UConn freshman sensation Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit five first half threes and single handily outscored visiting Dayton 19-16 in the first as the Huskies opened the game with a 10-0 run and never looked back on the way to a 78-38 win over the Flyers (3-3) in Storrs Sunday afternoon. UConn (6-0) completed the three game sweep of the World Vision Classic outscoring the opposition 242-100 over the three day Thanksgiving weekend round robin format. UConn coach Geno Auriemma talked about playing a tougher early schedule and tried to address the perennial problem of the talent disparity between the nation’s top teams and the rest of Division I women’s basketball.
“I think we should do more of that (Playing a better schedule). I think the whole month of November and leading right up until Christmas should be a whole schedule of non-conference games against really, really good opponents. I do think it creates a little more excitement for the season. I would rather play more of them, but there’s a lot of teams that don’t want to do it”
As for the overall talent in college basketball, “That’s one of the things about women’s basketball that I really don’t like right now, is that there’s too big a gap right now between teams that are in the top 10, top 15 and that teams that are in the next 50 to 150. There’s just not enough good teams and that’s the bottom line. What happens in women’s college basketball is there’s so few good offensive players, and when you have a bunch of them, then the games become really lopsided. I don’t like it. I wish there was something I could do about it, but I don’t know what it is”
One night after going 0-5 from the floor and scoring a total of two points, Mosqueda-Lewis hit 6 of 10 shots in the first including going 5-5 from beyond the arc. She finished with a game high 23 and led four other UConn players in double figures.
“Most good shooters, you would like to think they don’t worry about a bad day”, said Auriemma, “That they take it in stride. Know that it’s just part of basketball. You just don’t want them to feel sorry for themselves.”
After UConn stuck the opening run on the Flyers, the teams played fairly even for the next seven minutes before the UConn defense spurred a 21-5 run to end the half and send the Huskies into the locker room with a 47-16 halftime lead. UConn came right out of the break with a 15-4 spurt that pushed the lead to 42 and the Huskies hit the cruise control the rest of the way. Not only was UConn’s defense in high gear (16 steals, 23 forced turnovers), but the Huskies shot 51% for the game and 50% (7-14), paced by Mosqueda-Lewis’ six, as a team from behind the arc.
“Coach told me to stop being a baby,” said Mosqueda-Lewis, “And if I’m missing, keep shooting. It doesn’t matter. I’m not helping this team if I’m not shooting. A good player doesn’t worry about how many shots they’ve missed.”
“When we’re good” said Auriemma, “We’re really good.”
UConn’s next match-up is at the XL Center against in Hartford on November 30, before top five ranked Texas A & M comes to Hartford on December sixth.