The time to win championships is drawing near for the UConn women’s basketball team. The Huskies proved Tuesday that they still have some work to do.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists to lead the Huskies to a lackluster 76-36 victory over Pittsburgh before 9,428 at the XL Center in their final home game of the regular season. UConn suffered through long stretches of inconsistency, especially in the first half when it shot just 41.7 percent from the field.
USA Basketball National Team Director Carol Callan presented UConn coach Geno Auriemma, associate head coach Chris Dailey, assistant coaches Marisa Moseley and Shea Ralph and film coordinator Keith Anderson with commemorative rings for their involvement with the U.S. Olympic team’s gold medal run in London last summer during a pregame ceremony.
The Huskies (26-2 overall, 13-1 Big East) have won 28 straight games against Pittsburgh (9-18, 0-14). The Panthers have lost 32 straight games against Big East opponents and 34 straight conference regular season games.
Meanwhile, UConn is a combined 379-34 in the Big East since the start of the 1988-89 season.
Breanna Stewart added 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists, four blocks and four steals for the Huskies. Stefanie Dolson had 14 points and seven rebounds. Kelly Faris had 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists and four steals.
The Huskies opened the game by missing eight of their first 11 shots and trailed 8-7 with 14:07 left in the half. But they capitalized on the inability of Pittsburgh to get anything established offensively and finished the half with a 30-5 run.
UConn scored 16 straight points at one point. The Panthers (5-of-27 FG) did not make a field over the final 9:26 of the half, missing their final nine shots.
The Huskies led by as many as 43 in the second half.
Brianna Kiesel had 11 points (4-of-22 FG) to lead Pittsburgh.
STAR OF THE GAME: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. She recorded her third double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
KEYS TO THE WIN: The Huskies ended the first half with a 30-5 run. … Pittsburgh did not make a field goal over the final 9:26 of the first half, missing nine straight shots. … The Huskies finished with a 49-29 rebounding advantage.
WORTH NOTING: Bria Hartley (3×3), Moriah Jefferson (U-18), Stewart (U-18) and Morgan Tuck (U-18) were during a pregame ceremony for winning a gold medal as part of USA Basketball last summer. … It was the last meeting between the teams as Big East competitors. Pittsburgh will become a member of the ACC next season. … Faris moved into fifth place in team history in steals (275) and 10th in games played (143). … Mosqueda-Lewis and Faris were awarded commemorative game balls prior to the game for becoming the 37th and 38th players, respectively, in team history to reach 1,000 points.
NEXT: Saturday at South Florida, noon (SNY)