Mississippi State Defeats UConn In Final Four Upset
- Author: Carolyn Briggs Apr 02, 2017,
Apr 02, 2017, 3:02
Auriemma loses just one starter, senior point guard Saniya Chong, from a team that won its first 36 games and completed an NCAA record 111-game winning streak before losing to Mississippi State in overtime, 66-64, on Friday night in the national semifinals. The flagrant meant possession for UConn, although the Huskies already had the ball after the missed shot. "We were made for overtime". Thanks to seven straight points from Viviens, Mississippi State held a 36-28 lead into the half. It's the Gamecocks' first trip to the championship game. In which the two teams were hardly separated by more than a point or two throughout the second half, which ended, fittingly for the Bulldogs, tied at 60.
Wilson had 13 points and a season-high 19 rebounds against the Cardinal, which sent two and even three defenders at her when she received the ball on the low block. The Bulldogs finished the quarter in a back-and-forth battle and it was all squared at 48 heading to the final 10 minutes.
We got way more than a "close game", to say the least.
At the end, UConn coach Geno Auriemma could only smile as Williams sank that tough shot over Gabby Williams.
The Huskies routed Mississippi State by 60 points last season in the Sweet 16, but Auriemma was impressed with what he saw in the Bulldogs win over Baylor.
The result was a stunning instant classic, a riveting NCAA Final Four game that absolutely no one foresaw. She probably thought I'm going to do it again. Nurse's trey was her 21st in this year's NCAA tournament setting the mark for most made in one women's Division I tourney.
"When we started October 15 to where we are today. these kids were way older than they were supposed to be", Auriemma said. The minus-14 differential was the second-worst margin for the Huskies this season.
UConn struggled to get open looks, and the combination of giving up 10 offensive rebounds and committing nine turnovers in the first half helped the Bulldogs finish the half with twice as many field-goal attempts as the Huskies. Tennessee did it in 1987 en route to its first title.
DALLAS - South Carolina was able to speed up the tempo after halftime, A'ja Wilson managed a double-double even while nearly constantly surrounded by defenders and Dawn Staley finally got a win against Tara VanDerveer.
Just like the 1980 USA men's Olympic hockey that upset the heavily favored Soviet Union team on way to the gold medal, Mississippi State (34-4) still has one more game to play after ending UConn's 111-game winning streak. "I was in a little bit of disbelief".
Schaefer addressed the strategy as Mississippi State's decision to try to disrupt Williams as a facilitator in the high post is something only accomplished this season in a three-point win at Tulane. "I didn't know how to act". The Huskies are 0-6 in overtime games since 2004.
"Ain't any shots bigger than the one she hit tonight", Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said of William's jumper that turned American Airlines Center into bedlam. We beat a heck of a basketball team.
"I could only give so much, so me trying to contest her and try to make her score over my height was the main thing going into the game", McCowan said.
"It's never easy for us", Schaefer said. The Huskies made their run scoring 12-straight points and getting the game back to four. We were allowing Stanford to put us to sleep, and we knew they were going to do that.
SC rallied from a nine-point halftime deficit to advance to the national title game for the first time with a 62-53 victory over Stanford. She returned for the first 73 seconds after halftime, and got back in several times after that without making much of an impact.