Stefanie Dolson made history against Oregon Wednesday night when she produced 26 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to become the second player in UConn history to record a triple-double. She joined Laura Lishness, who had 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in an 84-65 win over Providence in the Big East tournament final at Seton Hall March 5, 1989.
Geno Auriemma, who is in his 29th season at UConn, has only witnessed one of these triple-doubles. He was suspended for the final game of the regular season and the Big East tournament in 1989.
UConn scheduled a preseason scrimmage against Eastern Connecticut that season, which ultimately counted as a regular season game and put the Huskies one game over the limit. They would have not have been eligible to play in the Big East tournament had Syracuse not agreed to cancel the game between the teams in late February. However, Auriemma was hit with a suspension for the scheduling snafu.
“That’s why I don’t remember much of it. I wasn’t there,’’ Auriemma said. “And I wasn’t even listening to it on the radio. I was getting updates from my wife, so you’d probably have to ask Kathy. She was at the game. But I know for that time, Laura was unique. She was a 6-foot guard, and there wasn’t anything on the basketball court she couldn’t do. She’s still probably one of the best athletes ever to play here. I just wish I had been there to see it.’’
Looking at the program’s rich history, it is filled with dynamic players. Yet, only two have managed to record a triple-double.
“One of the reasons that it probably hasn’t happened more often is players don’t get (to play enough),’’ Auriemma said. “When you have as many really good players as we have and have had for all these years, they don’t get to play enough minutes. It’s like the whole Nykesha Sales thing back in the day. The kid played 24 minutes per game for four years. She could’ve scored 4,000 points. So it is where it is right now because guys are playing a lot of minutes, and that gives you an opportunity to do a lot of things. Plus, the way the game was played (Wednesday). But back in the day when Laura Lishness did it, it was the same thing. We had five, six, seven max really good players, and they played a lot of minutes. It’s hard if you’re only going to play 20-some minutes. I remember Laura did it … Shea Ralph almost did it in the second half of a game one time. That was pretty special. She almost did it.
“We’re fortunate that players don’t have to do that much for us on a regular basis. We’re down (two players). I don’t know that (Dolson) would’ve done it if we had the other two guys.’’