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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Better memories at this Final Four in Tampa for UConn great Maya Moore

As the legendary Maya Moore watched UConn top Notre Dame to win its third straight national title there was a sense of what could have been.

The pain of the loss in the 2008 national semifinals in Tampa when Moore was a freshman still remains for the all-time leading scorer in UConn women's basketball history.

Seven years later Moore returned to the city in time to watch UConn win its record 10th national title. Down the stretch nobody came up bigger than Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who wore the same No. 23 number than Moore donned with such distinction.

"She went out better than I did," said Moore, who won national titles as sophomore and junior. "It was kind of a full circle moment in my freshman year losing here and her senior year winning here, it is kind of neat to see her story of that number and kind of those bookends of that number. Players have worn it before me, it wasn't just us two specifically but she overcame from struggles, injuries and other things that we don't know about but she was a leader in her own way. She did what she was supposed to do and I was really happy that she could go out on top. The 3 and then the pull up in the last few minutes of the game that really sealed the deal."

With Moore playing overseas in China, she hasn't had the chance to return to see UConn players as much as some former players including Sue Bird, Kalana Greene and Kelly Faris. Seeing how well this year's team played together brought back memories of the chemistry she had on the UConn teams she played on.

"I understand what it is like," Moore said. "I have played with a player of the year in Tina (Charles) or Renee (Montgomery) and there were superstars around me. You want to figure out a way to gel and have that balance but at the same time, it is time to step into taking the shot or doing what needs to be done. It was great to be here and see Stewie, Moriah and Kaleena figure that out, it was really cool."

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