PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Seven standouts from the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team earned spots on 2014-15 American Athletic Conference All-Conference teams, the league announced on Thursday. Moriah Jefferson (Glenn Heights, Texas), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (Anaheim Hills, Calif.), Breanna Stewart (Syracuse, N.Y.), and Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook, Ill.) were placed on the All-Conference First Team, while Kiah Stokes (Marion, Iowa) was named to the Second Team. Kia Nurse (Hamilton, Ontario) and Gabby Williams (Sparks, Nev.) were tabbed as All-Freshman team selections.
In addition to a spot on the All-Conference squad, Stokes was tabbed as the conference’s 2014-15 Defensive Player of the Year, while Jefferson earned Most Improved Player honors. Williams was selected as the league’s Sixth Player of the Year.
Stokes becomes the fifth-ever Husky to earn a conference Defensive Player of the Year and third-straight after Stefanie Dolson grabbed the honor a season ago and Kelly Faris took home the accolade in 2012-13. Stokes (125) is just six blocks shy of Rebecca Lobo’s program single-season blocks record of 131. The senior center leads the Huskies with 7.4 rebounds in just 19.7 minutes per game. Her 5.5 defensive boards per game ranks fourth in the conference and she leads the league with 4.2 rejections per contest.
Jefferson’s Most Improved Player accolade is the third such award in program history and first since Faris earned the distinction in 2012-13. The Texan, who is averaging 11.7 points in 27.1 minutes per game this season, has been one of the Huskies’ most consistent scoring options in In total, she ranks first on the team in assists (139) and steals (79) and is one of seven Huskies shooting over 50.0 percent from the floor (56.4). 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.
Jefferson’s 2.6 steals per game average is tops in the American Athletic Conference. In February, she was selected to the Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 List. Additionally, the guard is among 31 candidates on the 2015 Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List.
Williams earned the Huskies’ third-ever Sixth Player of the Year nod and first since Mosqueda-Lewis in 2011-12. The freshman boasts the conference’s best field goal percentage (.633) and is averaging 8.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in 16.7 minutes off the bench. She was selected as the league’s Freshman of the Week on Dec. 22, Jan. 12 and Feb. 9.
Mosqueda-Lewis, who owns the program record with 371 made 3-point field goals, became the eighth member of UConn’s 2,000-point club when she notched 21 points against Memphis on Senior Day (Feb. 28). The senior forward leads the country with a .539 shooting percentage from beyond the arc this season. Her 3.2 made 3-point field goals per game ranks first in The American and she also stands at sixth overall in the conference in total scoring at 14.6 points per game.
At 17.4 points per game, Stewart is third in the conference and also ranks in the top-10 in field goal percentage (.540), blocks per game (2.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). This season, the junior forward has notched 10 20-point games and has reached double figures in 26 of UConn’s 30 games.
Last month, she was selected as a member of the Wooden Award Late Season Top-20 and earned a spot on the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America Second Team.
Stewart is currently tied with former standout Stefanie Dolson (1,797) for 13th on the Huskies’ all-time scoring list. Additionally, she stands in fifth on the program’s all-time blocks list with 259 career rejections.
Tuck, who holds the nation’s eighth-best field goal percentage (.578), has put together a breakout season after being limited to just eight games in 2013-14. The forward ranks third on the squad at 13.4 points per game and holds a stellar 1.65 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
Nurse, who has helped the Huskies earn 29 wins in their first 30 games, has established herself as one of UConn’s most consistent offensive weapons. The guard is one of five Huskies averaging double-digit points (10.9) and ranks second on the squad with 99 assists. The Canadian was tabbed as the league’s Freshman of the Week on Dec. 1 and Dec. 29.
The league will announce its selections for Player, Coach, Freshman and Scholar-Athlete of the Year at a press conference on Friday, March 6 at 2 p.m.