By Carl Adamec
STORRS, Conn. — The excitement that filled the air at Gampel Pavilion Saturday for the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s Senior Day turned into an eerie quiet as Caroline Doty limped to the Huskies’ bench just 97 seconds into what would eventually be a 90-30 win over Seton Hall.
The fifth-year senior guard stepped on the foot of the Pirates’ Alexis Brown and turned her left ankle. She tried to walk it off but soon called to the sidelines for a replacement. The pain was obvious.
But Doty wasn’t about to let her Senior Day end like that. For the next 10 minutes, Doty was attended to by athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle. The ankle was re-taped and Doty returned midway through the first half.
“I wasn’t going to let it be done,” Doty said. “It was more like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me. Really? This is really going to happen?’
“I was thinking, ‘Wrap it up and I’ll get back in,’ Rosie took care of me like she always does.”
Doty played 17 minutes and finished with five points, five rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. It was the 120th game of Doty’s career. The Doylestown, Pa., native has battled through three surgeries on her left knee to get to this point. It was an emotional day as she was escorted to center court by her parents Kevin and Sue during the pregame Senior Day ceremony.
“I don’t think tears are a sign of weakness, not on this team,” Doty said. “Just look at how hard we play.”
And she plans to be ready to go when UConn takes on Pittsburgh at the XL Center in Hartford Tuesday (7 p.m., SNY).
“It hurt. It was a stinger,” Doty said. “But it’s nothing ice and treatment won’t heal.”
If not for bad luck, Seton Hall has had no luck for close to two decades against UConn. The Huskies have not lost back-to-back games in almost 20 years. Of the 53 times they have come off a loss since the start of the 1993-94 season, the opponent they have faced the most is Seton Hall (six times).
The results were predictable. Seton Hall is 0-6 against UConn following a Huskies’ loss in the last 20 season. UConn’s average margin of victory is 51.0. The Pirates have not beaten the Huskies in Connecticut in coach Geno Auriemma’s 28 years here.
UConn (25-2 overall, 12-1 Big East) reached the 25-win plateau for a nation’s best 20th straight season. The Huskies also clinched a double-bye into the Big East tournament quarterfinals and with one more win will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. They will begin defense of the tourney title on Sunday, March 10, at either 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford.
Their streak of games without consecutive losses reached 720.
Sadie Edwards, a 5-foot-10 junior guard at Blair Academy in New Jersey, was in attendance Saturday. Edwards started her high school career at Mercy High in Middletown, Conn. … UConn recruit Courtney Ekmark scored 14 points as St. Mary’s of Phoenix successfully defended its Arizona Division I state title with a 49-37 win over Pinnacle Saturday … The victory was the 400th Big East win for Auriemma. He joins Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer as the only coaches with 400 conference wins … Seton Hall shot 20.0 percent from the floor and had 25 turnovers.