UConn’s Paige Bueckers helped off court Sunday, Geno Auriemma says extent of injury unknown

Photo of Mike Anthony

STORRS — Paige Bueckers had to be carried away from her latest spectacular performance.

With under a minute remaining in UConn’s 73-54 victory over Notre Dame, Bueckers hobbled badly up court — a non-contact injury to her left knee. Bueckers then fell to the court in front of the UConn bench with 38.5 seconds left.

“The doctors did a quick examination and they’re going to wait for the ice to come off and then they’ll know more,” coach Geno Auriemma said. “Then, an MRI. On the replay it looked like hyperextended (knee). But nothing twisted, which is really bad. So hopefully we get some good news [Monday].”

The UConn team surrounded Bueckers and she was carried to the bench after nearly a minute. She was then helped through the handshake line, one arm around Azzi Fudd and the other around a member of the staff.

Gampel Pavilion went silent during most of this, with exiting fans stopping in their tracks to try to learn more from a distance. Bueckers had played the entire game to that point, finishing with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists. She made 9 of 17 shots.

Auriemma said Bueckers was in the game with so little time remaining because “She’s a pain in the [butt] when she’s on the bench,” and added, “I don’t like the way our team looks when she isn’t on the court.”

Getting more to the point, Auriemma said, “I don’t have an answer for why she was in the game.”

Bueckers came into the game averaging 21 points, 6.6 assists and 5.8 rebounds, and shooting 57 percent from the field. She was also averaging a team-high 35.8 minutes.

Bueckers finished Friday’s victory over Seton Hall with a bloody nose.