NEW YORK -- DeAndre Daniels scored 27 points with 10 rebounds and Shabazz Napier added 19 points for seventh-seeded UConn in an 81-76 win over No. 3 Iowa State in the NCAA tournament East Regional semifinals Friday night at Madison Square Garden. The Huskies (29-8) advance to play the winner of No. 1 Virgina/No. 4 Michigan State Sunday at MSG.
DeAndre Kane's 3-pointer, which capped an 11-2 run, with 4:35 remaining broke UConn's double-digit second-half lead, making it 63-56. The Huskies then had to hang on for the win. The Cyclones would pull within four points with a 3-pointer from Naz Long with 2:19 left.
UConn went 19-for-20 from the foul line in the second half. Ryan Boatright added 16 points and Terrence Samuel 10.
ISU (28-8) came into the game having won eight games after trailing by double digits, including coming back from an 18-point second-half hole against Northern Iowa to win in overtime, 91-82.
Napier had the hot hand to open the game and the Huskies shot 51.9 percent en route to a 36-26 halftime lead. Napier was 4-for-4 on 3-pointers and Boatright was 2-for-2 as UConn trailed only once in the half, 3-2 after Kane's 3-pointer at 18:43.
The backcourt's 3-pointers helped UConn build a 25-16 lead, and the Daniels scored seven straight points to push it to 32-22 with 2:50 remaining.
The Cyclones shot 31 percent in the half and were led by 10 points from Dustin Hogue. Melvin Ejim, who was the Big 12 Player of the Year, was 1-for-8 in the half with three points and Kane had seven points on 2-for-7 shooting.
The 26 points were the second fewest for the Cyclones in a first half this season.
Hogue scored a career-high 34 points for Iowa State. Kane finished with 16.
Ejim scored in double figures 30 times this season and came in averaging 18.1 points, but finished with just seven before fouling out with 2.7 seconds left.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Daniels. After Napier and Boatright set up then Huskies with a lead, the junior forward carried the Huskies, scoring 20 of his 27 points over a 12:35 stretch.
KEYS TO VICTORY: Samuel was huge down the stretch, scoring 10 points all in the second half, and was 4-for-4 on free throws. The Huskies didn't go to the line much, but hit 19-of-20 foul shots in the second half.
NOTES: ISU played without Georges Niang (broken foot), who was injured in the second round against North Carolina Central. ¦ UConn's record in the Sweet 16 is 10-6. ¦ The Huskies and the Cyclones have just one previous meeting and it came in the 2012 NCAA second round. ISU won 77-64 in Louisville, Ky. ¦ UConn is 4-1 with the starting lineup of Napier, Boatright, Daniels, Giffey and Phil Nolan. The Huskies' most successful starting five has been Napier, Boatright, Daniels, Nolan and Omar Calhoun, which went 9-1. ¦ Ryan Boatright had a better NCAA tournament career scoring average (12.3 in three games) than Shabazz Napier (11.2 in nine games) coming into Friday. ¦ Former Huskies Khalid El-Amin, Emeka Okafor and Richard Hamilton were at the game along with former coach Jim Calhoun. ¦ Napier was tied for second all-time in 3-pointers made at UConn with Ben Gordon coming in.
QUOTABLE: "It just felt like a home game. When you have that crowd behind you, pushing you, good things happen." -- Napier
-- WILLIAM S. PAXTON