of encouragement. National player of the year Breanna Stewart as well as many of the other Huskies also showed their support.
"Lou knows what she has done for up all season, she has been there and played great all year," Moriah Jefferson said. "She'll be back and she is just as important to the team as anybody else."
Sophomore Gabby Williams, who may very well get the start in Tuesday's national championship game against Syracuse, also weighed in on Samuelson's unfortunate break.
"It is definitely emotional for everybody," Williams said. "I told her I am here for you if you need to talk. I have been through this with the ACLs but never at this level so I know it is tough because she has worked so hard this season."
JEFFERSON MOVES TO THE TOP
Jefferson's seven assists gives her 656 in her career as she moved by Diana Taurasi and into first place on the Huskies' career assists list.
"I am excited," Jefferson said. "I didn't think of that when I came here. To have my name at No. 1, it means the world to me."
Jefferson also joins former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins as the only players with at least 100 assists and 50 steals in NCAA Division I women's tournament history.