Feb. 18, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - Top-ranked UConn women's hoops returns to the court in American Conference action against Central Florida on Wednesday evening in Hartford. Tip off time is set for 7pm at the XL Center. Televised coverage will be available on SNY with Eric Frede and Meg Culmo on the call and Kerith Burke covering the sideline. Radio coverage can be found on the UConn/IMG Radio Network with Bob Joyce and Debbie Fiske calling the action. Online streaming is available on ESPN3 via the `Watch Live' link above.
The Huskies (26-0, 13-0 American) will seek to extend their 32 game winning streak against the Knights (10-15, 3-11 American) on Wednesday. UConn and UCF first met on New Year's Day to kick off 2014 in Orlando. UConn won the inaugural contest a final score of 77-49 behind a 25 point, 12 rebound double-double by Stefanie Dolson. Connecticut will look to improve on its sterling record at the XL Center, having won 68 of its last 71 games played in Hartford.
UConn's top-scoring New York tandem of Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) will both look to set career milestones in Wednesday's contest. The American Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, Stewart leads the Huskies and ranks second in the league with 19.3 points per game. The sophomore needs just two more points to join UConn's 1,000-point club. Wednesday night's game will be Stewart's 62nd in UConn uniform, and achieving the career marker against UCF would mean becoming the second-fastest Husky to reach the plateau behind UConn great Maya Moore, who raced to the distinction in just 55 games.
UConn currently boasts three 1,000-point scorers on its roster in Hartley, Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.), and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.). Should Stewart join her teammates on Wednesday it would mark the fifth time in program history a quartet of UConn teammates has achieved the milestone. In her playing days at Connecticut, current assistant coach Shea Ralph was part of the first group of Huskies to achieve the feat in 2000-01 along with Svetlana Abrosimova, Tamika Williams and Swin Cash.
Approaching just as significant a marker is UConn's second leading scorer in Bria Hartley. In the midst of a stellar senior campaign, Hartley needs just three rebounds to join Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi as elite members of the 1,500 points/500 rebounds/500 assists club. Hartley, a 2011-12 WBCA/State Farm All-American, enters Wednesday's game with 1,740 points, 497 rebounds, and 501 assists so far in her career at Connecticut. The senior has been on fire of late, including a dominant stretch over the past month in which she has posted career numbers in points (30) and assists (11). She has hit double-figure scoring in her last ten consecutive games, averaging 19.6 points and 4.1 assists in that span.
Wednesday's game will be the penultimate regular season home game for the Huskies. They squad departs on a two-game road set against Houston and SMU on Feb. 22 and 25, respectively, before returning to Storrs to face Rutgers in their final regular season home match on March 1.