Ann Strother ended Connecticut's losing streak at one. Strother scored a season-high 24 points and had 10 rebounds, Renee Montgomery added...

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VILLANOVA, Pa. — Ann Strother ended Connecticut’s losing streak at one.


Strother scored a season-high 24 points and had 10 rebounds, Renee Montgomery added 14 points and No. 8 UConn bounced back from its worst home loss in 21 years with a 72-56 victory over Villanova on Thursday night.


The Huskies (7-1, 1-0 Big East) were challenged for a half before Strother scored a string of baskets and had her best overall game of the season to help them avoid consecutive losses for the first time since 1992-93.


“It was just a mindset going in, making sure it gets done what needs to get done,” said Strother, 10 for 14 from the field. “I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way before to the point where I need to do something about it and I can do something about it.”


UConn was coming off its worst home loss in coach Geno Auriemma’s 21 seasons, losing 77-54 to No. 7 North Carolina on Monday night. The loss was the earliest home setback for the five-time NCAA champs in 15 years.


“Games like the Carolina game are something that stick with you for a long time,” Strother said. “If you’re not careful, if you don’t play like we can, then Carolina’s going to beat us in this game, too. They’re going to beat us until we step up and do something about it.”


Certainly, if any team could have made a serious run at dealing the Huskies their second loss in a week, it’s the Wildcats (5-2, 0-1). Villanova snapped UConn’s 70-game winning streak in the 2003 Big East tournament title game and followed that up a season later with a win over the top-ranked Huskies.


Too talented and too determined to avoid what would have been an embarrassment at the basketball powerhouse, the Huskies scored the first six points of the second half to turn a one-point halftime deficit into a five-point lead and they cruised from there.


“We were excited at the half, but it was just the half,” said Villanova guard Betsy McManus. “They really turned it on in the second half.”


Other Top 10 game


At No. 7 North Carolina 87, Wofford 50


La’Tangela Atkinson had 15 points and six assists, and Alex Miller added 13 points in North Carolina’s 24th straight home victory.


The Tar Heels (9-0) shot 31 of 55 (56.4 percent) from the floor, their most accurate shooting this season. North Carolina made 10 three-pointers, with Miller and Heather Claytor each making three. K.C. Correll led Wofford (4-2) with 11 points.