UConn Women Pull Away From No. 3 Stanford

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(John Woike)

STORRS – Most times it happens just once a year. But for some strange reason, the site of UConn-Stanford doesn’t generate the kind of national excitement it seemingly should.

And sometimes in the midst of a hard-fought game between two elite programs, the joy of what transpires is tempered by the concern for the well-being of a young woman injured in its pursuit.

No. 1 UConn beat No. 3 Stanford, 76-57, Monday at Gampel Pavilion, their first meeting at this castle in the cow pasture since 1993, when national championships were just a dream for Geno Auriemma.

And two hours after Auriemma and Tara VanDerveer shook hands, two things seemed clear, if not absolutely definitive, even though the season has barely shaken its cobwebs.

UConn is really good. But now for, UConn may also be without one of its stars, junior forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis because of an unspecified right arm injury.

With 18:09 to play in the second half, Mosquesda-Lewis, a preseason Associated Press All-American and UConn’s single-season career leader in threes, fell hard to the floor under the Huskies basket.

Her cries were immediate and audible, especially in the dead quiet of a building rendered silent. Rosemary Ragle, the team’s athletic trainer, rushed across the floor to comfort her. He was followed by Auriemma.

Mosqueda-Lewis, who had scored nine points in 22 minutes, was taken to the locker room, her right arm being supported. Soon after, the school announced she’s suffered an unspecified right arm injury and would not return.

By then, the focus has already shifted to compensating for her loss. And that’s what Bria Hartley (20 points) and particularly Kiah Stokes (10 points, 12 rebounds) did.

They had Mosqueda’s back on the scoreboard and under the basket. And soon it would be clear that UConn, at least for Monday, would be OK.

Amber Orrange led the Cardinal (1-1) with 22 points. Chiney Ogwumike had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

John Altavilla, Hartford Courant

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