Feb. 24, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team will close out a two-game trip to Texas on Tuesday evening against fellow American Athletic Conference member Southern Methodist University. The No. 1 Huskies and Mustangs tip off at 8pm ET on Feb. 25, with televised coverage on SNY and radio broadcast on the UConn/IMG Radio network.
The Huskies (28-0, 15-0 American) owned the first-ever meeting against the Mustangs (16-10, 7-8 American) on Feb. 4 by a final score of 102-41. Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) and Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) led the Huskies with 21 and 20 points, respectively. SMU’s top scorer, Keena Mays, posted 20 points in the game. She owns the highest average in the conference at 20.8 points per game.
In a busy Monday, several Huskies picked up honors with Saniya Chong (Ossining, N.Y.) earning American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week distinction and Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) joining Bria Hartley on the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List.
Chong took home her first laurels in Husky uniform thanks to an average 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in a 2-0 week for the Huskies in her second and third starts of the season. Chong, who has joined the Husky starting five in the last three, erupted for a career-high 17 points and 10 rebounds in her first double-double against UCF on Wednesday evening.
Jefferson as emerged as a key starter in the UConn lineup. Jefferson averages 10.1 points and leads the squad with 5.3 assists per game and 2.6 steals per contest. Her 147 helpers lead the American Athletic Conference and her assists to turnover ratio of 3.1 ranks seventh in the nation. That ratio is on pace to shatter numbers posted by some of UConn's most accomplished point guards in their respective sophomore seasons, including Diana Taurasi (2.51 in 2001-02), Sue Bird (2.00 in 1999-2000), and Renee Montgomery (1.72 in 2006-07).
Hartley has been spectacular this season, most recently posting her ninth 20-plus point game with 24 against Houston on Saturday night. Overall this season Hartley is averaging 16.3 points per game and 4.3 assists per contest. In the last two months alone her numbers have been phenomenal. Hartley has hit double-digit points in twelve consecutive contests dating back to a 19 point performance against Temple on Jan. 11 in which the senior set a career-high with 11 assists and recorded her first-ever double-double as a Husky.
Fellow senior Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.) matched her classmates’ 24 points against Houston with two dozen of her own. Over her last five games Dolson has averaged 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds, shooting an unconscious 72 percent on 29-41 from the floor. On Saturday night in Houston, Dolson went 8-for-8 and 7-for-9 from the charity stripe.
Tuesday evening’s game marks the penultimate away contest for the top-ranked Huskies, as the squad returns for a final regular season home game on Saturday, March 1 against Rutgers in Gampel Pavilion.