ATLANTA – With an NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinal contest against Texas fast-approaching, University of Connecticut women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma was tabbed as one of eight Women’s Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I Regional Coaches of the Year, as announced by the WBCA on Wednesday. Additionally, three Huskies, Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas), Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.), were named to the WBCA All-Region I Team.
The 2015 United States Marine Corps/WBCA Division I National Coach of the Year will be named during the Fifth Annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday, April 6, in the Grand Ballroom at the Tampa Marriott Waterside. The other seven candidates for the annual honor include Florida State’s Sue Semrau (Region 2), South Carolina’s Dawn Staley (Region 3), Western Kentucky’s Michelle Clark-Heard (Region 4), Baylor’s Kim Mulkey (Region 5), Maryland’s Brenda Frese (Region 6), New Mexico State’s Mark Trakh (Region 7), and Oregon State’s Scott Rueck (Region 8).
Over the course of 30 seasons at Connecticut, Auriemma has been named Coach of the Year a total of 12 times and garnered National Coach of the Year honors seven times. Auriemma has guided the Huskies to a record nine national championships and owns the record for consecutive Final Four appearances with seven. In total, he has overseen 15 UConn trips to the Final Four.
Auriemma has won a total of six WBCA Coach of the Year accolades, with the last coming in the 2008-09 campaign.
Jefferson, one of five finalists for the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award, became the first Husky since Kelly Faris in 2012-13 to earn the conference’s Most Improved Player accolade when she earned the distinction on March 6 . The guard has enjoyed a stellar junior campaign, averaging 12.0 points in 27.8 minutes per game. In total, she ranks first on the team in assists (169) and steals (89) and is one of seven Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (58.6). She provided a spark in UConn’s 87-62 victory over No. 1 South Carolina on Feb. 9, notching 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go along with a game-high six assists.
Stewart, who was named as one of four finalists for the 2015 Naismith Trophy on March 20, earned her second-straight All-Region I Team selection. The junior forward was named as the 2014-15 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year earlier this month. At 1,873 career points, Stewart stands in 11th on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list.
At 17.1 points per game, Stewart is third in the conference and also ranks in the top-10 in field goal percentage (.538), rebounding (7.2) and assists per game (3.2) This season, the junior forward has notched 11 20-point games and has reached double figures in 30 of UConn’s 35 games.
Mosuqeda-Lewis picks up her second career All-Region I selection after putting together one of the most prolific senior seasons in Husky history. Earlier this month, the forward broke into the top-10 on the NCAA’s all-time made three-point field goal list. At 386 makes from long range, the senior stands just eight makes shy of the sport’s all-time record. Mosqueda-Lewis, became the eighth member of UConn’s 2,000-point club when she notched 21 points against Memphis on Senior Day (Feb. 28).
The WBCA selection committee will select the 10-member Division I Coaches’ All-America Team, which will be announced on April 4.
In total, the program boasts 54 selections to the All-Region I Team.
The Huskies and Longhorns will battle for a spot in the Regional Final on Saturday, March 28 at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN with radio coverage on the UConn/IMG Radio Network.