Before UConn could think about Monday and Notre Dame it had to focus on Saturday and South Florida.
And for the first 15 minutes at the Sun Dome that required rubbing slumber from its eyes. The noon tip-off came less than 14 hours after its delayed charter flight landed in Florida.
“It was not an easy day for us [Friday],” Geno Auriemma said. “It was a quick turnaround. We were concerned about how we would conduct ourselves and we didn’t get off to a great start.”
But when you have Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson on your side sleep can be vastly over-rated.
UConn’s dynamic duo lifted the No. 3 Huskies to an 85-51 win over South Florida, a win that makes the regular-season finale at Notre Dame the most important in the Big East season. To the victor goes the regular-season title.
“They played like All-American type players,” Auriemma said.
Mosqueda-Lewis scored a career-high 32 points. She took a career-high 23 shots She tied a career-high with six three-pointers. And she added six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Dolson tied her career-high with 25 points. She added 10 rebounds. She was 8-of-11 from the field and 9-of-9 from the foul line.
“I think it [the win] showed off our maturity,” Dolson said. “It definitely showed how focused we this late in the season. … We played the way we practice.”
And Kelly Faris grabbed six rebounds to join Maya Moore, a four-time All-American, as the only players in UConn history to score at least 1,000 points with 750 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals.
“As you know, stastistics really aren’t my thing, but it’s cool to be mentioned in the same sentence as Maya Moore,” Faris said.