Morgan Tuck and Caroline Doty were both experiencing discomfort tonight against Pittsburgh. UConn coach Geno Auriemma did not play Kiah Stokes at all.
So someone had to log more minutes than usual in a 76-36 win at the XL Center. That person was Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who played 40 minutes for the first time in 65 career games.
Mosqueda-Lewis had previously played as many 38 minutes three times this season – vs. Syracuse Jan. 19, at St. John’s Feb. 2 and vs. Baylor Feb. 18.
“Everybody else I kind of find a reason to take them out,’’ Auriemma said. “I just don’t find a reason to take Kaleena out right now. In the first half with Moriah (Jefferson) getting the three fouls and then in the second half Morgan had said that her knee was bothering her and she really couldn’t go any harder and that it was going to be a little bit of a struggle for her. And Caroline the same thing. Caroline’s been banged up a little bit. Her knee’s been bothering her. So we’re kind of down in numbers and it’s never a bad thing to have Kaleena out on the floor, that’s for sure.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis maximized her playing time by producing 19 points, 13 rebounds, five assists (tying a season-high) and two steals. It was her second double-double in the last three games and her third this season.
“It was a dream,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “It was awesome out there. Halftime was my friend.’’
Sophomore center Kiah Stokes was the only player not to play against the Panthers. Here is Auriemma’s reasoning behind her DNP …
“There’s only so many minutes in the game and right now I’m trying to get minutes for the guys that I think have earned them,’’ Auriemma said.