By Carl Adamec
Bria Hartley will not play Sunday against the College of Charleston due to a high sprain and a partial ligament tear in her left ankle.
It’s the first game the All-America junior guard will miss in her UConn career. She originally injured the ankle in the FIBA 3×3 world championships in Athens, Greece, in late August.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma said Friday he is not counting on Hartley for the game at Texas A&M on Nov. 18 but is hopeful she’ll make her debut when the Huskies play Wake Forest, Marist, and Purdue (Nov. 22-24) at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“She said it feels better,” Auriemma said Friday. “She’s missed a month so I would say right now what’s realistic is that she’s going to need at least a week, if not more, of practice before she’s 100 percent ready to play. So in my mind I’m thinking, ‘OK, some time after Texas A&M.’ because it would be difficult to come back next week.
“So I’m not counting on her Sunday. In my mind I’m not counting on her at Texas A&M. After that I’d be a little surprised if she wasn’t ready for the Paradise Jam.”
UConn may not have to leave Connecticut to reach the 2013 NCAA Final Four in New Orleans.
The NCAA announced Friday it has moved a 2013 women’s basketball regional from Trenton, N.J. to Bridgeport, citing a new law that allows gambling on college sports in New Jersey. New Jersey announced last month that it plans to license sports betting as soon as Jan. 9. In response, the NCAA said it would no longer play championships in the state.
The Huskies will host first- and second-round games at Gampel Pavilion. The Bridgeport Regional will be played March 30 and April 1 at Webster Bank Arena and it will be hosted by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and Fairfield University.
UConn is 7-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in Bridgeport.
The Huskies defeated Pennsylvania and Auburn in a 2004 subregional. In the only regional Bridgeport has hosted, UConn beat Georgia but lost to Duke in overtime. In a 2008 subregional, UConn defeated Cornell and Texas. In a subregional last March, the Huskies beat Prairie View A&M and Kansas State.