UConn women’s basketball will be without Katie Lou Samuelson for the duration of the American Athletic Conference Tournament this weekend, the team announced. Samuelson injured her back against Houston on March 2 after colliding with an opposing player while going after a loose ball. She then subsequently missed the season finale against USF.
“For this weekend, it makes no sense when we have almost 16 days or 15 days until we play again,” head coach Geno Auriemma said about Samuelson. “I think everybody’s big concern is to make sure she has enough time to rest and be 100% until we put her out on the court again. Right now that’s the plan. I don’t see why we won’t stick to the plan. We just made that decision that it would be best for her not to play this weekend.”
The Huskies handled the loss of the senior well against Houston but the offense sputtered against USF and UConn needed a strong fourth quarter to come away with a 10-point win.
Auriemma said Samuelson’s back spasms haven’t cleared up yet and won’t put her back on the court at any point until those have completely gone away and the senior is healed.
“I don’t like to play around with — and I know our medical staff is the same way — when it’s your back, I don’t want to screw around with it,” Auriemma said. “I want to make sure it’s right. She’ll be fine.”
Without Samuelson, the Huskies will have a tougher road to their sixth-straight conference tournament championship but are still the heavy favorites. UConn’s first game is on Saturday at 2 p.m. against the winner of ECU and SMU.