Junior All-American Bria Hartley still finds herself in the training room regularly working with team athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle. It’s just something that she has to do in an effort to ensure that the injury to her left ankle does not give her any further problems this season. She has already missed two games and six weeks of action.
Hartley was encouraged by how she came out of Tuesday’s win over No. 15 Louisville. She played 33 minutes, and aside from the usual soreness she did not experience any setbacks.
“I came away pretty good,’’ Hartley said. “It was a little sore, which I expected and Rosie told me that it would be. It’s still a little sore day by day, but I’m still in the training room every day doing the different exercises that Rosie has lined up for me. So I can do them and icing, doing whatever to make sure my body’s ready for the game.’’
Not only did Hartley log extensive minutes against the Cardinals, she also generated 16 points (6-of-15 FG) and seven rebounds. It was the first time that she reached double figures in scoring since a run of three straight games against Oakland Dec. 19 (season-high 21), Hartford Dec. 22 (15) and Stanford Dec. 29 (10).
This stretch is the only time this season that Hartley has scored in double figures in consecutive games. UConn coach Geno Auriemma is hopeful that she will start another streak today against Syracuse at the XL Center.
“I liked the way she looked the other day in the Louisville game,’’ Auriemma said. “So hopefully that’s a precursor to what’s going to happen next. We’ll see (today) and Monday (against No. 4 Duke). Those are two quick games against two really good teams. And if she can do the exact same thing (today) and Monday that she did other night in Louisville than that’s the most positive sign that we’ll have seen all year long.’’
There are about 1,000 tickets remaining for Monday’s showdown with the unbeaten Blue Devils at Gampel Pavilion.