Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis spent some time in the hospital over the Christmas break. She needed to be hooked up with an IV to replenish her fluid level after contracting what UConn coach Geno Auriemma said was the flu or some sort of illness.
There was no sign of illness in Mosqueda-Lewis’ play Saturday against No. 1 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. She finished with a game-high 19 points (7-of-13 FG) and six rebounds in 34 minutes to lead the second-ranked Huskies to a 61-35 win.
The win stopped Stanford’s 82-game winning streak at home.
“I thought we missed her a couple times too when she was in the lane,’’ Auriemma said. “At halftime we talked a lot about how much she had to do in the second half in terms of moving without the ball. She’s been sick since she left Connecticut. But I thought that in the second half she really responded. That offensive rebound she got (with 9:24 remaining in the game) … I don’t think there’s anybody in the country that if Kaleena Lewis wants to offensive rebound she’s going to go get it. And that just goes to show you how much she’s changed in one year. How many more things that she can do now that she couldn’t last year. And that’s why you play these games to give kids an opportunity to do that in a tough environment against a really good team.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis scored 12 points (4-of-6 FG) in 16 minutes in the second half. The offensive rebound Auriemma made reference to came as she crashed the rim from the wing, corralled the ball and put it back up for a layup to give the Huskies a 50-29 lead.
Mosqueda-Lewis, who has now scored 44 points in two games against Stanford, is averaging a team-high 16.4 points in five games against ranked opponents this season.
“She was (a big-game player) last year if you remember,’’ Auriemma said. “She had 25 against these guys early in the season and she had like 15 or so in the first half against Baylor and then she kind of drifted away. So this year I think what we’re trying to do is keep her engaged the whole game. And that’s part of her growing up too is that she’s able to not disappear in the big moments of the game.
“And we’re constantly struggling with how to get her more shots. Like I don’t think there’s been a game her whole two years at Connecticut where I think she’s gotten enough shots. I’d like to get her way more.’’