Triple-Double Dolson leads UConn women to 114-68 win over Oregon
HARTFORD: It’s astounding to think it’s only happened one other time in the school's storied history.
When University of Connecticut senior Stefanie Dolson scored 26 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and handed out 11 assists, she went into the Huskies' archives as the second player to record a triple-double.
Think about that. With all the magnificent stars that have come through UConn over the years, only one other player, Laura Lishness (in 1989) had accomplished the feat.
Head coach Gino Auriemma may have been surprised when he heard it had not been done often but understood why.
“Most of the great players we have had over the years weren’t on the court late in the game,” Auriemma said after the game. “With us being down two, these players are seeing more time.”
Dolson played 31 minutes on Wednesday night in a game that resembled both a track meet and a street game because of the break neck speed the two teams, especially the Ducks who ran into and out of the XL Center.
The visitors had come in having broken the 100-point mark twice already this year but were no match for a Huskies team that may have but seven scholarship players healthy right now, but a seven spot any team in the country would love to have.
Since losing Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck in the Stanford game, the Magnificent 7 (as they could be called, movie rights and all) have simply found a way to keep the steamroller on course.
“We have two people down and we just had to have other players step up,” sophomore Breanna Stewart (game-high 28) said. “Everyone has added another piece because of the two people that are missing. With the seven that we have, their all great players and we are going to continue to do what we do until we get the other two back.”
This team has not missed a beat with an All-American and a key sophomore forward on the shelf and on Wednesday against a West Coast team that loved to throw three-point tries from anywhere on the court, the UConn defense stifled the long ball (7-28) and held the Ducks to a 30.7 shooting percentage.
Christae Rowe led Oregon with 27 points while Jillian Alleyne added 15 in head coach Paul Westhead’s run and gun offense that at times resembled a street game gone awry.
True to their average, the Ducks hoisted 88 shots but quantity in this case, did not also come with quality.
UConn by contrast, shot nearly 64 percent from the floor, 64 in the paint (versus 28 for Oregon).
The name of the game was feed the bigs underneath and reap the benefits.
Six different Huskies scored in double figures, Bria Hartley (17), Moriah Jefferson (14), Kiah Stokes (a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards in just 21 minutes) and Brianna Banks (10).
Banks made her first ever start against the Ducks and logged quality 31 minutes.
Dolson, though, was the talk of the town during post-game interviews as coaches and teammates praised what she has become.
“Nobody works harder in practice, day in and day out,” Auriemma said. “She runs the court so well, she beat most of those Oregon players back all night. I could not be happier with how she is playing.”
UConn has a three games in three nights stretch coming up this weekend when they host the Hall of Fame Classic in Storrs, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Friday night the Huskies take on Boston University at 7:30 p.m. followed by games against Monmouth on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and S.t Bonaventure on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.