By: Kels Dayton
(WTNH)–Moriah Jefferson is the Steph Curry of women’s basketball.
OK, maybe not exactly, but when you watch the 5-7 waterbug play, it’s hard not to think about arguably the best point guard in the NBA. Like Curry, Jefferson looks like she belongs in a high school choir. Like Curry, she’s lightning-fast and doctorate-level skilled with the ball, and like Steph, she’s lights out from deep. (Jefferson is shooting 49.2% from three on the season).
For all of the press that UConn’s Breanna Stewart and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis get (and deserve), it’s Moriah who leads the Huskies night in and night out.
The junior keyed everything UConn did on offense against then-No. 1 South Carolina on Monday, scoring 16 points, dishing out 6 assists and destroying the Gamecocks’ backcourt with her Curry-like speed.
She was a one-woman highlight video, crossing up Carolina’s Tina Roy on her way to the basket, gliding down the court on fast break after fast break, and even leaping over press row like a world-champion hurdler.
Mosqueda-Lewis described Jefferson as UConn’s “energizer bunny,” saying that her leadership is something the Huskies need to thrive. Kaleena herself is thriving thanks in part to Moriah, who is constantly finding her on fast breaks and looking to set her up to knock down open threes (kinda like Steph Curry does for Klay Thompson). No wonder Mosqueda-Lewis is shooting 51.8% from deep.
Call them the Splash Sisters. (Thanks to Trevor the intern for that).
“She’s our leader on the court when it comes to energy and intensity,” Mosqueda-Lewis said. “She’s been like that ever since she got here. The confidence she has right now is the key to everything for us.”
Jefferson’s confidence is evident even when you talk to her after the game, when she’s just standing there, right in front of you, and you can’t believe that this 5-7, 45 pound (approximately) girl just dominated the biggest game on the women’s basketball calendar so far this season.
Asked if there’s anyone in the country faster than her, she responded:
“I don’t know, I haven’t played everyone in the country yet.”
“But I would hope not.”
It’s that kind attitude that has earned her Geno’s trust, and with it the keys to the Huskies offense.
It’s that kind of dichotomy–the girl who doesn’t look the part but plays it better than anyone else could–that makes her incredibly easy to root for.
Just like Steph Curry.