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UConn women's notebook: Chong officially on board

Updated 12:41 am, Friday, November 16, 2012
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FAX RECEIVED: Saniya Chong, a 5-foot-9 guard from Ossining, N.Y., is an official member of the UConn women's basketball program. She signed her National Letter of Intent Wednesday on the first day of the NCAA early signing period and faxed it to UConn.

Chong is the only recruit the No. 2 Huskies will sign from the Class of 2013. Clearly, UConn coach Geno Auriemma is pleased to welcome Chong to the program.

"She's just one of these kids that scores points," Auriemma said. "She's fast. She can handle the ball. She's a tough kid. I just like her. She's a nice kid and the kind of kid that will be successful here at Connecticut."

Chong enters her senior season with 2,060 points, 412 rebounds, 473 assists and 362 steals. She averaged 33.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 9.7 assists, 5.0 steals and 1.4 blocks last season in leading Ossining to a 23-1 record and its second straight Section 1 Class AA championship.

UConn freshman Breanna Stewart ended Chong's season a year ago, leading Cicero-North High to a 79-51 win over Ossining in the Class AA state semifinals. Stewart finished with 42 points and 23 rebounds. Chong had 21 points.

"First off, I'm really excited for Saniya to get here next year just because I think we had a lot of fun when she came on her official (visit in October)," Stewart said. "She's just a really quick guard. She's long. She's taller and she's always looking for her teammates first. But then at the same time, you have to be careful because she can shoot the ball as well."

STILL OUT: Junior All-American Bria Hartley, as anticipated, will not play at No. 16 Texas A&M Sunday. She will miss her second straight game due to a sprained left ankle.

Hartley is listed as questionable for UConn's game against Wake Forest at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Nov. 22. However, Auriemma said Thursday that Hartley participated in drills on the side Tuesday and Wednesday.

"She did some stuff the last two days and said it felt really good," Auriemma said. "So it feels a lot better than it did Sunday. So that's a good sign. I'm really, really optimistic. Not about this weekend, but she'll be back soon."

Hartley took another step forward in her recovery Thursday by taking part in shooting drills with the team during practice.

NAMED: UConn senior Kelly Faris, juniors Hartley and Stefanie Dolson, sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stewart were named to the 50-player Naismith women's early season watch list, the Atlanta Tip-off Club announced Thursday.

-- RICH ELLIOTT