Connecticut faced a tall order going into Madison Square Garden and squaring off with the third-seeded Iowa State Cyclones on Friday night, but the Huskies prevailed, thanks largely to the efforts of forward DeAndre Daniels.
Daniels racked up 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting, hitting 2-of-6 shots from beyond the arc, adding 10 rebounds and a pair of blocks for good measure.
One of those blocks looked more like a volleyball spike.
[Courtesy: SB Nation]
Daniels became only the second UConn player with 25 points and 10 rebounds in an NCAA tournament game. The other: Ray Allen.
The performance wasn't lost on his coaches and teammates.
Daniels accumulated 13 of his 27 points in the first eight minutes of the second half, scoring 13 of UConn's 15 points in that time.
He also played stellar defense on Iowa State's Melvin Ejim, limiting the Big 12 Player of the Year to seven points on 3-of-13 shooting, with two of those field goals coming after the game was decided.
“This is it,” Daniels said after the game, via CBS Sports. “I just want to win. I just want to go out there and just play hard for my teammates. This is the Tournament, and this is when everybody's going to go out and give it their all."
DeAndre Daniels is the Werner "Rise Above" Performer of the Day.
Feature photo courtesy of Getty/Bruce Bennett