UConn sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is still feeling the effects of a concussion she suffered in the final minutes of Saturday’s win over No. 14 Purdue at the Paradise Jam. She has yet to be cleared to play, and Huskies’ coach Geno Auriemma did not waste any time today in clarifying her status for Wednesday’s game against Colgate at the XL Center.
“She didn’t practice yesterday,’’ Auriemma said. “And she probably won’t practice today and definitely won’t play tomorrow. And then beyond that it’s all a matter of how she passes the tests.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis was struck on the side of the head by 6-foot-2 Purdue freshman forward Taylor Manuel with 2:08 left in the game. She was down on the court for several minutes before walking off under her own power.
“I talked to her yesterday and it was just like, `Yeah, my head hurts,’’’ Auriemma said. “It’s funny because it didn’t look like she got hit in the head. She said, `I don’t remember getting hit in the head, Coach.’ So it wasn’t one of those (instances) where her head hit the floor or somebody hit her with a direct shot in the head. It was just like a glancing blow that kind of got her neck going in a bad direction. And with these things now you’d rather err on the side of caution, and that’s what we’re going to do.’’
Auriemma also said that Mosqueda-Lewis would not have played tomorrow even if UConn was instead facing an elite opponent.
“It wouldn’t matter who we were playing,’’ Auriemma said. “The procedure, especially with all the data out there now about concussions, is pretty well spelled out, at least in our department, about how many steps you have to go through before you can play.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis is averaging 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.4 steals in a team-high 28.6 minutes through the first five games for the Huskies. She is shooting 56.9 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range (14-of-28).
All-American Bria Hartley will slide into Mosqueda-Lewis’ spot in the starting lineup against Colgate.
“I thought up to this point Kaleena was probably our best player,’’ Auriemma said. “People have talked about Breanna Stewart and Stefanie (Dolson), how great she’s playing. But I think looking at all five games, I think Kaleena’s been our best player. No question.’’