By Carl Adamec
STORRS, Conn. — Stefanie Dolson felt bad enough missing her first game with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team Saturday. Imagine how she felt when the third-ranked Huskies were facing a six-point second-half deficit against St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena.
“It was tough. It was weird, really bizarre,” Dolson said Monday. “You just feel helpless and it was tough to not get in. Overall we struggled, but at the end they were able to find a way to win and make the plays and finish.”
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kelly Faris led a surge that lifted UConn to a 71-65 victory over the Red Storm. The Huskies (20-1 overall, 7-1 Big East) will have Dolson back in the lineup as they go for their ninth straight win Tuesday night against league rival Marquette at Gampel Pavilion (7 p.m., SNY).
Dolson, who had played in 96 consecutive games to start her career, complained of stomach problems Saturday morning. She went through warmups before telling coach Geno Auriemma she could not play.
“I didn’t want to be a detriment to the team,” Dolson said.
The junior center is averaging 13.8 points and 6.7 rebounds in 20 games. She leads the Big East and nation in field-goal percentage at 61.2. She reached the 1,000-point plateau last month against Syracuse.
The illness didn’t stop her from practicing the last two days.
“Stefanie’s been great,” Auriemma said. “Yesterday she was a tad off but today you wouldn’t know anything happened.”
Freshman Morgan Tuck, who has missed three games due to a a bone bruise in her right knee, did not practice Sunday or Monday but is expected to play against Marquette (11-10, 3-5).
Why didn’t Tuck practice?
“Because she’s walking into the building yesterday and slips on a piece of snow and her knee acts up,” Auriemma said.
The Huskies learned Monday they will be without sophomore guard Brianna Banks, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee Saturday, for the rest of the year. She will be the seventh player on the Huskies’ 11-player roster to miss a game due to injury/illness.
“It’s not the typical year to want to have but you can’t use it as an excuse,” Faris said. “At this point of the season all of the teams are going through the same thing. Everyone is getting injured, everyone is getting beat up. Some teams like to use it as an excuse but we’re coached in a way and taught in a way that it doesn’t matter. It’s unfortunate for people to be out but we have to use what we have. A season is filled with adjustments.”
Making the grade
Faris is one of 19 UConn student-athletes that will be singled out at halftime Tuesday night for earning a 4.0 grade point average in 2012. The senior earned her perfect GPA in the spring semester.
Four other Huskies — graduate student Caroline Doty, senior Heather Buck, junior Dolson, and sophomore Kiah Stokes — earned a GPA of 3.0 in either the 2012 spring or fall semester to earn a spot on the athletic director’s honor roll.
Mosqueda-Lewis moved back into the lead in the national 3-point field-goal percentage race Monday night after Penn State’s Maggie Lucas went 1-for-6 from behind the arc in the Lady Lions’ 69-61 win over Purdue. Mosqueda-Lewis is at 49.6 percent to Lucas’ 49.2 … Faris needs only one assist to break a tie Ketia Swanier for 10th place on UConn’s all-time list … The 20 players for the WBCA High School All-America Game will be announced Tuesday morning.