Thanks to UConn’s desire to host NCAA Tournament events, Caroline Doty, Kelly Faris and Heather Buck got to enjoy two extra games at Gampel Pavilion than many Huskies seniors have.
But the end officially came Monday night when the Huskies defeated Vanderbilt, 77-44, in the second round of the Bridgeport Regional.
“I was just grateful to be with my teammates tonight and produce a good game,” said Doty, who had two points in 24 minutes.
The next step for the Huskies will be in Connecticut – Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena where they will play Maryland in the Sweet 16.
But that’s a neutral site, even for a program as close to state property as they come.
Doty, who along with Buck spent five seasons with the program due to medical redshirts, said she’ll remember many things about Gampel when she’s gone.
“Senior Night was up there among my memories, as was the first game I ever played in the building my freshman season against Georgia Tech,” Doty said. “Then there was my first ESPN game here [against Oklahoma] and the first College GameDay [for women’s basketball] we had [against Notre Dame].
“There are a lot of special memories. I think of the early morning workouts and the fans that have come out over the years to support us.”
Faris, who scored four points in 21 minutes, says Gampel serves as a second campus home to UConn basketball players.
“Everything kind of happens here for us,” Faris said. “It’s hard to think of just one aspect of being here that I will remember.
“It’s [Monday] somewhat bittersweet. On Senior Night, I knew I had a few more game to play here. Now this is part [of her life] is coming to end. And it’s funny because when I came here as a freshman, after the first week of workouts, I never thought it was going to end.”
While Faris will move on the professional career in the WNBA and overseas, Buck, who played three minutes on Monday, will become a nurse.
Doty is not sure what the next step will be for her.
“Honestly, everyone has been asking me what I am going to do now and honestly I do not know,” Doty said. “I will wait until the season ends to put everything in motion and my season won’t end until we win the national championship.”