Big East Honors 6 Huskies

Six UConn players were honored with awards Thursday when the Big East Conference released its annual honors. Kelly Faris came up big twice, winning Defensive Player of the Year honors and sharing the Most Improved Player title with DePaul's Hrynko.

It isn't unusual for Connecticut players to haul in numerous awards from the Big East Conference in women's basketball.

But it had been 10 years since UConn had a player honored as the top defensive star in the conference. Kelly Faris ended that drought Thursday, becoming the first Defensive Player of the Year from UConn since Ashley Battle in 2003.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Stefanie Dolson were All-Big East first team selections. KML was a unanimous selection to that first squad. STORRS, Conn. (March 7, 2013) – The UConn women's basketball team had six Huskies earn postseason BIG EAST honors as announced by the league office on Thursday afternoon. Kelly Faris was selected the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and shares the Most Improved Player of the Year award with DePaul's Brittany Hrynko, while also earning a seat on the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was a unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team Selection and was joined by Stefanie Dolson who was also a First Team selection. Additionally, Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart are BIG EAST Honorable Mention. Finally, Stewart and Moriah Jefferson were selected to the All-Freshman Team.

Faris becomes the third Husky honored as the Defensive Player of the Year and first Connecticut player since Ashley Battle in 2003. She is the second Husky to be named Most Improved, after Mel Thomas earned the honor in 2005-06. Faris led the Huskies in assists (4.0 apg) and steals (2.7 spg) and was fourth on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg) and in rebounding with 5.5 rebounds per game in the regular season. The senior guard wrapped up conference play at 15th in the league in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game. She managed 2.8 steals per game in league play, which ranked fourth in the BIG EAST, and her 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio was third. Her 48.6 field goal percentage was seventh in league play.

Mosqueda-Lewis, 2011-12 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year, lands on the All-BIG EAST First Team for the first time of her career after leading the Huskies with 17.9 points per game and bringing in 6.4 rebounds per game in the regular season. Mosqueda-Lewis, who recently became the 37th member of UConn's elite 1,000 point club, leads the nation in 3-point field goal percentage shooting 50.5 percent from behind the arc.

Dolson also is on the First Team for the first time in her career after a stellar junior campaign where she is averaging 14.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with 6.7 per contest. The junior center has registered double-digits in 25 out of 29 games and has tallied three double-doubles. Additionally, Dolson leads the country in field goal percentage with 64.3 percent.

Hartley, the 2010-11 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and a 2011-12 First Team selection, is second on the team with 3.6 assists per game and is averaging 8.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

Stewart has had an outstanding freshman outing earning herself Honorable Mention and a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team. She is third on the team with 12.2 points and second with 6.5 grabs per game. Stewart has totaled a team-best 1.9 blocks per contest which is fourth in the conference.

Also earning a spot on the All-Freshman team was Jefferson who has seen action in 30 contests averaging 17.2 minutes per game. The rookie guard is scoring 4.2 points, dishing out 1.7 assists and tacking on 1.3 steals per showing.

The Huskies will open the 2013 BIG EAST Tournament on Sunday, March 10 at 6 p.m. at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. UConn earned the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of No. 7 DePaul versus No. 10 Marquette/No. 15 Pittsburgh.

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