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UConn streak is over

Women's team's historic 70-win run ends

New York Times News Service

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The longest winning streak in the history of women's college basketball -- 70 games -- came crashing down Tuesday night in the championship game of the Big East tournament. Villanova, a team that thrives on keeping the ball away from the opposition, running down the clock and shooting three-pointers, did just enough of that to upset top-ranked Connecticut, 52-48.

UConn won the national championship last year with a 39-0 record. It took the floor Tuesday night with a 31-0 record to Villanova's 24-5. The Huskies were ranked No. 1, Villanova No. 18. UConn had won this tournament the last nine years.

After the game, after the two coaching friends had exchanged congratulations and commiserations, Villanova coach Harry Perretta seemed in a daze.

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"I am in shock," he said. "I watched the whole thing happen in front of me. It was amazing. We won the game the only possible way we could. We thought we could win only if they missed shots."

In losing, UConn fell 18 victories short of the men's college record of 88 in a row, set by John Wooden's UCLA teams from 1971 to 1974.

"Villanova didn't beat us," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "We lost the game to them. There's a difference.

"We lost, and that's worse. But this is just a game. It's not the end of the world. We just lost a game. We won 70 straight."

College scores, Page 2C

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