Kyla Irwin’s UConn career is over. The school announced on Monday that the senior forward will undergo surgery for a fractured elbow on her left arm on Monday afternoon.
The injury occurred in the third quarter of the Huskies’ blowout win, just 33 seconds after she checked into the game for the first time. She went up for an offensive rebound and was bumped from behind, causing her to fall forward and hit the floor without bracing. Irwin received medical attention and went into the locker room straight from the court.
“Obviously we don’t right now exactly,” head coach Geno Auriemma said postgame. “She’s on her way to get some x-rays, we’ll know more. But she landed directly on it. So it was a really hard fall and obviously it’s serious. How serious? I don’t know yet.”
The coach also noted that Irwin broke a finger in practice a few days ago and was also dealing with a foot issue that will require surgery after the season ends.
Irwin started 18 games this season and played in 28 total, averaging 3.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 16.6 minutes per game. However, Auriemma said the senior’s importance involved more than just her stat line.
“She’s a kid that does impact your team, whether she’s playing or not, whether she has the ball or not, whether she’s shooting well or not,” he said. “She has an infectious kind of personality that makes your team better. That’s rare in today’s day and age. We’re going to miss that going forward.”
Megan Walker and Christyn Williams also spoke about Irwin after the game.
“It was tough for us to see that, our senior that’s worked so hard throughout her four years,” Walker said. “She had another run at a national championship in front of her. It was tough for us to see and we’re going to keep that on our shoulder as we move forward.”
“She’s one of the captains of our team. We love Kyla to death so of course that hurt,” Williams added. “It was the first thing we asked when we got into the locker room after the game, ‘How’s Kyla?’”
From a basketball perspective, Irwin was UConn’s top post option off the bench. Now, the Huskies are limited to just Evelyn Adebayo and Batouly Camara — the latter of which hasn’t played more than three minutes in any game — as their bench options down low.