The sound of All-American Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis screaming in agony as she was writhing in pain on the court at Gampel Pavilion tonight was nightmarish. She came crashing down, landing first on her right palm and then on her right elbow with 18:08 left in UConn’s 76-57 victory over No. 3 Stanford.
Mosqueda-Lewis was tended to by team doctor Tom Trojian and team athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle before being helped off the court.
“In that moment it was kind of scary just the way she reacted,’’ All-American Bria Hartley said. “I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that before. So when I was talking, me and Stef (Dolson) were kind of like shaking just the way she was screaming. I’m kind of scared for her and what happened.’’
Said UConn coach Geno Auriemma: “When I saw it I could tell that her elbow had hit the floor. I didn’t see what happened before that, but I think we’ve all been there at some point. It hurts. Kaleena’s not one to be injured so I’m sure it’s all new to her. From my standpoint, we’re playing with our fingers crossed the entire season. So anything that we see that looks like that, obviously, is kind of disheartening a little bit.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis was examined tonight. No diagnosis was announced. She left the building with her arm in a sling and will undergo an MRI Tuesday morning.
“I hope that Kaleena is alright,’’ Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I don’t know the situation with her injury but it’s always really sad to see somebody go down. She’s a great player.’’
Mosqueda-Lewis leaped to grab a defensive rebound on the play. Stanford All-American Chiney Ogwumike, who was called for a foul, was on the ground as Mosqueda-Lewis was attempting to land.
“I was just trying to get offensive rebounding position and there was a post in front of me, a post behind me,’’ Ogwumike said. “I got pushed in the back. I think Kaleena was behind me. So I just know I heard her elbow … She’s one of my closest friends so I wish the best for her. It’s just unfortunate, but there was a lot of bodies colliding.’’
Hartley said that she spoke with Mosqueda-Lewis in the training room following the game.
“She was in there,’’ Hartley said. “She seemed alright. She just said when she hit the floor that was the most painful thing she’s ever before in her life. She’s tough, though. I just want to pray for her, a healthy recovery for her and hopefully she’s not out too long.’’
Auriemma said that despite how much pain Mosqueda-Lewis was in, it is hard to gauge the extent of her injury at this point.
“It’s hard to tell,’’ Auriemma said. “Some people just scream and yell like they’ve just got run over by a car. And then it turns out that it’s nothing. Because mostly they’re panicking. They’re scared. That’s why they cry and scream and yell and you look at their face and they’re like in shock because they’re scared to death. Then we’re running a 3-on-2 drill when Sue Bird was here and she goes, `Ooo, I felt something.’ I go, `You alright?’ She goes, `Yeah, I’m good. Let’s keep going.’ And then it turns out she just tore her ACL. So sometimes it’s confusing because everybody reacts differently to what happens. Some minor things hurt like hell, and some major things don’t hurt at all. I’ve kind of learned to just wait and let it go and wait for them to stop hyperventilating because it hurts and just wait until the doctors and Rosemary tell me what’s going on.
“But having said that, I’m not sure she’s going to be playing this weekend either. Just my guess. I don’t know. Based on how these things go.”