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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Mosqueda-Lewis ties UConn's 3-point mark in rout of Tulsa

The story angle would have been straight out of a Hollywood script. The California born Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis tied the UConn career record by making her 318th career 3-pointer early in the second half of Wednesday's demolition of Tulsa. Certainly Mosqueda-Lewis must have gotten some inspiration as a youngster watching Diana Taurasi, another former California high school phenom, light it up during her days as a Husky.

Not exactly.

Mosqueda-Lewis answered the inquiry with "I was born in 1993" and after doing the math admitted that she had yet to be bitten by the basketball bug as a 10-year-old which is her age when Taurasi played her final collegiate game.

For those trivia buffs out there, the record-tying 318th career 3-pointer came off a Moriah Jefferson assist just 52 seconds into the second half in the second-ranked Huskies' 98-60 win over Tulsa before a crowd of 8,103 at the XL Center on Wednesday night.

Mosqueda-Lewis finished with 11 points in 20 minutes and will have a chance to move into sole possession on the career charts in Sunday's game at Southern Methodist.

"I don't think I will ever be at Diana's level at anything except for this so I will take it and keep going because she can't come back to do anything about it," Mosqueda-Lewis said with a laugh. "It is an awesome and it is an honor to be up there with her and be a part of UConn forever. I heard she wasn't that happy about me being that close to her (mark).

"She is definitely a player I watch now in the WNBA and especially with Coach (Geno Auriemma) being a part of USA Basketball and I have watched the Olympics she has played in and she is just an incredible competitor."

With UConn (13-1, 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference) rolling past the Hurricanes, the starters spent much of the second half on the bench. When Mosqueda-Lewis checked out with 15:34 remaining, there was a chance that her night was done. However, most of the crowd remained and began to rustle a bit when Mosqueda-Lewis reentered the game with 7:09 to play. If they hung around to see the historic 3-pointer No. 319, they would leave disappointed as she could not bring herself to jack up another 3 with the game so out of hand.

"When I was with that last group, it was more about getting them some minutes and kind of help them go through the offense and get a feeling of what it is like to be out there," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I think today was the longest they have been out there without really getting a sub so I am getting a feel of what the starters feel like when we stay out there for 10 minutes straight, see how mentally strong we have to be to. I think it is going to be important for them to get some cohesiveness together."

Mosqueda-Lewis, who failed to make a 3 in her last two games which is something that had not previously occurred in her collegiate career, had two 3-point attempts in the first 49 seconds of the game. She missed the first one but made the second and added another trey later in the half to pull within one of Taurasi's mark setting the stage for her record-tying shot early in the second half.

"Things like that happen because you get a lot of opportunities to play with some great players, to work on your game and be at a place where we share the ball really well, get so many assists every game that if you are a great shooter and you come here and play a lot, you are going to have a lot of opportunities to make shots," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "That doesn't mean you are going to make them. What K has done is something is very difficult to do. I know everybody wants to be seen as more than just a shooter, they want to be seen as a basketball player and I a happy for K that she has become a much better basketball player."

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