Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

UConn's Chong to miss some more time

Freshman Crystal Dangerfield set to make another start in place of Saniya Chong
There was no sign of senior guard Saniya Chong at the portion of today's practice open to the media so it wasn't too hard to figure out her status for tomorrow night's game against Ohio State.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma confirmed that Chong won't play tomorrow and her status is up in the air for Wednesday's game at Nebraska.

"She is doing some of the stuff you have to do, it is just taking a really long time," Auriemma said. "She is not going to be ready for tomorrow night obviously and probably not Wednesday either so perhaps the time we get back from the holidays, hopefully she will be ready to go."

Freshman Crystal Dangerfield should make her second consecutive game as Chong is slated to miss another game due to concussion-like symptoms after she was hit in the head in the second half on a Dec. 7 win at Notre Dame.

That leaves UConn with an even thinner bench than normal. Neither Molly Bent nor Kyla Irwin played against Notre Dame and got in for just the final 1:29 against Kansas State so it will be interesting to see how early they are called upon against a deep Ohio State team.

"It is a big problem and you saw some of the problems when we played K-State, we just don't have a lot to go to but we are going to have to figure it out," Auriemma said. "We had a conversation with some of those young guys that we have to figure out a way to get you involved. I think they want to be involved but if you watch them every day you just kind of shake your head so you might have to just close your eyes, throw them out there and see what happens."

The timing couldn't be worse for Chong to be injured. Unlike Kansas State, a team which preferred to run the clock down and didn't put very much pressure on the UConn guards, Ohio State likes to extend defensive pressure and figures to do even more of that with the Huskies being shorthanded.

"If you remember last year Pheesa and Lou didn't get a lot of playing time at Ohio State, they weren't quite ready for something like that," Auriemma said. "Now they aren't that much different than they were last year to be honest with you, they've added some pretty good pieces with  Sierra Calhoun, Tory McCoy and (Stephanie) Mavunga an they have gotten a lot, they have (Linnae) Harper playing so they have a lot of bodies that they can put out there, obvoiusly they want to go up and down and want to create as much of a high scoring game as they can. Controlling the tempo is going to be really important. Not that we want to walk it up and play 50-45 game but our starters are going to log a lot of minutes tomorrow but we are going to need some help from our bench and that is a big concern."

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