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Timeout by Dawn Staley for UCLA player’s injury hailed as sportsmanlike act

    Timeout by Dawn Staley for UCLA player's injury hailed as sportsmanlike act

    Timeout by Dawn Staley for UCLA player’s injury hailed as sportsmanlike act

    Timeout by Dawn Staley for UCLA player's injury hailed as sportsmanlike act

    Timeout by Dawn Staley for UCLA player’s injury hailed as sportsmanlike act

    Coach Cori Close of the UCLA women’s basketball team was understandably sad when the club’s season came to an end Saturday when they lost to South Carolina in the Final 16.

    Yet, that didn’t stop her from complimenting USC head coach Dawn Staley for what Close called a telling instance of class and sportsmanship during USC’s 59-43 victory.

    At Bon Secours Wellness Center, late in the third quarter, with South Carolina leading UCLA 46-30, one of the Bruins’ starting forwards, Emily Bessoir, was harmed while squabbling with USC’s Aliyah Boston for a rebound after a missed jumper.

    As South Carolina pushed the ball up the court into a clear advantage—five offensive players against four defensive players—Bessoir stayed beneath the hoop, writhing in anguish. Bessoir’s injuries had been seen by a nearby referee, but he did not signal for an injury timeout.

    But the SEC Coach of the Year took matters into her own hands: at 1:22 of the third quarter, instead of trying to expand USC’s 16-point advantage against a UCLA defense that had lost a woman, Staley called a 30-second timeout so Bessoir could receive medical assistance.

    Close remarked, “That’s exactly what it showed: her class and her overall perspective of the game and what was most crucial at that moment. Mom just ordered the timeout because Emily was unwell. just after After the show, I just turned to her and said, “Thank you, Dawn,” to which she responded.

    Staley and Close get along well in the workplace. They have worked together within the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, which is the organization that represents NCAA coaches, in addition to coaching at their respective institutions for well over a decade each. (The president at present is close.)

    Close remarked, “I mean, I think these kinds of moments in games reveal people’s character. And I believe it simply exposed a facet of her personality, namely that she always places the needs of the children first.
    After originally being uncertain as to whether Staley or an official had called for time following Bessoir’s apparent thigh injury, the ESPN broadcast team also noticed Staley’s timeout. During the game, Staley acknowledged that she alone called the stoppage to have Bessoir examined.

    Staley stated, “I mean, I don’t like to see players fall down in any situation. You never know what kind of injury it is, so you want to get medical assistance from them as soon as you can. If we can control the issue, we can obtain (help). It was the proper course of action. Making sure the young lady was okay was the correct thing to do.

    South Carolina beat UCLA 25-15 in the third quarter after leading 25-15 at the half to establish an unstoppable lead and eventually advance to the Final Eight.

    For a spot in the Final Four, South Carolina, the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket and the current national champion, will play Maryland on Monday (7 p.m., ESPN).

    Even before the game, Close was a fan of the 35-0 Gamecocks, calling them possibly the best defensive and rebounding team she had ever coached against. But Staley’s in-game sportsmanship might have raised the bar for her South Carolina admiration.

    Bessoir’s injury, fortunately for UCLA, wasn’t too severe: She returned to the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, played four minutes, and finished with 15 minutes played, six points, and three rebounds.

    Staley claimed that ordering a timeout was just the proper course of action.

    I am aware of Cori, Staley said. Although I know Cori well and am aware of the kind of coach and person she is, I would have done it for anyone. If one of our players had been injured, she would have done it and would have acted the same way.