Women's Basketball Notebook: Stewart and Hartley reach milestones in win
Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 00:02
HARTFORD – Although it seems as if the No. 1 UConn women’s basketball team continuously break records in almost every game they play, history was made in Hartford as both Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart reached milestones in their careers. Both Hartley and Stewart led the Huskies in their last game at the XL Center to their 33rd straight win as UConn defeated Central Florida 83-35.
A mere 42 seconds into the game Stewart was able to catapult her way to the top to sit with some of UConn’s legends as she scored her 1,000th point. She joins Svetlana Abrosimova, Maya Moore, Hartley and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis as UConn players to score 1,000 points as a sophomore.
“That kid can score,” Hartley said. “She can score in so many ways and its just great that she can go out there and she got it as a sophomore. I’m really proud of her and like I said she’s playing really consistent this year and I hope she can keep it up.”
To add to that, it only took Stewart 63 games to reach the 1,000 mark making her the second quickest player following Abrosimova and Rebecca Lobo. Stewart consistently proves her star power and presence on the court despite being such a young player. This milestone is just another notch in her belt considering she still has a few years to show what else she can do.
“It looks so effortless that you don’t even realize that she’s doing what she’s doing and the points just keep piling up,” said head coach Geno Auriemma. “You realize she really hasn’t played a lot of college games so for her to be where she is right now after having played so few college games I think that’s just a testament to her talent… She’s just scratching the surface right now.”
Bria Hartley also joined an elite group of Huskies as she gained her 5,000 rebound of her career to reach 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Moore and Diana Taurasi were the only two players to be able to accomplish this before Hartley.
“I don’t know if I came here and thought I would be in that category [with Moore and Taurasi] you kind of hope to be but you don’t necessarily know if you are going to do it,” Hartley said. “I know Diana was one of the players I looked up to and Maya being here and playing with her was awesome. To be in a category with them is awesome I’m glad I could be in it.”
Hartley has been on fire her senior year after she struggled for a large part of last season with a tough ankle injury. Her confidence and ability come at the perfect time for the Huskies as they have been dealing with numerous setbacks between unwanted injuries and sickness.
“It’s like dream really big that way you can meet them or even go past them,” Hartley said. “I think I just came here and I wanted to be a really great player.”
Despite Hartley being considered an “under the radar player” at the beginning of the season, she has surely gotten people talking with the past few games she has had. With 88 points in the last five games and a total of 51 steals this season, she consistently leads the team in both the backcourt and frontcourt. Hartley is destined to go out with a bang.
“You look at Bria and its hard to pick out real real real highs for her because she’s been so consistent,” Auriemma said. “You just look at her entire career and she’s like Derek Jeter, you know? I mean she came in as a young kid and you can count on her in every game.”