HOUSTON — Sidelined with mononucleosis since before UConn's game at South Florida on Feb. 16, junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is not with the team on its five-day trip to Texas.
But coach Geno Auriemma said Saturday that her scheduled checkup on Friday in Connecticut was encouraging.
"She is making great progress," Auriemma said. "We get back to Connecticut early Wednesday morning [after Tuesday night's game at SMU], and we will take another look at her on Thursday. If she looks good, then we can think about maybe getting her back out there. We may have to wait a little longer. But there certainly has been no setback. All of the information I received [from the doctors] was very good."
"I would say more encouraging than discouraging, for sure."
They Still Count
Auriemma's record at UConn is now 867-133. But in actuality, he really didn't coach in all of those 1,000 games, even though he gets credit for them in accordance with NCAA bookkeeping.
Auriemma missed the final regular season game and three games in the 1989 Big East tournament after being suspended for a scheduling error relating to a scrimmage that he had with Eastern Connecticut in 1988-89 that someone counted as a regular season game.
He also missed three games of the 1997 Big East tournament following the death of his father. Chris Dailey guided UConn to those victories.
The Seventh-Inning Stretch
Here's one last Auriemma story from DePaul coach Doug Bruno, perhaps his closest friend in the coaching world and his trusted assistant on the 2010 World Championship and 2012 Olympic coaching staff.
"Geno called to inform me he has been invited to sing 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field in the spring of 2002," Bruno said. "Geno had just completed a great run [to the national championship] with easily his best UConn team up until that time — and many believe of all time. He decided to make it a father/son field trip to Chicago with his son Michael, who was about 12 years old at the time and very much into baseball.
"Dave Leitao [the former UConn men's assistant coach] had just been hired by DePaul [as head coach], so the night before the Cubs game we were all able to have a fun reunion/welcome dinner with Dave, Geno, Michael and me at a great Italian restaurant, Sorriso, located on the Chicago River.
"The next day at Wrigley was vintage Geno. When you sing at Wrigley, it is really not at all about how well you sing. You are allowed to say one short sentence before you begin. So Geno, in only the way Geno can, deadpanned from the press box to 40,000 Cubs fans below says, 'Doesn't anybody in this town work?'
"With that simple line, he got 40,000 baseball fans fired up to sing like you had never heard before. These Chicago baseball nuts sang so loud because they were all so proud to be not working that you never even heard Geno sing."
Bria Hartley scored 24 points Saturday to increase her career total to 1,802 to pass Tiffany Hayes into 10th place all-time at UConn. … Stefanie Dolson added another nine rebounds to boost her career total to 985. She is attempting to become just the fifth player in program history to reach 1,000. … If the Huskies beat SMU on Tuesday, their 35th straight win will equal the third-longest in program history, established from Nov. 26, 1994 to April 2, 1995 — the entire span of its first national championship season. .. The Huskies are almost certain to break their single-season record for blocked shots (250) set in 1994-95. They had another eight Saturday and now have 242 this season. … UConn had 20 assists. It went into the game averaging 22.3. The program record for a season is 21.7 set in 2001-02. … UConn went into the game having trailed for just 30:25 of the 1,120 minutes it has played. … The Huskies shot a season-high 64 percent (32-for-50) from the field.