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UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hits foes from long range

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis broke the NCAA career record for 3-pointers last week.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis broke the NCAA career record for 3-pointers last week.
Published Apr. 5, 2015

TAMPA — Turns out, the 3-point line is only one of the spots from where Connecticut sharpshooter Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is known to be unconscious.

Few Huskies value their sleep more than the second-oldest on the roster, the one affectionately nicknamed "Grandma."

"If she stays up past 10 that's a pretty good night," forward Morgan Tuck said.

"Any possibility, she's lying down somewhere," fellow senior Kiah Stokes added. "She walks around with her little blanket when we travel, so she always has the blanket and her pillow."

As for her waking moments, well, the 21-year-old southern Californian has shot herself into women's basketball lore. Her 395 career 3-pointers are a women's NCAA Division I record.

She eclipsed the mark of 392 (shared by two others) with the fifth of her seven critical treys last week in a 91-70 region final triumph against Dayton. Her first 3-pointer of the night tied the score. Her second gave UConn a two-point lead. Her third put the Huskies up by three. And on it went.

"So down the road when someone asks, 'You broke the record, huh?' She can say, 'Yeah.' It won't be, 'Yeah, that was in a 100-40 game,' " Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said after the victory.

"It was in a game where we needed all seven of those. To me that is more indicative of who she is now. I don't know that she could have done that when she was a freshman. …She would have been looking for someone else to do it. That is how far she has come."

Had she remained healthy last season, Mosqueda-Lewis, whose 50-percent efficiency from long range (118-for-236) leads the nation, would have whizzed past 400 treys long ago.

Unable to brace a fall in a win against Stanford two Novembers ago, Mosqueda-Lewis ruptured the ulnar collateral ligament in her right elbow and partly ruptured the left. That injury, and a bout with mononucleosis, cost her 12 total games, but her shooting touch was seemingly unaffected upon her return.

In a 2014 second-round win against Saint Joseph's, she recorded UConn's first triple double (20 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in NCAA Tournament play, eventually being named most outstanding player of the Lincoln Region.

In the 2014-15 season opener, she tied Maya Moore's single-game school record with 10 treys in only 24 minutes in a 102-43 rout of UC Davis. When Auriemma asked if she wanted to remain in to break the mark, she declined.

"Ten was enough," she said. "We were winning."

Once again, Grandma called it an early night.

"Getting records if you are lucky is part of you being really good," Auriemma said. "Part of being great allows you to …make them when the team needs them the most."

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.