Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Kiah Stokes have both made significant impacts, although in different ways, during their four years at UConn.
During Saturday’s dominant 87-24 win at Gampel Pavilion over the Memphis Tigers (13-15, 7-10 AAC), both were honored during a ceremony before the game. Mosqueda-Lewis also had her number inducted into the Huskies of Honor.
The ceremony prior to the game had 10,167 fans in attendance and on their feet in support of the two seniors, but other headlines coming into Saturday made this game so special for Mosqueda-Lewis and Stokes.
Both had a chance to cement their names in UConn history, and all it took was four points and one block.
First was Mosqueda-Lewis. The senior from Anaheim Hills, California entered Saturday just four points shy of reaching the 2,000-point mark. After missing her first 3-point attempt, Mosqueda-Lewis converted on her next two 3-pointers to eclipse the mark. It only took her 1:14.
“You can tell the way the game started she wanted to get it over with,” head coach Geno Auriemma said.
She became the eighth player in UConn history to reach 2,000 points, and it was fitting that Stokes assisted on the 3-pointer that put her over the mark.
“For Kaleena to get her 2,000th point off an assist from me is just awesome,” Stokes said. “I’m glad she made it, but it just shows kind of what we’ve been through and I’m glad that I did my part – I get rebounds – and she made her shot, that’s her part.”
Mosqueda-Lewis led the team in scoring with 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
“Coach Auriemma told me last game that you only need four points so you better get it on senior night, so I wanted to make sure that I got that today,” Mosqueda-Lewis said.
Then it was Stokes. The senior from Marion, Iowa entered Saturday with 299 blocks, needing just one to join three former players with 300 career blocks.
It took her just 5:10 to get the one block she needed when she blocked the shot off Memphis’ Taylor Williams.
“Yea, I did know that I needed one to get to 300, but I wasn’t really focused on that during the game,” Stokes said. “I just wanted to make sure they didn’t score, so I think if I can block a shot I do my job.”
The remarkable thing about Stokes reaching 300 blocks is that she has been doing it while coming off the bench the entire season. She is on pace to break Rebecca Lobo’s blocks per game record, all while coming off the bench.
Although she came off the bench for the Huskies, Auriemma started Stokes in place of freshman Kia Nurse on Saturday.
“I’m definitely proud of it,” Stokes said. “And I think that’s one thing I’m going to take away from just because I didn’t start my four years, I can still contribute, and that’s the thing that means the most.”
Stokes finished the game with three blocks, and is just three more away from passing Tina Charles (304) for third place on the all-time list.