STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Tina Charles had tears in her eyes as her name was placed on the wall at Gampel Pavilion, then scored 25 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to lead top-ranked Connecticut over No. 25 St. John's 66-52 on Saturday.
It was the 64th consecutive win for UConn (25-0 overall, 12-0 Big East), and 19th in a row over teams ranked in the Top 25. The Huskies are six victories short of matching their NCAA and school record of 70 straight set between 2001 and 2003.
Caroline Doty and Maya Moore each had 12 points, and Moore added 11 rebounds and seven assists for UConn.
Nadirah McKenith had 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead St. John's (20-5, 8-4), which lost for the just the second time in nine games. The Red Storm have dropped the last 26 meetings with the Huskies.
Charles is the 15th women's player to have her name added to the Huskies of Honor list, and just the second to receive the honor during her playing career.
St. John's stayed with the Huskies for most of the first half. UConn hit just one of its first nine shots and trailed 13-11 almost 6 minutes into the game. A 9-0 UConn run gave them the lead for good, but the Red Storm stayed close by collapsing on Charles and double-teaming Moore whenever she touched the ball.
The Huskies shot just 32 percent in the first half and starters Kalana Greene, Caroline Doty and Tiffany Hayes were a combined 1 for 16 from the field.
St. John's led the game for 2:43, the most the Huskies have trailed since being down for over 16 minutes to No. 2 Stanford.
Lorin Dixon's shot at the halftime buzzer gave the Huskies a 34-26 lead, UConn's lowest output in any first half this season.
Charles, playing her final game at Gampel, scored eight points as UConn opened the second half on a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach. The Huskies stretched the lead to 20 with 8 minutes to go and led by as many as 23.
Charles 21 rebounds leaves her with 1,226, just 42 behind Rebecca Lobo for the most in the program's history. It was the first 20-rebound game for a UConn player since Swin Cash had 20 against West Virginia in 2001.
The 14-point loss for St. John's came on the heels of a 35-point win over Louisville on Wednesday, a victory that gave the Red Storm 20 wins for the third time in Kim Barnes Arico's eight-years as head coach at the school. It was the second fastest that St. John's has achieved the 20-win plateau with the only quicker time coming back in 1982-83.
The Red Storm, who were picked 12th in the preseason conference poll, have garnered national attention earning a spot in the Top 25 the past two weeks. It's only the fourth time in school history that St. John's has been ranked.
(This version CORRECTS No. 1 Connecticut 66, No. 25 St. John's 52. corrects UConn record)