Five Players to Watch Heading Into This Weekend’s Tournament

This weekend the American Athletic Conference Tournament will be held at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Here are five of the best players in the conference to keep an eye on this weekend.

Courtney Williams junior guard, South Florida

Williams finished the season as the leading scorer in the conference with 20.8 points per game. If USF is going to be the favorites to meet UConn in the conference championship game, they will have to be led by Williams. She proved that she could be an elite scorer on any given night this season. Williams’ standout games include a 26-point outing against UConn in a loss. She averaged 7.8 rebounds per game, the second best mark on her team.

Zykira Lewis, sophomore guard, Central Florida

Lewis followed up a strong freshman season where she appeared on the American Conference All-Freshman Team with a solid sophomore campaign. Lewis has once again showed that she has a knack for scoring by averaging 19.1 points per game. Lewis finished the season as the conference’s second leading scorer. Lewis is a threat from downtown as she sunk 84 3-pointers this season. Lewis is UCF’s only real threat from three point range as nobody else on the team has even attempted more than 56 3- pointers.

Lewis is a player to watch because she is capable of taking over a game with her scoring ability. Lewis exploded for 41 points in a game this season against FAU where she hit 8 of 10 three pointers. Lewis also reached double figures in 22 out of 25 games this season.

Jada Payne, redshirt junior guard, East Carolina

Payne is another player on this list that is a confirmed scorer. Payne averaged 16.7 points per game this season, which puts her in fourth place in the conference. Payne was also an efficient shooter from 3-point range where she shot 40 percent on 167 attempts. On an ECU team that averages 66.4 points per game, Payne plays a big role in the offense. There is only one other player on the team that averages over 10 points a game, so ECU usually goes as Payne goes. For fourth place ECU to make a run in the tournament they will likely need big performances out of Payne.

Breanna Stewart, junior forward, UConn

Stewart is arguably the best player in the country, but playing on the best team in the country has affected her numbers. Stewart is capable of doing it all for the Huskies as she creates a matchup problem for opponents on a nightly basis. Stewart averaged 17.4 points per game, which was good for third in the American Conference. Stewart also had 10 games this season where she scored more then 20 points. She is also a great rebounder; averaging 6.9 rebounds per game.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, senior guard UConn

In her final season, UConn’s sharpshooter has been chasing history. Mosqueda-Lewis has been shooting 51 percent from 3-point range, which is on pace to set a school record. The record is currently held by Sue Bird who shot 49.7 percent from 3-point range during the 1999-2000 season. Mosqueda-Lewis came close to breaking the record during her sophomore season where she shot 49.2 percent. Keep an eye on Mosqueda-Lewis’ shooting from long range throughout the tournament as she looks to stay on pace to set the record.

Mosqueda-Lewis was a reliable scorer all season for the Huskies this year. She averaged 14.6 points per game, the second most points on the team. Mosqueda-Lewis shot well overall, shooting 53 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free throw line. Mosqueda-Lewis is more than just a 3-point specialist and she adds versatility to an already extremely balanced UConn offense.

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