Milestones like those on senior night mean just a little bit more later in life when one looks back over a long career. That's just what UConn senior guard Kelly Faris will undoubtedly be doing in the years to come as she recorded the 1000th point of her career off a steal before a crowd of over 9,000 at Gampel Pavilion Saturday afternoon. Faris came in 18 points shy of the thousand point mark and it was only fitting that as one of UConn's all-time steals leaders that she’d hit the milestone with a steal and lay-in.
Said coach Geno Auriemma, “For (Faris) on senior night to score her 1000th point that’s kind of been like her career. She’s been at the right place at the right time all the time. I’m thrilled for her and I know she’s not a big points person but in the big picture of things I think it’s pretty neat that it would work out just like that.”
Faris wasn't the only Husky to surpass the 1000 point mark Saturday. Sophomore shooting sensation Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis came in six points shy of the mark notching the thousandth point of her career on her second three of the game almost four minutes in. Mosqueda-Lewis, along with Faris, scored 18 for the game and led four Huskies (25-2, 12-1 Big East) in double figures as UConn steamrolled an overmatched Seton Hall club 90-30.
On scoring her 1000th point at home on senior night Faris said, “I don’t know if anybody can ask for a better opportunity and a better time for it to come. I knew I was close, I just didn’t know the exact points, but once my teammates started trying to get me open I realized what they were doing. It was nice to have my team and the coaching staff behind me to get that personal accomplishment. It was a good feeling,”
With the points coming off a steal Fairs added, “Honestly, my teammates were probably fed up that I missed three or four lay-ups right before that, but, it felt good to get it off of a steal.”
Mosqueda-Lewis is the fourth UConn player to score her 1000th point in her sophomore year. She joined Maya Moore, Svetlana Abrasimova and teammate Bria Hartley as members of that exclusive club.
Schedule makers show Pirates no mercy
Seton Hall (9-18, 4-10) was UConn’s sacrificial lamb following the Huskies tough home loss to top ranked Baylor earlier this week. There would be no loss on this night as UConn was simply the better team on paper and on the court. UConn opened the game with a 7-0 run. Terry Green got the Pirates on the board with a three before Mosqueda-Lewis answered with her own three giving her an even 1000 points and stretching UConn’s lead back out to seven. Seton Hall would get no closer.
Mosqueda-Lewis knocked two more three’s before the half and was perfect from beyond the arc in the first half as UConn took a commanding 44-15 lead into the break.
Fifth year senior Caroline Doty joined Faris and Stonington’s Heather Buck as part of the 2013 senior class. Doty, Auriemma’s starting point guard, has one National Championship ring from the 2010 season and hopes to bookend her career with a second in New Orleans in April.
Doty reflected on senior night, “It was great. A great outcome. Gotta love the fans and the support. It was great. And to have two great players (Faris and Mosqueda-Lewis) score their 1000th points just made the game even more fun.”
Doty, who has suffered three ACL injuries including two while in a Huskies uniform, rolled an ankle just over a minute in. She hobbled to the bench in obvious pain and it would have been a cruel twist of fate if she hadn’t returned. Fortunately for Auriemma, Husky nation and especially for Doty herself, she came sprinting back onto the floor with just over nine minutes left in the half.
Doty said the ankle is fine adding, “It was one of those moments, where you’re like ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’. But, after everything, it wasn’t going to hold me out. This game means a lot. This team means a lot. Nothing ice can’t cure.”
Asked what words of wisdom she would impart on the incoming freshmen, Doty said, “Play hard every single day. It’s going to be hard to meet the challenge but it goes by too quick. And when you look back, you’re gonna know everything. Coach has even said everything happens for a reason. So if you put in the effort every single day, in the end it’s gonna be worth it.”
UConn now 20 consecutive 20 win seasons...UConn has made five straight Final Four appearances…Mosqueda-Lewis (173), Hartley (168), Faris (107) and Doty (141) have all hit for over 100 three’s this season. The only time in UConn history four teammates have hit for over 100 three’s…Faris recorded seven steals, giving her 271 in her career, in the win over Seton Hall moving into sixth place all-time…Next up: UConn hosts Pitt Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford