THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Banks out for season; Marquette comes to town
Bria Hartley brings the ball up the floor against Villanova last week. The Huskies take on Marquette at Gampel Pavilion Tuesday. JESS CONDON/The Daily Campus
The No. 3 UConn women's basketball team will look to extend its winning streak to nine games when the Marquette Golden Eagles come to Gampel Pavilion tonight, despite losing one of their teammates for the season to an injury.
On Saturday, the Huskies lost sophomore guard Brianna Banks to a right knee injury in the first half against the Red Storm. After an MRI Monday, it was determined that Banks suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Head coach Geno Auriemma felt sympathy for the young guard who put in a lot of work this season to improve her performance on the court.
"You go from where she was last year to where she is this year and how much she's improved and how much she's worked to get her game to where it is and her mind to where it is, obviously you would be disappointed for anyone who has to go through that," Auriemma said. "It's a little more disappointing because you know how far she's come and that's one of the cruelties of this game or any game."
The Huskies are coming off a close 71-65 victory on the road against St. John's. The six-point spread was UConn's closest margin of victory this season. Sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who this season leads the Huskies in points and in three-point percentage led the team with 19 points on the afternoon.
Mosqueda-Lewis has averaged 17 points a game and has shot 49.6 percent from behind the arc. Lewis recognizes the struggles she has had in the past in close games but was satisfied with the way she played toward the end of the game against St. John's.
"I haven't done the best in situations like that, last year and the Notre Dame game, but it was nice to come out successful and do the things my team needed me to do down the stretch," said Lewis.
Tonight's game will also see the return of center Stefanie Dolson, who missed a game for the first time in her career with flu-like symptoms against St. John's. Dolson has been one of UConn's top performers this season, as she is averaging 13.8 points a game and is tied with freshman center Breanna Stewart for most rebounds. The two center's average 6.7 rebounds a game. Dolson relied on the support of her teammates when she was ill and is ready to get back on the court to face Marquette.
"That's what my teammates are here for, to help me every day and ask me how I was and whatnot," Dolson said. "It was really only one or two days that I really wasn't feeling well. I had a good practice today and the team had a great practice today, so I feel right back in it."
Marquette has a record of 11-10 overall and a conference record of 3-5. The Golden Eagles are coming off a hard fought 70-66 victory over Big East foe DePaul. Marquette guard Arlesia Morse scored a team-high 24 points and eight of those points came in the final four minutes of the game to propel the Golden Eagles to victory.
Morse sits just behind leading point scorer Katherine Plouffe. Plouffee has averaged 50.7 percent from the field this year and averages 13.4 points a game, but she has struggled from behind the arc- she's made just one of the six field goals she's attempted this season. As a team, Marquette averages 65.8 points a game compared to their opponents 66.9 points a game.
Tip-off between Marquette and UConn is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Gampel. The game will be televised live on SNY.
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