Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

UConn spreading the wealth

Kia Nurse joined Moriah Jefferson as UConn players with 100 assists this season, Breanna Stewart is just three away from joining them and it isn't out of the question that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Morgan Tuck could also end the season with more than 100 assists. Not a bad accomplishment for a team that head coach Geno Auriemma openly questioned this team's passing ability.

With the 26 assists against Cincinnati in the AAC quarterfinals, the Huskies are averaging 21.8 assists per game. Among UConn squads, only the 1994-95 team (22.5 assists per game) has averaged more helpers per game than this team.

"I think is the closest team we have had since I've been here at Connecticut on and off the court based on the fact that we have been able to spend so much time together and have so many different personalities to make it work for us," UConn senior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "It really helps us on the court."

Auriemma is slowly warming to the fact that this year's team is becoming a better passing squad as the season moves forward.

"I am so old now I don't even pay attention to that stuff," Auriemma said. "If she says it is true, it is true. One reason for that might be that none of their personalities stands out. There really isn't a dominant personality so they all get to share in it so maybe that is a big part of it. They all feel like they are contributing to the personality of the team where in the past we have had some great personalities and everybody else kind of slinks to the background. I didn't think we would be such a great passing team and generally speaking when people want to be good passers it is because they are unselfish and they care about their teammates. Being close off the court obviously helps, they have been together a lot, these guys really know each other since they were 16/17 playing USA Basketball. I have tried to convince them to impact the game when they don't have the ball, most great players that is what they do - they are unselfish so they don't need the ball in their hands to impact the game."

Speaking of Nurse, she joins Svetlana Abrosimova, Carla Berube and Maya Moore as the only UConn freshmen to have at least 100 assists while shooting at least 50 percent from the field.

Mosqueda-Lewis's four 3-pointers gives her 375, one behind former Oklahoma star Aaryn Ellenberg for 10th on the NCAA Division I women's basketball list. She will move up rather quickly as Chynna Bozeman (Morehead State) is ninth with 377 and Kim MacMillan, who played at LIU and St. John's, had 379 in her career.

Kiah Stokes had three blocked shots as she moved by Tina Charles and into third on UConn's career list. She has 128 blocks this season, three shy of the program record set by Rebecca Lobo in the 1993-94 season. Finally, Breanna Stewart now has 99 3-pointers after making one today. With one more she will join Moore as the only Huskies with at least 100 rebounds, assists, steals, blocked and 3-pointers.

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