Junior All-American Bria Hartley missed her second straight exhibition game tonight due to a sprained left ankle that has been plaguing her since Aug. 25. Her status for Sunday’s season opener against the College of Charleston at Gampel Pavilion remains uncertain. And so is the timetable for her to even return to practice.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that he has not heard whether or not Hartley will be able to practice at all this week leading up to the game. While she has not yet been ruled out for the opener, it seems highly probable that Hartley will not make her season debut until the Huskies face No. 15 Texas A&M on the road Nov. 18.
“I haven’t heard her say one word … `Yeah, it’s a lot better. I’m going to be there tomorrow,’’’ Auriemma said. “I haven’t heard a word. So we have a day off tomorrow. We’ll see what happens Friday. And then we’ve got a whole week before our next game so we’ll what happens.’’
Even if Hartley is able to practice Friday, Auriemma would not guarantee that Hartley gets on the court Sunday.
“When you haven’t practiced at all that’s tough,’’ Auriemma said. “It’s not like she missed a week. She’s been out a long time. And I want to make sure that she’s a hundred percent before I throw her back out there.’’
Freshman Moriah Jefferson has started in both exhibition games for the Huskies. A decision to start her or Caroline Doty in place of Hartley against the College of Charleston will be discussed in the coming days.
Doty had 11 points (3-of-3 3-pointers), three rebounds and three assists in 13 minutes off the bench tonight against Holy Family.
“Yeah, I think we’d have to decide what we’re going to do,’’ Auriemma said. “I hate to have Caroline sitting there after warming up all that time and then having to kick start it up again. Although she looked pretty good tonight. Caroline played well tonight. We’ll see.’’