Eastern Michigan's strong start was not good enough to hold off Connecticut's great finish.

Doron Sheffer matched his career high with 27 points and All-American Ray Allen had 25 points and 10 rebounds as the top-seeded Huskies overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Eastern Michigan 95-81 Saturday in the second round of the Southeast Regional."They came out, and quite frankly I'm not sure we've experienced anything like that in my 10 years at Connecticut," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said of Eastern's 72 percent shooting midway through the first half.

"We were 13 (down) and sliding. They were making every shot and things were pumping," Calhoun said. "We were getting burned, and we said the only way we can get this back is by making some defensive stops. Once we did that, we started to come back."

The victory gave the Huskies (32-2) a school record for victories in a season and sent them to the regional semifinals in Lexington, Ky., next Friday night against Mississippi State, which beat Princeton 63-41 in the second game Saturday night at the RCA Dome. Last year, Connecticut lost to eventual champion UCLA in the West Regional final.

Brian Tolbert scored 36 points for Eastern Michigan (25-6), which beat Duke in the first round.

Connecticut didn't lead until the closing minutes of the first half. It took the Huskies that long to overcome the torrid early shooting by the Eagles, who hit 13 of their first 18 shots and led 32-19.

With Allen and Sheffer going against the smaller Eastern Michigan guards, the Huskies closed to 48-47 at halftime, hit five of their first six shots in the second half and took the lead for good on a three-point play by Rudy Johnson.

Mississippi State 63, Princeton 41

Time finally ran out for Princeton coach Pete Carril.

Erick Dampier scored 20 points as Mississippi State beat sentimental favorite Princeton. The loss sent Carril into retirement after 30 years as a college coach and ended Princeton's surprising run in the Southeast Regional, which began Thursday with an upset over defending national champion UCLA.

Like he has for the past three decades, the rumpled coach suffered on the sidelines, sometimes pleading, often yelling, always grimacing. But it wasn't enough as Dampier and the Bulldogs controlled the game from the start.

As the game ended, Carril took off his glasses and wiped his eyes. The Mississippi State players shook the coach's hand as he left the court for the last time.

Darryl Wilson finished with 13 points for Mississippi State, while Dontae' Jones added 11. Steve Goodrich led Princeton (22-7) with 14, and Mitch Henderson had 11.