7:30 PM ET, January 5, 2011
STORRS, Conn. -- Tiffany Hayes knew that Connecticut would bounce back strong from its first loss in 2½ years.The junior, who had never lost a college game before last Thursday's 71-59 defeat at Stanford, scored 22 points and the second-ranked Huskies routed Villanova 81-35 on Wednesday night."I knew that all of us, deep down inside, had this attitude that, 'Whoever's next is gonna get it,' even thought it should have been last game. We all came out with that attitude."Maya Moore added 16 for the Huskies (13-1, 3-0 Big East), who did set another record Wednesday night, winning their 70th straight home game."We definitely love playing at home," Moore said. "I don't think any of us were really aware of that streak."UConn hasn't lost in Storrs or Hartford since being beaten by Rutgers 55-47 in the 2007 Big East tournament championship game. The NCAA counts both Big East and NCAA tournament games played by UConn at Gampel Pavilion and the XL Center as home games.The 70th straight home win broke a tie with the record set by Tennessee from 1991-96 and matched by the Huskies from 2000-04, when most home games were sellouts.UConn coach Geno Auriemma lamented that those days are apparently over. There were about 2,900 empty seats, in the 10,000-seat arena on Wednesday."This used to be the hardest place in America to play," he said. "It's not like that anymore."Bria Hartley added 13 points and six rebounds for UConn, which fell to second in the Top 25 for the first time in 52 weeks on Monday. Moore, who played just 26 minutes, fell four points shy of reaching the 2,500 point-plateau for her career.Lindsay Kimmel led Villanova (7-7, 0-2) with six points.Connecticut held the Wildcats to 22 percent shooting from the floor, outrebounded the Wildcats 47 to 16 and were never challenged.Villanova missed its first 12 shots and was scoreless for nearly 8 minutes before Amanda Swiezynski's jumper got Villanova on the board and made it 14-2.It was 23-2 before Villanova scored again. The Wildcats missed their first 10 shots from 3-point range and were 9-of-38 from behind the arc for the game.Megan Pearson's 3-pointer with just over 7 minutes left in the half made it 30-9, finishing a 7-7 string that was as close a Villanova would come to making a run at the Huskies.UConn led 44-12 at the half, the fifth time this season the Wildcats have scored 17 or fewer points before intermission. Villanova had just four first-half field goals and shot 16 percent from the field. Their five starters were 0 for 16 from the floor.In the second half, the Wildcats had just seven buckets, all from behind the 3-point line.Before this game, Villanova coach Harry Perretta joked that he told his squad they had about a 30 percent chance of being shut out and that he would get a $1,000 bonus if the Wildcats scored 30 points.They reached that mark with 13 minutes left in the game."[UConn's] going to play hard whether they lost to Stanford or not," Perretta said. "I don't think that had anything to do with it. The only difference is they're going to concentrate and maybe shoot the ball a little better, which I thought they did."Connecticut spent most of the second half resting its starters and getting playing time for its reserves.Connecticut hasn't lost consecutive home games since being beaten by Providence and Louisville back-to-back in March, 1993.The Huskies are now 46-0 after a loss during that span.UConn kept alive a couple of other streaks as well. The Huskies have gone 242 consecutive games without allowing an opponent to shoot over 50 percent from the floor. UConn also has won 146 straight win over unranked opponents.The Huskies next visit No. 13 Notre Dame on Saturday, part of a stretch that also includes games at No. 18 St. John's and No. 8 North Carolina."After the [Stanford] game I hear a lot of, 'Congratulations, great job,' like the season is over now," Auriemma said. "The streak is over and now you're done, without any regard to the fact that we have three months of basketball left."The Wildcats came in averaging just over 52 points per game. They failed to score 40 points twice last month, in a 30-29 win over Fairfied and in a 39-36 loss to West Virginia.UConn has now won 34 of the last 37 games played against the Wildcats. The Huskies are 34-17 all-time against Villanova.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||11-50 (.220)||30-52 (.577)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-38 (.237)||6-12 (.500)|
|FT Made-Attempted||4-4 (1.000)||15-19 (.789)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||17 (0/0)||8 (0/0)|