By Carl Adamec
HARTFORD, Conn. — Welcome to late night at the XL Center.
Tipoff is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. for Tuesday’s game between the third-ranked University of Connecticut women’s basketball team and No. 15 Louisville. For the Huskies (14-1 overall, 2-1 Big East), it’s the start of a three-game homestand. They entertain Syracuse here Saturday (4 p.m., SNY) and return to Gampel Pavilion Monday for a showdown with unbeaten and fourth-ranked Duke.
Louisville (14-3, 2-1) will head home immediately after the game. The Cardinals have spent the last five days in New England as they are coming off a 70-62 win at Providence Saturday.
UConn All-American guard Bria Hartley is expected to play. The junior hurt her bothersome left ankle Saturday at Marquette after playing only five minutes following a collision with Marquette’s Katherine Plouffe while going for a loose ball. She had been upgraded to probable Monday and went through Tuesday’s shootaround without problems.
Freshman forward Breanna Stewart will miss her second straight game with a sprained left ankle suffered Friday’s practice while doing a rebounding drill.
The Huskies are 44-0 against the five former Conference USA teams — Cincinnati (7-0), DePaul (9-0), Louisville (11-0), Marquette (8-0), and South Florida (9-0) — that joined the Big East for the 2005-06 season. They are 11-1 all-time against the Cardinals. Louisville’s only win came in the 1993 NCAA tournament first round in Storrs. It was the second straight loss for the Huskies. They have not lost back-to-back in 708 games since.