Feb. 23, 2013
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis took her 1,000th career point in stride. She was downright giddy when the player she considers her mentor, senior Kelly Faris, accomplished the same goal on the same day.
"I think everybody knows how much I look up to Kelly and how much I appreciate what she's done for me these past two years," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "More than anything, I wanted her senior night to be special."
The pair each scored each scored 18 points to help No. 3 Connecticut bounce back from its loss to top-ranked Baylor with a 90-30 rout of Seton Hall on Saturday.
Mosqueda-Lewis had 16 of her points in the first half as UConn built a 44-15 advantage, holding Seton Hall's starters without a point for the first 20 minutes.
She had three 3-pointers in UConn's game-opening 13-3 run. Her second made the sophomore the 37th player in UConn history to reach 1,000 points. Faris became the 38th when she stripped the ball from Seton Hall's Alexis Brown and hit a layup that made it 76-27.
"It felt good to get it off of a steal," she said.
Faris, one of three seniors honored before the game, had seven steals and seven assists.
"It's kind of been like her career," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of Faris. "She kind of has been in the right place in the right time, all the time."
The win was the 29th straight for the Huskies over Seton Hall, and the 44th in 45 meetings.
Terry Green had 12 points for Seton Hall (9-18, 4-10), which lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
Seton Hall's starters didn't have a point in the first half. The Huskies led by 29 points at halftime and then held the Pirates without a basket for the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half.
"We don't have a very deep bench anyway," said Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan. "So, when our starters didn't come out ready to go, it's going to be a long night."
The Huskies held Seton Hall to just 10 field goals and 20 percent shooting from the floor. Meanwhile UConn shot 52 percent, including 11-of-20 from 3-point range.
The Huskies win assures them of a double-bye in the upcoming Big East tournament.
Mosqueda-Lewis hit her first four shots from behind the arc and finished 6-of-8 from long distance. She is the third fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 points, doing it in just 64 games. Only Maya Moore (55) and Svetlana Abrosimova (63) did it quicker.
UConn, which fell to Baylor 76-70 on Monday, hasn't lost back-to-back games in 20 years, a span of 720 games.
With the win, Geno Auriemma joins Stanford's Tara VanDerveer as the only women's basketball coaches to win 400 games in a single conference. VanDerveer won her 400th Pac-12 game when Stanford beat Oregon on Feb. 1.
Connecticut's seniors, Faris, Caroline Doty and Heather Buck, have won 132 games and lost just nine over the past four seasons. But Doty and Buck have been here five years because of illness and injury, and were part of teams that went 171-9 and won two national titles.
Faris, who made her 103rd consecutive start, had failed to score in double figures in three of her last four games. She acknowledged being more motivated in this one.
"You look at everybody's faces," she said. "You know they care about you, but when you see how emotional they get to thinking about you leaving, then it really hits home that, OK, I really have a family here that really supports me and really cares about me."
Seton Hall was coming off a win over Providence, but had lost four in a row before that and has won just twice since January 9th.
The Pirates starters missed their first 15 shots, before a second-half jumper by Ka-Deidre Simmons, who had nine points and was the only starter to score.
Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan will be spending a lot more time in Connecticut soon. The Pirates head coach is leaving the university at the end of the season to take over the WNBA's Connecticut Sun, which plays 30 miles away at the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville.