Mosqueda-Lewis leads Huskies past the Nittany Lions
Published: Friday, December 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, December 7, 2012 00:12
Sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis helped lead the No. 2 UConn women’s basketball team past No. 10 Penn State 67-52, despite suffering two injuries earlier this season.
Mosqueda-Lewis scored a season-high 25 points in the 35 minutes she played against the Lady Lions. As of Wednesday, Mosqueda-Lewis was questionable for last night’s game, but got the start despite suffering a quad contusion against Maryland and a concussion in the Paradise Jam tournament against Purdue. In the first half against Penn State, Mosqueda-Lewis led the Huskies with eight total points, shooting 2-5 from the field. Mosqueda-Lewis saw that her team was struggling early and was able to spark the Connecticut offense.
“I saw we were having a little trouble,” Mosqueda-Lewis said. “We weren’t really getting going offensively, and sometimes the best way to get your team going offensively is to get a couple steals, to get a couple deflections, to just get something going.”
Another strong performer for the Huskies was sophomore guard Brianna Banks. Banks scored a total of 10 points and recorded two steals. She also commended the consistent play of her teammate, Lewis.
`“She always steps up. It’s what we expect her to do,” said Banks. “It’s nothing new. She did it all year last year and she’s going to do it this year too.”
Sloppy game on both sides
Both UConn and Penn State committed numerous fouls and turned the ball over numerous times, in a game that did not have any flow until midway through the second half. The Huskies turned the ball over 20 times, while the Lady Lions committed 26 turnovers.
UConn was also called for a season-high 16 fouls, including a technical on coach Geno Auriemma after he exchanged words with the officials over an offensive foul called against Stefanie Dolson. Penn State was charged with 22 fouls, and Lady Lions coach Coquese Washington was not happy with the officiating of the game.
“I didn’t think referees called the game like there were two Top 10 teams playing,” Washington said. “I don’t think the fans or anyone watching on TV got to see the kind of basketball that both teams are capable of playing…and that’s unfortunate.”
Auriemma said after the game that there are still many issues in women’s college basketball games and until they are fixed more games like this one are to be expected.
UConn also struggled from the free throw line against Penn State. The Huskies shot just 69.6 percent from the line, which is lower than their season average of 73 percent. The Lady Lions struggled from the line as well, shooting just 61.5 percent.
UConn was able to turn the game around in their favor in the second half, thanks in part to the play of freshman guard Moriah Jefferson. At the 10:03 mark, Jefferson recorded two steals and scored four points in under a minute. From there, UConn was able to find a rhythm and build a 13-point lead that they did not look back from.
The quotable Geno Auriemma
“Our guard play has to get better and our big men got out-rebounded two games in a row. We got to take care of that, that’s something that should not happen.” – Auriemma on the two things he feels his team needs to improve on the most.