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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mosqueda-Lewis' triple-double leads UConn into Sweet 16

There have been countless times when Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis takes a shot from long distance and the net doesn't even move and while that can be something to behold, I'm not sure she ever had a better game in a Connecticut uniform than she had today.

Sure, she had her fourth career 20-point game in the NCAA tournament but seeing Mosqueda-Lewis pull down 10 rebounds (six on the offensive end) and dish out a career high 10 assists (joining Sue Bird as the only Huskies to accomplish that feat in the NCAA tournament) was even more impressive.

“I feel like when things like that are going (well), I feel like I am getting into a rhythm, my teammates did a great job of finding me and do a great job of getting open,” said Mosqueda-Lewis, who joined teammate Stefanie Dolson and Laura Lishness as the only UConn players to record a triple-double. “I think when we have everybody on this team that can finish with the ball; it makes it easier to do things like this.

“Coaches have been telling me you have to be a complete player. You are contributing in different ways and I am doing everything possible whether it is rebounding, being involved with my teammates, shooting the ball or just playing good defense.”

Her teammates picked up on Mosqueda-Lewis' positive body language early on in the game.

“I think it was her rebounding starting off and she was really aggressive rebounding, shots were going in and it was really great,” UConn guard Moriah Jefferson said. “That is a confidence builder and I think she will carry over her confidence to the next (game). She was everywhere. If she was missing her shots, she was getting the rebound.”

It has not been the easiest of seasons for Mosqueda-Lewis. She was the Huskies’ leading scorer both as a freshman and sophomore but two separate elbow injuries and a bout with mononucleosis forced her to miss 12 games and play below her All-American level in many others.

“I would venture to say that the only person who doesn't know what the expectation level is for K is her,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “Everything that she does, I don't think it surprises any of us so when we see her play like she played tonight. We already know that she is somebody who can make shots because we see her do it a lot. I was probably as happy since I have been in any NCAA tournament game to see K play the way she played today because I think deep down in her heart I think today is who she is.”

Mosqueda-Lewis' triple-double is the 14th in Division I tournament history.

Breanna Stewart had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks and Bria Hartley had 20 points as UConn (36-0) advanced to face 12th-seeded Brigham Young in Saturday’s regional semifinal (4:30 p.m., ESPN). It will be the first time the Huskies will play a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16 since facing No. 12 San Francisco in 1996 in Rosemont, Ill.

Stefanie Dolson finished with 17 points and Moriah Jefferson 11 as all five starters scored in double figures for the second game in a row. The only time that happened in back to back NCAA tournament games in program history came against Penn State and Iowa back in 2002 when Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, Diana Taurasi and Tamika Williams accomplished the feat.

Dolson, who matched Renee Montgomery’s program record by starting her 148th career game, moved by Jamelle Elliott and into fourth place on the Huskies’ career rebounding list. She also became the seventh Huskies to appear in 150 games

Stewart became third UConn player with 100 blocked shots in a season. Rebecca Lobo did it twice including blocking a team record 131 shots during the 1993-94 season



Anonymous Anonymous said...

If KML was healthy the entire season, do you think 4 UConn players would have been voted to a 10 member All American team? Or at least to the All Region team? Or would voters still only vote for 3?

There is no doubt in my mind that if KML and Tuck were 85% healthy the entire season, UConn would have crushed every team along the way to their 9th national championship. We are left with the torturing “what if”, just like we were with the possibility of Tina, Maya, and EDD.

UConn still might win a 9th NC, but I am not convinced for a few reasons. Auriemma will be extremely reluctant to play Stokes with Chong or Banks from here on out. UConn’s offensive flow is not good when 2 starters are on the bench. Foul trouble could put 2 starters on the bench.

The other fourteen teams have heard nothing except talk about a potential NC with UConn and ND. If teams not named ND, Stanford, and Louisville earn a trip to the Final Four, they would have done so in very hostile environments. That is a sign of a very good team.

Lastly, you cannot predict what referees will do. KML picked up 2 fouls in about 20 seconds last night. If one or more UConn starter picks up 2 fouls prior to the 4:00 or 8:00 TV timeout, that leaves the door open. We saw the physicality that Refs allowed Louisville to inflict on Griner and Baylor last season. So anything is possible.

9:53 AM 

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