After being sidelined for nearly three months due to a left knee injury, he was named National Player of the Year Big Bakers She made her long-awaited comeback in a UConn Huskies 93-38 victory over St. John’s on Friday night in Hartford, Connecticut.
The sophomore climbed the All-American sentry onto the floor for the first time since December 5 when she checked in at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter to a standing ovation from the XL Center crowd.
The Bakers had missed the previous 19 games for the Lasquez No. 7 (21-5) after suffering a fracture of the anterior tibial plateau and a meniscus tear in the last minute of Yukon’s 73-54 win over Notre Dame on Dec. 5. I underwent surgery. To fix the injury on December 13th.
The Bakers came off the bench Friday for the first time in their career, and their first basket since December was memorable. As the clock ticked toward the end of the first quarter, the Bakers rattled her defender and nearly lost the ball before collecting it and sinking into an elbow jump at the bell. The Bakers roared and raised her hands to reach the section of students she scored in front of them before her teammates hugged her on the bench.
The star finished with eight points in a 4-for-5 shot in 12 minutes, with three periods of movement before sitting down the entire fourth quarter. She played inside herself, but seemed more and more comfortable creating her own shot and running it in transition as the game went on.
“We tried to get it for 15 minutes,” coach Gino Orima said in an interview with SNY after the game. “I think we’re close to that. We’ll see how you feel tomorrow. Hopefully we can do the same and maybe a little more on Sunday.”
UConn has another regular season game, Sunday vs. Providence, before the Big East Championships.
The Bakers averaged 21.2 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 steals in the six games played this season before the injury. The Husky started the year 5-1 with her in the lineup, losing to seeded South Carolina in the Bahamas on November 22, going 15-4 without her.
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