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Bruszewski doubtful for championship game

Andrew Owens | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. – Irish senior forward and leader Becca Bruszewski had to exit last night’s 71-67 victory over No. 9 DePaul with just under four minutes remaining after taking a hard hit to her ribs. She was unable to reenter the game.

In the postgame press conference, Irish coach Muffet McGraw said that Bruszewski was being checked out by the medical staff, including a doctor that traveled with the team, and was “doubtful” to play Tuesday evening in the Big East championship game.

Bruszewski, a native of Valparaiso, Ind., scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds in 24 minutes before exiting the game. She led a strong defensive effort against Blue Demons forward Felicia Chester. The DePaul senior went 0-of-7 shooting and failed to score after putting up 20 points in an 8-of-14 shooting effort on Feb. 28 in a 70-69 win over the Irish. Chester scored the game-winning basket with six seconds left in the game.

In Bruszewski’s absence, freshman Natalie Achonwa will need to take on a larger role in the championship game. While her inexperience was exposed in the first meeting against DePaul, she made some big plays down the stretch in last night’s semifinal victory over the Blue Demons.

“I thought Natalie [Achonwa] off the bench was huge,” McGraw said after last night’s win. “She did so many great things. She did a nice job on the boards. She played like a veteran and that was really great to see.”