It has not been an easy couple of weeks for sophomore Caroline Doty. For a player who has long been recognized as a shooter, she entered today’s game against No. 13 Georgetown mired in an extensive slump.
Doty had been 10-of-39 shooting from the field and had made just 2-of-19 3-pointers over the last five games. Following a 1-of-7 (0-of-3) performance at Syracuse Wednesday, UConn coach Geno Auriemma told Doty to stay out of the gym during the Huskies’ off-day Thursday. The two then spoke about her situation Friday.
“She’s a very conscientious kid,’’ Auriemma said. “She wants to make them. She wants to be a good player. She wants to be a team leader. She wants to be that guard that you’re counting on all the time. So for her to come out every day and be reminded that you haven’t made any in a while, it’s hard on her because I know she’s prideful. We talked (Friday) about it.’’
Doty rediscovered her touch from long range against the Hoyas. She finished with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting (3-of-5 3-pointers) in 26 minutes. The first 3-pointer she made gave UConn the lead for good (25-22) with 9:38 left in the first half.
It was the first time Doty, who also had four assists and one turnover, made at least two 3-pointers in a game for the first time since making three at Louisville Feb. 7.
“It was definitely nice,’’ Doty said. “The emotions were flowing after a couple of them. But I sat down with Coach. He kind of was getting my head straight, thinking if your shots aren’t going in do other things. Make the right pass. Get however many assists, get a couple steals here and there and just try and control the offense. He said once you do that then shots will flow. Having these guys behind me 100 percent … And it was flowing today.’’
Tina Charles scored a season-high 33 points in 38 minutes against Georgetown. She needs 13 points at No. 8 Notre Dame Monday to overtake Nykesha Sales, who scored 2,178 points from 1995-98, and become the team’s all-time leader.
Auriemma quickly took a trip into the past Saturday, recalling when Sales became the leader by making an orchestrated layup at Villanova three days after she had ruptured her Achilles’ tendon against Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion.
“No, she’s not (going to break the record),’’ Auriemma said laughing. “I’m not going to play her long enough (Monday). I get to decide who the leading scorer is in this program. So if she thinks she’s going to decide that, she’s got another thing coming.’’
Charles also needs only five rebounds to move past Rebecca Lobo (1,268) to become the leader in that category.
“Maybe that’s why I got choked up a little bit when she came out there,’’ Auriemma said. “I was tearing up going, `How did she score all these points and get all these rebounds? But it’s pretty amazing.’’
UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey, who provides instruction to the post players, was also in tears as Charles made her way to midcourt to accept her framed jersey.
Fans can purchase Big East regular season championship t-shirts on-line at www.huskydirect.com or at the UConn Co-op Store in Storrs.
UConn recruit Brianna Banks, a 5-foot-9 junior guard from Newnan, Ga., was among those in attendance today. So was UConn-bound point guard Bria Hartley. She has been a fixture at games this season.
When asked what makes Charles so difficult to defend, here’s what Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy had to say: “She’s big and we’re not. We always struggle with post players because we’re not (big). We’re small.’’