Hartley probable, Stewart doubtful for Louisville

By Carl Adamec

STORRS, Conn. — Bria Hartley feared the worst.

Early in Saturday’s game against Marquette at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee, the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s junior guard reached for a loose ball when the Golden Eagles’ Katherine Plouffe slid into her left knee and left ankle.

“It was pretty painful at the time,” Hartley said Monday.

Hartley, who missed the Huskies’ first two games with an injured left ankle, had the ankle retaped by athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle but did not return to UConn’s 85-51 rout of Marquette.

She was listed as doubtful Sunday for the third-ranked Huskies’ Big East game against No. 15 Louisville Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford. She did not practice Monday but did shoot and run on the treadmill. She looked good enough to be upgraded to probable to face the Cardinals. A decision will likely be made at shootaround Tuesday.

“That first day you roll an ankle it’s pretty stiff,” Hartley said. “When you start moving and get active, it’s a lot better.”

Hartley is averaging 8.8 points and 3.1 assists in 23.5 minutes for the Huskies (14-1 overall, 2-1 Big East). She has struggled with her left ankle since originally hurting it in the FIBA 3×3 world championships in August.

Meanwhile, freshman forward Breanna Stewart remains doubtful with a left ankle sprain. She was injured doing a rebounding drill in practice Friday and missed her first game of the season at Marquette.

“Breanna came out and got some shots up and moved around a little bit and did some individual stuff for a little bit,’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “And the same thing, although I think she’s less likely than whatever Bria’s condition is.”