Mississippi State Women Come Up Short of Miracle NCAA Finish

Carolyn Peck coached Purdue to the 1999 championship. Again, you have to take your hats off to SC and Dawn Staley for a tremendous effort today. He's coached her for three years and knows what makes William tick.

Observers also heard, in Martin's post-game press conference after a 77-70 win against Florida sent the Gamecocks to the Final Four, how his mother single-handedly raised him and inspired him to reach for his dreams. Always defense with the Gamecocks, who, in the two games against Mississippi State this season, held Bulldogs top scorer Vivians under her season average.

Not only was this South Carolina's first ever women's championship, it's the first for head coach Dawn Staley. The victory was fueled by a 23-point, 10-rebound performance from Gamecocks junior forward A'ja Wilson, who was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

Staley is replacing Auriemma as head coach.

The university made the announcement Monday evening.

Hall of Fame: Two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady, Kansas coach Bill Self, former Chicago Bulls executive Jerry Krause and former UConn star Rebecca Lobo are part of this year's Basketball Hall of Fame class.

She wanted to win a national title just as bad as the next young lady.

The loss for Mississippi State came two days after ending UConn's record 111-game winning streak with a stunning buzzer-beater by Morgan William in overtime in the semifinals. Nicole Auberbach, national college basketball and football reporter for USA Today, tweeted, "Frank Martin's suit is, again, exquisite", before the Florida game, while Bleacher Report tweeted a snippet of the Gamecocks' dismantling of Baylor, saying "Someone tell Frank Martin his team's up by 15" as Martin intensely argued a call. "I don't feel welcome in that house", LeGarrette Blount said. "I can't wait to get home to share this moment with them".

The daughter of parents who moved from South Carolina, Staley grew up in the Raymond Rosen housing project in Philadelphia. How she battles Mississippi State's "bigs" could play a big role in the game's outcome. She was thrilled to help Staley get her first title.

Gray woke her team back up with a layup.

Staley, a three-time Olympic gold medalist for the United States, lost in the Final Four twice as a player at the University of Virginia, in 1990 and 1992. Staley gave Chmeil is first opportunity to coach at the Division I level when she added him to the Temple staff in 2006.

I understand having confidence in the entire team. "It's been great just watching them, seeing all the great things that they've accomplished", she says.

With a voice like a raven and a talent for persuading her players - and a steel learned playing against guys on the street courts of Philadelphia - Staley is a strikingly compelling figure. But she grew tired of a sobering realization. But she processes it, and she wants to get it right. "She's really turned this program around from, you know, when she came they were winning barely 10 games to now they're national champions, so I'm really excited".

Asked if Schaefer said anything to her about not putting her back in the game, William said, "He shouldn't have to". Each time, the Gamecocks held the Bulldogs in check offensively, allowing 61, 48 and 55 points.

  • Julie Sanders