Dolson honored by Big East; UConn at 3 in AP poll

By Carl Adamec

Stefanie Dolson knew early she would have a good day against DePaul Sunday.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s junior center took a pass from teammate Bria Hartley just behind the 3-point line and let it fly. The ball hit the rim, went high into the air, and then found its way through the net. It was part of an 11-0 run in the opening 5:00 that gave the third-ranked Huskies a double-digit lead en route to their 91-44 rout of the Blue Demons at Gampel Pavilion.

“I was hyped when that went in. I was so excited,” Dolson said. “I’m 1-for-1 my last few games. It hit the rim and I said, ‘C’mon.’ Then it bounced up and I went ‘Darn.’ But it went in. I was so happy.”

The 6-foot-5, Port Jervis, N.Y., native has made her last four tries from 3-point land, one in each of the last four games. She finished with 23 points, 22 in the first half, five rebounds, and six assists in 24 minutes Sunday. Last Tuesday against Marquette, she had 15 points, four rebounds, and four blocked shots.

For her efforts she was named the Big East Player of the Week for the second time this season Monday.

“I’m definitely happy with the way I’m playing and the way the team is playing as a whole,” Dolson said.

Named to the Big East honor roll Monday were Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel, Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa, St. John’s Shenneika Smith, Syracuse’s Kayla Alexander, and Villanova’s Laura Sweeney. Georgetown forward Dominique Vitalis was the Big East Freshman of the Week. She had 21 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime loss to St. John’s.

UConn (22-1 overall, 9-1 Big East) remained third in the Associated Press poll behind Baylor and Notre Dame for the sixth straight week, though one of the 40 voters flip-flopped UConn and Notre Dame behind Baylor. The Bears received 37 first-place votes and three second-place votes for 997 points. The Irish got 34 second-place votes and six third-place votes for 954 points. The Huskies received three first-place votes, three second-place votes, and 34 third-place votes for 929 points.

It was status quo in the Adamec Top 10 with no movement from a week ago.

1. Baylor (22-1). Has home games with Texas Tech Tuesday and TCU Saturday before heading to Hartford a week from tonight.

2. Notre Dame (22-1). Irish host Louisville tonight in last tough Big East test until finale with UConn.

3. UConn (22-1). Huskies on the road this week with Providence and Rutgers.

4. Stanford (22-2). This weekend’s Pac-12 vacation takes Cardinal to USC and UCLA.

5. Duke (21-1). ACC showdown with Maryland at Cameron Indoor Stadium tonight.

6. Maryland (19-3). Terrapins’ lack of depth may be problem at Duke.

7. Penn State (20-3). On top of Big Ten thanks to home win over Purdue.

8. California (21-2). See Stanford above (Bears and Cardinal are travel partners).

9. Kentucky (21-3). Has chance to avenge earlier loss to South Carolina and stay in wacky SEC race.

10. Louisville (20-4). Huge opportunity for Cardinals in South Bend tonight.