Basketball: A tribute to Hartley and Dolson
Coming to UConn, Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson had big shoes to fill as the women's basketball team was coming off back-to-back 39-0 National Championship seasons.
With Maya Moore coming back as a senior, the Huskies had high expectations, even with the loss of Tina Charles and Kalana Green. In Hartley and Dolson's freshman season,
UConn extended their winning streak to 90 games before eventually losing to Stanford on December 30, 2010. Even with the loss, the Huskies finished the season No. 1 and won the Big East Championship. UConn finished 36-2 that season and lost to Notre Dame in the Final Four.
As freshman, Dolson and Hartley both helped the team greatly as Dolson averaged 10.2 points a game and Hartley averaged 12.4. Dolson was a two-time Big East Freshman of the week and was named to the Big East All-Rookie team and Big East all-tournament team during her freshman season, Hartley was also named Big East Freshman of the year and Big East all-tournament team.
For any school, winning back-to-back national championships would be considered a huge accomplishment, but for UConn winning the national championships is the only thing that matters.
Hartley and Dolson won back-to-back national championships their junior and senior year. On top of this feat, they ended their UConn career with a 40-0 season after beating the then undefeated Notre Dame in the national championship game.
Although, Hartley in her junior season saw a decrease of numbers, she stepped up when it mattered, as she was an integral part of the title run. Dolson, in her junior season was coming into her own, as she increased her scoring average to 13.6 points.
In their senior seasons, both Dolson and Hartley dominated the national spotlight and helped lead the team on and off the court. Bria Hartley finished her career being the third player in UConn history to finish with over 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 200 steals. Stefanie Dolson was the second UConn player to ever record a triple double. She also posted a personal career high in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals her senior season as and was well named WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year.
Next year both Hartley and Dolson will be playing in the WNBA for the Washington Mystics, as Dolson was drafted sixth and Hartley was drafted seventh. In an unsuspected turn of events, Hartley was traded to the Mystics from the Seattle Storm.
Although UConn will lose two student-athletes who finished with a 144-11 record and a countless numbers of awards, the Huskies are ready to continue the winning tradition. Both Hartley and Dolson will graduate with Communication Science majors in May, and will never be forgotten in the UConn legacy.
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