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UConn freshmen studied under Hartford coach
Question of the Day
HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - Hartford coach Jen Rizzotti can’t help but feel a little bit of pride for the opposition Sunday when her Hawks take on top-ranked Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
It’s not just that Rizzotti starred at UConn, leading the Huskies to their first of seven championships back in 1995.
“I remember telling Geno (Auriemma) that Bria would be ready to play right away and that Stefanie would be really good once she figured out how to play at the college speed,” she said. “It kind of worked out the way I thought it would.”
Hartley started for Rizzotti and averaged almost 11 points and four assists during the team’s gold-medal run in Colorado last summer. Dolson came off the bench and averaged about six points and four rebounds.
“Practices are definitely similar, you go from drill to drill, not a whole lot of breaks, just pushing yourself the whole time,” Dolson said. “It was hard for me during USA, but I think it prepared me so well for practice here under Coach (Auriemma).”
Rizzotti said Dolson would often look for breathers during games, and would get winded. She said she’s proud of the way she’s progressed to the point where she can play almost 40 minutes in the post for UConn (32-1).
“I was telling her what they are probably telling her now. You’ve got to push through being tired and find a way to be effective,” she said. “I knew once she pushed through that mental barrier, she would be fine.”
“She soaked everything in. She wanted to do everything right. She wanted to be the best player, and most of all to help us win,” Rizzotti said. “And that’s exactly who she became when she went to college.”
By Matt Kibbe
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