Women's Basketball Notebook: UConn's Mosqueda-Lewis joins 1,500-point club in win
UConn’s Bria Hartley goes up for a layup during the Huskies’ game against Louisville Monday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.
UNCASVILLE - So far this season, the difference between UConn and every other women's basketball team in the country has boiled down to one thing: the Huskies have Breanna Stewart, and no one else has an answer.
That was the case again Monday night, when top-seeded UConn won the inaugural American Athletic Conference by thumping No. 2 Louisville 72-52.
"She's great, there's no question about it," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "When you're 6-foot-4 and can handle the basketball and shoot the three, it's tough to guard. I mean, she made a few shots that are big-time shots."
On Sunday, Stewart surpassed the 100-assist mark on the season one year after finishing with just 35. That added dimension and the ability to spread the court with her passing ability and work out of double teams and find the open player, making Stewart more difficult to defend. But it remains her scoring ability - and the fact that she can fill it up from any spot on the court - that makes her lethal.
Case inpoint: She hit a right-corner 3-pointer to open the scoring, two free-throws after getting smacked on a mid-range jumper, one more after a foul in transition, a layup from the left side on the run-out, another one from the charity stripe when she was hit on a shot at the top of the key, an and-one layup from the right side, then a jumper and a floater in the lane inside the last minute.
And that was just in the first half.
In total, Stewart, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, tallied 20 points and a look at her shot chart appears as though someone fired a shotgun - the damage is scattered all around. It was also her 25th straight game with double-digits, the longest such streak by a UConn player since Maya Moore strung together 51.
But all of those numbers have only led to more motivation, rather than a feeling of content, for Stewart.
"I think there's so many different ways that I can improve," Stewart said. "Being able to do a lot of different things on the court, that means that there's so many things you can get better at."
It's not often that UConn has firsts. Typically, with the success the program has had and the players that have come through it, someone at some point has already accomplished it.
But when Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit a layup 1:17 into Monday night's final, the 2013-2014 version of the Huskies suddenly had something that no team before them has - three 1,500-point scorers. Now, Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley have all hit the mark.
Of course, the Huskies have had plenty of deadly scoring combinations in the past. Five times, including this season, Auriemma has benefitted from four 1,000-point scorers on one roster.
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