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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Mosqueda-Lewis delivers in UConn win

It a roll call was going to be taken on the players having the biggest impact at UConn recent weeks, the list would certainly start with Breanna Stewart and Bria Hartley. It wouldn't take long to mention Moriah Jefferson's name and senior center Stefanie Dolson would also receive kudos. So where does this leave returning All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis?

The Huskies' leading scorer in each of her first two seasons has scored 21 points on three different occasions but the truth is she has not been the night in, night off offensive dynamo she was earlier in her career. Some of it is that she is lacking confidence in her shot and there is also the factor of her working her way back into shape after sitting out five weeks due to an elbow injury.

At halftime of Tuesday's Temple game she was challenged to get more involved and she responded with 12 points in 13 second-half minutes. In the practices between that game and today's contest at Cincinnati, much of the time has been spent on keeping Mosqueda-Lewis moving, posting her up and making her more than just a stationary shooter.

"We are trying to move her to as many places as we can," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "It is better for her, better for us. It is important for us that we get her playing the same all the time."

Mosqueda-Lewis, who came into the season owning the No. 1 and 4 seasons in UConn history for 3-pointers made, did hit three treys but she also got into the paint and made her presence felt. She also made it to the free-throw line for the first time in eight games.

Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 17 points as she scored in double figures in consecutive games for just the second time this season. What was the difference?

"I'm just do different things, keep moving in general whether it is in the post or at the guard position. I like it (posting up). I have been doing it a lot in practice and I feel like I am getting better and better every day. I feel like it is getting better. I have to keep working at it, staying positive."

Mosqueda-Lewis admits that it has been a struggle mentally not being able to score with the same amount of ease as she has earlier in her career.

"It has been difficult," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I had stretches when I was not shooting the 3 very well but not really having scoring issues. It is just a matter of doing different things, keep moving, try to get tips on defense. It is a challenge but it is also exciting. I am trying to learn how to (play) post defense, how to post up properly and all the different moves that you can do so it is kind of cool doing stuff like that."
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Her teammates have noticed a difference in the last game and a half and this week in practice as well.

"Kaleena has a different mindset," junior guard Brianna Banks said. "The whole team, I feel like we came out with a whole different mindset today and hopefully we keep that mindset in the future."

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