Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Mosqueda-Lewis makes strong first impression

As 18th birthdays go, it was not a perfect day for UConn freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis but it was pretty close.

The highly-touted 6-footer hut five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals as UConn defeated Division II Assumption 89-30 in the first exhibition game for the Huskies. Mosqueda-Lewis would have likely added to those number had she not felt some discomfort in her left calf leading to her playing just the first 1:40 of the second half.

"At some point in the game, my calf started hurting," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "It just felt like a pull, I don't know yet. I was out there for a while and told Rosie (UConn trainer Rosemary Ragle) it was bothering me. She said to go out and see if you can play and I played for a couple more minutes and Coach (Geno Auriemma) took me out."

As for the game, Mosqueda-Lewis had her first shot blocked but once she found the range, there was no stopping her.

"In the beginning it was a little rocky but I started to get into a rhythm," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "We were playing good defense as a team and it got rolling from there."

As for her birthday, she did have a full class schedule but her teammates did not forget her special day.

"It was a good day. I had four classes but other than that, I had a good day. It wasn't that bad. Caroline got me first beanie (hat). She said I needed to cover my ears (in the winter). They sang to me and made me skip around the room - tradition."

It was pretty well known that Mosqueda-Lewis is an outstanding shooter but the intensity in which she got after it on the defensive end really impressed me. Apparently, I was not alone.

"The high school that she comes from (Mater Dei in Santa Ana, Calif.), they picked up full court every possession so their coach did a really good job of instilling in them a certain attitude of how to play defense and she has brought that with her," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "She wants to be a good defender and she is smart. She is in the passing lanes a lot and she is a really good passer. I don't want to make it sound like she is already an All-American. She has a long, long way to go but she has basketball stuff, she knows how to play. She wants to be great, that is the best way to say it  but at the same time, she is going to keep growing because right now she doesn't know how to handle how it is not great for her. That is going to take a little bit of a adjustment.

Senior Tiffany Hayes led UConn with 18 points and was quite proud of getting a double-double with 10 assists. Bria Hartley had 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals, Stefanie Dolson 12 points and 10 rebounds while Kelly Faris had 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Michala Johnson had nine points in nine minutes while freshman Kiah Stokes added seven points and six rebounds.

After the game Hayes was asked about the frame of mind of Doty, who has dealt with a lifetime's worth of injuries in her time at UConn. Doty missed the game with a sprained ankle.

"No matter what, she is such a fighter," Hayes said. "She is definitely going to come back stronger than ever. I just talked to her and she said maybe another week or so. Once she gets back, I just hopes that she stays healthy."

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Anonymous Joseph M. Smith said...

When the Big East tournament rolls around, Auriemma will be using a 7 player rotation during meaningful minutes. That seems to be his comfort zone. Some media and fans will be playing the infamous "thin bench" card again.

10:41 AM 

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