Crystal Dangerfield sat out last Tuesday’s game against Dayton with back spasms, and it’s currently unclear whether she will be available for Thursday’s game against Seton Hall.
“I think the rest is doing her good, but it’s a ‘wait and see’ right now,” head coach Geno Auriemma said.
The senior point guard is third on the team in points and assists per game, and leads in steals per game this young season. Dangerfield hasn’t played or practiced since the Ohio State game on Nov. 24.
The next best playmaker on the team is Anna Makurat, who left the Dayton game with an injury of her own. According to Auriemma on Tuesday, Makurat has been a limited practice participant since sustaining the injury but has been getting better every day.
“Every day she’s practicing more and more, so I’m hopeful that these next two days we’ll get a full practice out of her,” Auriemma said.
Makurat was a little more certain about her status for Thursday’s game, saying that she expects to play. Though scoring has been tough for the freshman, her high basketball IQ is prevalent every time she steps on the court. She leads the Huskies in assists and will potentially step into an even more ball-dominant role if Dangerfield misses more time.
UConn (6-0) blew Dayton out 75-37 despite missing Dangerfield and Makurat behind strong efforts from Megan Walker, Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa.
Walker led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds, bringing her per game averages up to 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Williams and Nelson-Ododa each scored 14; the former grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists, and the latter grabbed eight rebounds and blocked seven shots.
Seton Hall (5-3), rivals back from the good old Big East days, is coming back from the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas in which they went 1-1. The Pirates get well-rounded effort down their roster, with nine players playing 11 or more minutes per game.
Wings Desiree Elmore and Alexis Lewis contribute the bulk of the scoring, combining for 32.3 of the team’s 68 points per game this season.
Their primary playmaker is their freshman point guard Lauren Park-Lane, whose 33 assists this season account for over a third of the team’s total assists through eight games.
Seton Hall has been playing good basketball this season, and if the Huskies are without Dangerfield on Thursday, it could prove to be a challenge. That test gets a lot harder if Makurat is scratched from the lineup, too. Either way, Walker, William, Nelson-Ododa and Co. will have to bring their A-game.
UConn and Seton Hall will play Thursday in South Orange, New Jersey at 6:30 p.m.
Thumbnail photo by Charlotte Lao / The Daily Campus