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College basketball: UConn's Paige Bueckers injures knee

College basketball: UConn's Paige Bueckers injures knee
UConn sophomore Paige Bueckers (5) sustained a knee injury in the fourth quarter of a win over Notre Dame on Sunday in Storrs, Conn. Photo by Stephen Slade/UConn Athletics

Dec. 6 (UPI) -- UConn guard Paige Bueckers, the reigning women's basketball National Player of the Year, sustained a non-contact left knee injury late in a Huskies win over rival Notre Dame.

Bueckers sustained the injury with about 44 seconds remaining in the 73-54 victory Sunday in Storrs, Conn. Huskies coach Geno Auriemma told reporters that the initial diagnosis was a hyperextension.

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"You immediately put yourself in that kid's shoes," Auriemma said. "That's the part that really hits you in the pit of your stomach.

"Initial report is that she might have hyperextended it, but I think the first thing that goes through your mind is the worst thing."

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The Huskies led 70-52 when Bueckers dribbled the ball toward half court. She walked and bounced the ball on the right flank at the start of the sequence. Bueckers then took a jab step with her left foot and went to the ground. She got up, picked up her dribble and went right, but hobbled before she went back to the ground.

Several teammates and UConn coaches checked on the Huskies star before they helped her get to her feet and took her to the bench.

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Bueckers, a sophomore, scored a game-high 22 points in the win. She also totaled five steals, four assists and four rebounds.

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The Huskies (5-1) face Georgia Tech (6-2) at 7 p.m. EST Thursday at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.

"I don't have an answer for why she was [still] in the game," Auriemma said. "But yeah, I don't like our team without her on the court."

Buckers is averaged 21.1 points per game over her first six appearances this season. She averaged 20 points per game in 2020-21.

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