STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Ann Strother scored a career-high 27 points to help No. 4 Connecticut overcome the loss of star Diana Taurasi and beat St. John's 82-49 on Saturday.

Taurasi had just two points when she injured her back after blocking a shot with eight minutes remaining in the first half. She left the game with soreness in her back.

With the All-American out, Strother and her teammates came through. Strother hit seven 3-pointers and reserve center Liz Sherwood finished with career-high 10 boards for the Huskies (16-2, 7-1 Big East).

Kim MacMillan and Danielle Chambers each scored 11 points for the Red Storm (8-11, 2-6), who have lost 20 straight to UConn.

Strother opened the game with two straight 3-pointers, but the Red Storm kept it close for the first 10 minutes and, at one point, led by as many as four.

But Strother converted a three-point play to give UConn a 26-25 lead, and the Huskies never trailed again. UConn outscored St. John's 23-12 down the stretch to take a 44-35 halftime lead.

Sherwood, a 6-foot-4 freshman, proved to be a tough matchup for St. John's. She scored nine points and had eight boards in 10 minutes in the first half. Sherwood entered the game with just six offensive boards all season, and had five by halftime. UConn outscored St. John's 30-16 in the paint. Sherwood had three of UConn's 10 blocks.

Reserve guard Ashley Battle had eight rebounds and 15 points for UConn.

Shemika Stevens added 10 for the Red Storm.