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Connecticut vs Iowa State

Daniels comes up huge, leads UConn past ISU to East final

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- DeAndre Daniels' Connecticut teammates were going to keep passing him the ball until he cooled off.

By the time that happened, it was too late for Iowa State.

Daniels scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, and the Huskies hung on for an 81-76 victory Friday to reach the East Regional final a year after UConn was barred from the NCAA Tournament.

"DeAndre's a scorer, and once you feel that you have that confidence, the next shot's going to go in," said senior Shabazz Napier, who knows a thing or two about scoring himself. "We kept feeding him, and he got super hot."

Daniels hit his first six shots after halftime, the only Husky to make a field goal for over 8 minutes. His 3-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a 49-32 lead.

The third-seeded Cyclones rallied late, pulling within 67-63 with 2 minutes remaining. But senior Niels Giffey hit a 3 in the corner for his first points since the game's opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws in the final minute, the UConn fans packing Madison Square Garden could celebrate.

The Huskies will face fourth-seeded Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

Dustin Hogue scored a career-high 34 points for Iowa State (28-8), but Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim was 3 of 13 for seven points, more than 11 below his average.

The Cyclones, in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000, were playing their second game without third-leading scorer Georges Niang, who broke his foot in their tournament opener.

They trailed by 16 with less than 7 minutes to go but nearly came all the way back behind Hogue's scoring inside.

"That's who these guys are, they're fighters," coach Fred Hoiberg said.

With UConn clinging to a 70-65 lead and less than a minute left, Iowa State's Naz Long missed a 3-pointer, and the 6-1 Napier pulled down the rebound and was fouled by Hogue. The guard calmly drilled both free throws.

UConn was 20 of 22 from the foul line, while Iowa State was 6 of 15.

Napier, the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, drained four early 3-pointers, then made only one more field goal the rest of the way. But the quick start by Napier and backcourt mate Ryan Boatright opened up space for the 6-foot-9 Daniels, an inconsistent junior who can score all over the court when he's on.

Since a stretch in late February and early March when he failed to reach double figures in four straight games, Daniels had averaged 15 in his last six outings before Friday. Then against Iowa State, he shot 10 of 15 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"With our seniors on this team, I just want them to go out with a bang," Daniels said.

Ejim and DeAndre Kane, Iowa State's top scorers, were a combined 9 of 31. But Hogue, from nearby Yonkers, found plenty of space, shooting 15 for 19.

"To play in the Garden, it's something I dreamed about as a kid," he said.

After Napier's difficult early 3-pointers -- he was falling away on two of them and stepping back to open a sliver of space on a third -- Boatright and Daniels took over. The three combined for all but six of the Huskies' points as they built a 36-26 halftime lead.

Second-year coach Kevin Ollie is now 3-0 in the NCAA tournament after taking over for mentor Jim Calhoun, who gave him a big hug after this one was over. The last time UConn made it this far, the Huskies won a national title when Napier and Giffey were freshmen.

The current upperclassmen could have transferred after the program's low scores on the NCAA's academic progress measure kept UConn from last year's Big East and NCAA tournaments.

"We were banned from a lot of things," Ollie said. "We couldn't come here for the tournament, but they weren't banned from loving and pushing and encouraging each other, and that's what it's all about. Those dark times, if you don't give up in the dark times, it will reverse, the wind will start going in your favor, your direction.

"And I think that's what's happened now."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Connecticut #7 «364581
Iowa State #3 265076
UCONN:D. Daniels 27 Pts
UCONN:D. Daniels 10 Reb
UCONN:S. Napier 5 Ast
IOWAST:D. Hogue 34 Pts
IOWAST:D. Kane 8 Reb
IOWAST:D. Kane 9 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
ConnecticutIowa State
UCONN
DeAndre Daniels
IOWAST
Dustin Hogue
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
271003460
Connecticut Huskies
S. Napier, G375-115-655319
D. Daniels, F3610-155-6100327
R. Boatright, G354-106-622016
N. Giffey, G-F292-50-07035
P. Nolan, F90-00-01010
T. Samuel, G233-44-432110
A. Brimah, C202-30-02024
L. Kromah, G-F80-20-00020
O. Calhoun, G30-00-00000
T. Olander, FDid Not Play
L. Tolksdorf, FDid Not Play
R. Purvis, GDid Not Play
K. Facey, FDid Not Play
P. Lenehan, GDid Not Play
T. Watts, GDid Not Play
N. Amilo, FDid Not Play
Totals 26-5020-223091581
 52.0%90.9% 
Iowa State Cyclones
D. Kane, G406-182-989316
D. Hogue, F3715-194-660334
M. Morris, G375-80-034212
M. Ejim, F343-130-08147
D. Edozie, F70-00-00000
N. Long, G273-90-03047
M. Thomas, G140-10-00010
P. Gibson, C40-10-01000
B. Palo, GDid Not Play
A. Nader, FDid Not Play
S. Dorsey-Walker, GDid Not Play
T. Ellerman, FDid Not Play
G. Niang, FDid Not Play
K. Bluford, GDid Not Play
K. Jackson, GDid Not Play
Totals 32-696-1529141776
 46.4%40.0% 
American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Cincinnati0-04-0161
So. Florida0-04-158
Connecticut0-03-15
Tulane0-03-1300
UCF0-03-176
Houston0-02-1127
Temple0-03-262
Tulsa0-03-2258
E. Carolina0-03-3351
SMU0-03-367
Memphis0-01-1156

Big 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Oklahoma St.0-06-0112
W. Virginia0-06-014
TCU0-05-0168
Texas0-05-041
Baylor0-04-094
Iowa St.0-03-117
Oklahoma0-03-1257
Texas Tech0-03-190
Kansas0-02-1129
Kansas St.0-03-3165
 
Other games
TENN 71 Final
MICH 73
UK 74 Final
LOU 69
MIST 61 Final
UVA 59