It's all SEC for women's title after Mississippi St stunner
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 01, 2017,
Apr 01, 2017, 18:43
"I was in shock". So in overtime, I didn't want to do that again. I got the space, I jumped up and I made the shot. All season long the Bulldogs had that humiliating loss on their minds.
UConn coach Geno Auriemma had a wry smile on his face after the final shot. The Bulldogs won a school-record 33 games and arrived in Dallas unintimidated.
"Maybe we're just not ready for this". We just had to get to halftime and make our adjustments. But we came up against a much better team tonight.
The Bulldogs fled the bench area, piling up at center court while UConn players stood stonefaced.
This weekend, here's hoping at least someone can do what Tulane did back in February.at least keep it close. I don't have to play them [the Huskies] 100 times, I only got to beat them once. People doubted us. He (Vic Schaefer) was like be a team, be confident, and just play your game.
Tulane women's basketball coach Lisa Stockton has won over 500 games in her career spanning over two decades, including five conference tournament championships. My teammates are just so happy and proud of me.
Mississippi State came out blazing and turned a nine-point first-quarter lead into a 29-13 advantage with 7:25 to go in the second quarter.
The guard nicknamed "Itty-Bitty" had a potential winning shot blocked in the final seconds of regulation but came up huge in overtime to send the Bulldogs (34-4) into Sunday's championship game against SC.
The Huskies hadn't lost in 865 days, with that defeat going to Stanford on November 17, 2014. A layup by Teaira McCowan with 1:12 left put the Bulldogs back up two. It was the lone basket for Mississippi State in OT until William's game-winner.
UConn has won the past four national titles, while this year marks Mississippi State's first trip to the final four.
The loss also ends the Huskies' streak of four consecutive national titles.
The Huskies haven't trailed by double-digits at all this season, and the Bulldogs led by as many as 13 points in the second quarter.
Schaefer was part of a national championship while on coach Gary Blair's staff at Texas A&M in 2011, then became Mississippi State's head coach. The Huskies, with its crisp ball movement on offense, took advantage of MSU's overreliance offensively on Victoria Vivians in the third quarter and took their first lead with six minutes left at 40-39.
UConn (36-0) carries a 111-game winning streak into the game. And this is their last practice before their Final Four matchup.
The Bulldogs (34-4) will meet SC at 6 p.m. Sunday for the national title.
In the first game of the night, South Carolina, a 1-seed, pulled away in the fourth quarter to avoid an upset against Stanford, a 2-seed, 62-53. "So I just say going into this game, I have to take care of the ball, don't force too many things, look inside, and make the right decisions".
Erica McCall had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Cardinal.
"We talk about it all the time how hard it is to win in this environment", he said.