Lincoln Region MOP Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
April 5, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Top-seeded UConn women's basketball is set to take on No. 2 seed Stanford University for the second time this season, as the two squads battle for a berth in Tuesday's National Championship game. The Huskies and Cardinal will meet at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 6 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The winner will play the victor of an earlier Semifinal matchup between Notre Dame and Maryland.
The game will be broadcasted on national television on ESPN, with Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe on the call. The UConn IMG Radio Network will also provide radio coverage with Bob Joyce and Debbie Fiske. UConn students on campus can view Sunday's game live in the Student Union Theater. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the game begins at 8:30 p.m.
The Series vs. Stanford
UConn currently boasts a 9-6 record over its west coast foe and has claimed victories in the last three consecutive contests. In the past, each team has also played a major spoiler role in the other's season. In 2008, Stanford ousted the Huskies in the Final Four, after which Connecticut would rattle off a 90 game win streak. UConn would go on to defeat Stanford in the 2009 national title game to earn its seventh NCAA Championship. Stanford avenged this loss in 2010-11, besting the Huskies by a score of 71-59 to snap the historic win streak, which still remains the longest in all of college basketball.
UConn returned the favor in December of last year, as the No. 2 ranked Huskies upset the top-ranked Cardinal on its home court in Palo Alto. The 61-35 decision usurped Stanford's No. 1 ranking, disrupting both the Cardinal's perfect season record and breaking its 82 home-game unbeaten streak in the process.
Sunday will be the fourth time UConn and Stanford have met in the National Semifinals, with the Huskies owning the 2-1 edge over the Cardinal. It will be the sixth time overall the programs have met in NCAA Tournament play. The contest will also be a rematch of a December meeting at Gampel Pavilion, when No. 1 UConn beat then-No. 3 Stanford, 76-57, before a sold-out home crowd of 9,529. Senior guard Bria Hartley (North Babylon, N.Y.) dropped 20 points and six assists in the win to lead UConn. Stanford's Amber Orrange finished with a game-high 22 points to lead the Cardinal, while Chiney Ogwumike chipped in 16 of her own.
UConn in NCAA Tournaments
The win over Texas A&M in the Lincoln Regional Final improved Connecticut to 95-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. The winning percentage (.845) represents the best all-time, and the Huskies will be participating in their record seventh consecutive NCAA Final Four.
UConn is 8-6 all-time in national semifinals and broke a two-game losing streak in such games last year against Notre Dame.
Kaleena Coming Up Clutch
Junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anahiem Hills, Calif.) has played a pivotal role in UConn's 2014 NCAA Tournament run. In Nebraska, Mosqueda-Lewis posted a pair of dominant performances against BYU and Texas A&M to earn Most Outstanding Player of the Region, which marks the 15th time a Connecticut player has earned the honor. Over the four NCAA games she has averaged 17.3 points on 51 percent shooting (including 10-23 deep) and 9.5 rebounds per game.
In the Second Round game against Saint Joseph's, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis posted 20 points, ten rebounds and ten assists to own UConn's third triple-double and just the 14th in NCAA Tournament history. Her 10 assists not only represent a career-high but also mark the second-highest number of dimes a Husky has posted in the NCAA Tournament, behind Sue Bird's 11 assists against Old Dominion in 2002. Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson (Port Jervis, N.Y.) are two of only three players in program history to register triple doubles and Kaleena became just the fourteenth player to achieve the feat in an NCAA Tournament.
Moriah on Fire
Sophomore point guard Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas) has been exceptional for the Huskies this season. One of five finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award and a First Team American All-Conference selection, Jefferson leads the league in field goal percentage (58.3). She currently boasts a team-high 176 assists on the season, which ranks second-best among UConn sophomores behind Diana Taurasi's 208 from the 2001-02 season. Moreover, her stellar assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.8, which ranks 12th in Division I, is on pace to shatter numbers posted by some of UConn's most accomplished point guards in their respective sophomore seasons, including Diana Taurasi (2.51 in 2001-02), Sue Bird (2.00 in 1999-2000), and Renee Montgomery (1.72 in 2006-07).