NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 scores: UConn holds on against Iowa State, 81-76

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The Cyclones were down 17 points in the second half, but kept things interesting late. UConn, however, hit late free throws and held on.

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

The No. 7 Connecticut Huskies jumped out to a 10-point first half lead and didn't look back in the second, pulling past the No. 3 seed Iowa State Cyclones, 81-76, en route to the Elite Eight. Junior forward DeAndre Daniels led the Huskies with 27 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

Senior guard Shabazz Napier knotted 19 points, five boards and five assists while junior guard Ryan Boatright poured in 16 points. Iowa State junior forward Dustin Hogue led the Cyclones with 34 points on 15-of-19 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds.

The Huskies jumped out to a 36-26 lead by halftime, led by 22 combined points from Napier and Boatright. Hogue led the Cyclones in the first 20 minutes with nine points.

And Daniels did this:

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It was a sign of things to come for Daniels. The junior poured on 13 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half and UConn jumped out to a 17-point, 49-32, lead. The Cyclones, never short of offensive fire power, cut that lead to eight midway through the second half, then to seven with five minutes left.

Iowa State eventually cut UConn's lead to four points on two occasions, the second on a long two-point jumper by senior forward Melvin Ejim. The senior, Iowa State's regular season leading scorer, struggled from the floor all night. He finished with five points on 2-of-12 shooting.

The Huskies hit free throws late and held on to advance to the Elite Eight.

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