UConn sophomore Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and junior Stefanie Dolson have worked as hard as any player in the nation this season to improve their game. The results have been remarkable.
And today at New Orleans Arena, Mosqueda-Lewis and Dolson were rewarded for their labor in grand fashion as they were named to the 10-player WBCA Coaches’ All-America team. The honor comes with automatic inclusion in the Huskies of Honor.
“It’s means a ton to me,’’ Dolson said. “People work hard for reasons. When you first come here that’s not really what you’re working for, but then as you keep playing and you keep working hard you don’t want to admit it but one of your goals is to be an All-American. You come to Connecticut you want to be an All-American. You want to win a national championship. And so for me to get to this point kind of coming out of high school the way I did it’s definitely gratifying.’’
It is the sixth straight season that UConn has had at least one player on the WBCA team. It is the first time since Tina Charles and Maya Moore were honored in 2009-10 that the Huskies have had two players named and it is the eighth season overall that the Huskies have had multiple players honored.
Both players were named to the 10-player USBA All-America team earlier this week. Mosqueda-Lewis was named a second team All-America by The Associated Press. Dolson was a third-team pick.
“It’s really special,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “I’m excited. Just that they chose me and they thought I was amongst the best in the country. It’s awesome. It’s something you dream about.
“Coach (Geno Auriemma) just told us this morning at practice before we came over here. The team cheered for us and me and Stefanie were just super excited. We were like little kids. This is our first time and we’ve worked really hard this season and it’s awesome that we got recognized.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis is averaging career-highs of 17.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 30.3 minutes this season. She leads the team in scoring and minutes, leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (.489) and has set a team single-season record with 109 made 3-pointers.
Dolson is averaging career-highs of 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 26.9 minutes in 35 games. She leads the Huskies in rebounding and is second nationally in field goal shooting percentage (.596).
It is expected that, along with junior Bria Hartley, Dolson will be inducted into the Huskies of Honor next season. Mosqueda-Lewis will be inducted as a senior in 2014-15.
“It’s special,’’ Mosqueda-Lewis said. “We know the people who have won the jerseys before us, and you definitely look up to them. But every time we go out there, we definitely want to make sure we are representing the name on the front of our jerseys. We want to represent the people, but more importantly represent UConn.’’