Mississippi State beats UConn in OT, snapping Huskies' 111-game win streak

Justin Greene
April 2, 2017

Mississippi State will play for the women's national championship on Sunday against SC, who defeated beat Stanford 62-53 in the other semi-final.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks meet Sunday in the Women's NCAA National Championship at the American Airlines Center.

Vic Schaefer: "What an unbelievable, gutsy performance that no one in the country, including all of y'all, probably thought could happen".

"We'll talk about it as a team and make our minds up to have some changes made to come back as a different team, a better team", Dangerfield said.

"We've been beaten twice by South Carolina", Schaefer said. "You are one heck of a basketball team".

Now they've erased that defeat, beating UConn (36-1) on the grandest stage in one of the sport's greatest games. As William's shot fluttered the net, Auriemma stood, hands on hips, and smiled, oddly unsurprised and accepting. There wasn't much else he could do, another title beyond his grasp.

It sent Mississippi State into a frenzied celebration of its NCAA Tournament semifinal victory. Huskies coach Geno Auriemma passed former Tennessee coach Pat Summit for the most all-time victories in the NCAA Tournament when UConn defeated OR in the Elite Eight.

Mississippi State was aggressive and physical, challenging the Huskies in a way no team has in years. The Huskies tried to the throw the ball into star Katie Lou Samuelson, but she was decked by a Mississippi State player. After a UConn turnover, William held the ball at the top of the key before dribbling to her right and pulling up for the shot, with the ball in the air when the buzzer sounded.

Mississippi State led for the first 24 minutes of the game, and went up by as many as 16 points in the first half.

UConn scored the next seven points, capped off by a jumper by Williams for a 59-56 lead.

UConn's Napheesa Collier hit a free throw to tie it at 60 with 27 seconds left and Williams blocked William's last-second attempt to win the game in regulation. The last game the Huskies lost - November 17, 2014 - was also in overtime.

The Huskies (36-0, 16-0 AAC), are averaging 87.7 points per game on offense and allowing 54.6 points per game on defense, outscoring their opponents by an average of 33.2 points. Teaira McCowan's layup put the Bulldogs ahead 64-62 with 1:14 left.

During their past two decades of dominance where they've won 11 national championships, the Huskies rarely found themselves trailing - let alone by more than 10 points. UConn stormed back to tie the game at 48 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs came right at the Huskies from the start, doubling up CT 27-13 early in the second quarter and taking a 36-28 lead into halftime.

While UConn had to replace three of the best players in school history, Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson, and turn to a new generation of Huskies, Mississippi State grew more mature.

Speaking of the Cowboys, even Dez Bryant was up late watching the game.

UConn's first lead didn't come until almost three minutes into the third quarter, 39-38, following a 3-pointer by Kia Nurse.

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