Tiffany Hayes has crashed to the floor so many times during her career that you just expect her to bounce back up and continue competing. But after she banged heads with Duke’s Shay Selby with 3:24 left in the first half Monday Hayes did not get right back up.
She remained on the floor for several minutes before making her way to the UConn bench. Hayes sat out the rest of the half. She did not start the second half and again returned to the locker room with team athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle with about 16 minutes left in the game.
Ragle performed some more tests and Hayes was back on the court for the Huskies with 12:43 left. She would finish with eight points (3-of-10 FG), five rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes.
“I didn’t see it,’’ Auriemma said. “We have this thing on our team that you can’t be laying on the floor there like that and expect to stay in the game. So you either get up and you keep playing or if you lay down there you’re coming out. None of this crap where a kid lays there for five minutes and plays the next 25 like nothing happened. You’re either hurt or you’re not. So when she stayed down I knew something happened. And when she came out she didn’t look good. And that’s why we didn’t start her the second half because Rosemary wanted to take her back down there again and put her through the whole tests that the athletic trainers have for the kids when they get hit in the head. She gave us the thumbs up and said everything’s fine. We were prepared to play the whole second half without her if we had to. When I came upstairs to start the second half I didn’t think she was going to play in the second half. I didn’t think she was going to play.’’