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March 20, 1994|From Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — There was no question where George Washington wanted the ball to go, and no question that Connecticut was going to try to cut it off at the pass.

The Huskies didn't let 7-foot-1 Yinka Dare beat them, and George Washington didn't have anyone else who could help in UConn's 75-63 victory Saturday in the second round of the NCAA East Regional at the Nassau Coliseum.

Second-seeded Connecticut (29-4) advanced to a game against Florida--a winner over Pennsylvania on Saturday--in the final 16 of the NCAA tournament by holding the Colonials to 29% shooting. Dare scored 19 points, making nine of 15 shots, but his teammates missed 46 of 58.

A three-pointer by Brian Fair and a three-point play by Doron Sheffer sparked a 17-4 burst that broke a 43-43 tie and sent UConn ahead, 60-47, with 5:19 left. Dare got one shot during the run.

"We put two or three people on Yinka Dare and that forced their guards to take outside shots," said Donyell Marshall, who led the Huskies with 18 points. "I think he got tired at the end and didn't want the ball as much."

Yes and no, said Dare.

"I was tired, but that wasn't the reason I wasn't getting the ball," the Nigerian said. "It was more that they did a great job with their collapsing zone, keeping the ball away from me."

Marshall capped the run with four free throws and a layup, his first basket in nearly 24 minutes and the only one he hit in the second half.

He missed six of his last seven shots but made eight of nine free throws in the second half.

"Tennis and golf are individual sports where you worry about how you do individually," said Marshall, who was held below 20 points for only the fourth time all season. "If I keep playing like this and we keep winning, I'm OK. This team is good enough to pick it up when I'm in a slump."

Marshall scored 11 points in the first 11 minutes and seven in the last nine minutes.

Connecticut built a 38-30 lead after scoring the first five points of the second half, but the Colonials, who never led, came back to tie the score three times, the last, 43-43, with 12:31 to play.

George Washington Coach Mike Jarvis, a former assistant at Northeastern under Jim Calhoun, Connecticut's coach, said his team's inability to take the lead after tying the score was a huge factor.

"There was a tremendous amount of pressure on Connecticut," Jarvis said. "I think they'll play better when they play teams the public regards as a legitimate threat. Everyone looked at this region as the Connecticut Invitational, and it made them play tight. If we had ever taken the lead, I think it would have made them even tighter."

The Colonials closed to 66-59 with 1:47 left. But UConn sealed the victory at the free-throw line.

Kwame Evans had 21 points and 10 rebounds for George Washington, and Dare had 12 rebounds. Donny Marshall scored 14 points and Sheffer 13 for UConn.

George Washington (18-12) missed its first seven shots and 14 of its first 16. The Colonials trailed by as many as 11 points before pulling within three at halftime.

"Out of the gate, we were moving the ball and playing defense, then we hit a lull," Calhoun said. "I don't think we were celebrating too early. We just quit paying attention to the little details of the game."

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