Another Senior Day has arrived

Storrs - It is very likely that today's pregame festivities at Gampel Pavilion will offer more interest than anything that follows tipoff.

Before third-ranked UConn plays Seton Hall (9-17) in a Big East game (4 p.m., SNY), Kelly Faris, Caroline Doty and Stonington High School graduate Heather Buck will be honored for Senior Day, an experience the Connecticut program has made unique.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma will present each player with their framed jersey. There is always a fitting musical accompaniment and applause raining from the crowd.

After that, the Huskies, who haven't played since Monday's loss to No. 1 Baylor, will play a team coached by Anne Donovan, recently named the new coach of the Connecticut Sun. Donovan will assume full-time duties with the Sun at the conclusion of Seton Hall's season.

Faris, playing the best baketball of her career this season, is expected to be a first-round draft choice in the upcoming WNBA Draft. Faris continues to play her way higher into the mix.

Neither Doty nor Buck have had careers as memorable. Both have battled injuries, among other issues.

Doty, who has suffered from knee injuries, started for the Huskies on the team that won the national championship in 2010. She has started 116 games and scored 696 points.

Buck will play in her 115th game Saturday. She has scored 206 points in her career.

Buck is Stonington's career scoring leader and led the Bears to the 2006 state championship. She will graduate this spring with a degree in nursing. Her career highlights have included playing for two national championship teams, four Final Fours and one memorable defensive effort on Brittney Griner at the XL Center in 2011.

Buck, as is tradition with all seniors, will start.

"I love the program. I love everything here," Buck said earlier this week.

As for the game: UConn needs to keep winning to keep hope of the Big East regular season championship alive.

If the Huskies and Notre Dame win their remaining games, the teams would play for the title March 4 in South Bend.

The Pirates are led by a pair of guards - senior Brittany Morris (13.3 points per game) and sophomore Ka-Deidre Simmons (11.2). Simmons also leads Seton Hall in assists (99) and steals (51).

m.dimauro@theday.com

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