Women's Basketball: Dolson, Hartley to be inducted into Huskies of Honor Saturday
UConn forward Stefanie Dolson (left) and Kia Stokes (right) block and defend UCF player. Dolson will be one of the two seniors inducted into the Huskies of Honor as she plays her last home game at Gampel Pavilion. LINDSEY COLLIER/The Daily Campus
Through the decades of dominance, there have been scores of great players to pass through the UConn women's basketball program.
Only 13 of their names currently adorn the wall of Gampel Pavilion reserved for the Huskies of Honor. Just one of those plaques - the one dedicated to four-time All-American Maya Moore - was hung before the player whose name it bears finished their time in Storrs.
Come Saturday, both of those numbers will increase by two.
Seniors Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson will both have their names and numbers revealed on the wall between the North and East Entrances of Gampel Pavilion before the Huskies' game against Rutgers this weekend, joining some of the legendary names that have come before them.
"It's going to be a cool experience for my jersey to go up there in the Huskies of Honor," Dolson said with a reflective sigh. "It just went by too fast."
UConn fans will surely feel the same about the careers of both seniors, who have reached the Final Four in each of their three postseasons thus far and each picked up an All-American nod - Hartley as a sophomore and Dolson as a junior.
For the pair, reaching their Senior Day has provided the realization that their moments left on the court together are scarce and drawing to a close.
"I think we've just gotten used to playing with each other a lot," Hartley said. "A couple years of USA Basketball and then just playing here, it kind of all helps you when you're playing together all the time. I don't know, we know how to read each other's minds and we just have really good chemistry on the court."
While it's bound to be emotional for both seniors on Saturday afternoon, following the pregame ceremonies, there will be another game to play.
It should help that the Huskies (29-0, 16-0 American Athletic Conference) believe Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis may provide some minutes against the Scarlet Knights.
Mosqeuda-Lewis has missed the past four games due to mononucleosis and it was announced Feb. 14 that she would likely miss three to six weeks as a result of the illness. But the junior forward has rebounded quickly, has been working out since Sunday and returned to practice for the first time Thursday.
"She looked good, she looked really good [in practice]," UConn head coach Geno Auriemma said. "I don't know [how much she'll play]. We'll see tomorrow...we'll see how shoot-around is and we'll make a decision based on how it's going."
Having Mosqeuda-Lewis back on the court, even in a limited role, would provide a big lift to a UConn squad that's looked a little lackluster and lacked its typical sharpness the past few games.
"It's certainly much easier to play when you've got somebody of her caliber out on the floor," Auriemma said. "All of a sudden, everything looks a little bit better. She's such an integral part of what we're doing."
No. 24 Rutgers (21-6, 12-4 American) enters the weekend having won six of its last seven games, with the lone blemish coming in a road game against No. 3 Louisville.
C. Vivian Stringer's squad sits third in the American standings behind both UConn and the Cardinals and has had a successful campaign with Preseason American Freshman of the Year Tyler Scaife helping lead the way.
Scaife, a 5-foot-9-inch guard, has averaged 29 minutes per game in her first collegiate season and tallied 14.1 points on 47 percent shooting. Sophomore Kahleah Cooper tops the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 16.1 points per game.
Tip-off Saturday is scheduled for 4 p.m., but the pregame Senior Day ceremonies are slated for a 3:42 p.m. start. The game will be shown on CBS Sports Network; the pregame ceremony can be seen online at uconnhuskies.com.
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