'Itty Bitty' guard big in Bulldogs lore after UConn shocker

Mississippi St. Bulldogs Beat the UConn Huskies in OT, Ending 111-Game Winning Streak

A'ja Wilson and Allisha Gray both had double-doubles and the Gamecocks beat the Bulldogs 67-55 to win the NCAA women's championship in an all-Southeastern Conference matchup of first-time finalists Sunday night.

They enjoyed a then-record 90-game win streak prior to this one. This was the first time this season that UConn was losing in the fourth quarter.

The Mississippi State Bulldog magic comes one game short of a national title.

Right before he was about to speak at the podium, Schaefer looked toward seniors Dom Dillingham, Breanna Richardson and Ketara Chapel, flashed the kind of smile one makes before they're about to shed tears of their own and congratulated SC.

Guard Victoria Vivians scored 19 points to lead Mississippi State.

They were clearly a different, more hardened and mature team, led by the magnificent William, whose 41 points against Baylor had gotten them to the Final Four in the first place.

Mississippi State fans rang cowbells and cheered for the Lady Bulldogs after their disappointing 67-55 loss to SC on Sunday night. It is the first women's Final Four in Dallas, and will be the first SEC Champion other than Tennessee. A'Ja Wilson and the SC unit had its way inside with the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs had just finished up the greatest season in the history of the school when they racked up 34 wins and countless records along the way. SC is available via Watch ESPN.

The UConn narrative all season is well established.

"The thing is, we're playing a team, they're so familiar to us and we're so familiar to them", Schaefer said.

But if I went into this game thinking the model was too optimistic for Mississippi State, by halftime it started looking like that 13 percent might have been low. A jumper from Davis followed by a layup in transition by Cuevas-Moore made it 40-28 before Wilson connected on two free throws to grow the advantage to 42-28 with 7:54 left in the third quarter.

SC erased a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Stanford in the first semifinal on Friday.

Morgan William has given Mississippi State a spark, going for 41 points in the Elite Eight against Baylor before her heroics at the end of overtime against CT.

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"There were people in the stands, everyone's making plans for what they're going to do after the first game, whether they're going to stick around for the first half of the second game", said Oakland coach Jeff Tungate, who was in the stands.

Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer avenged a 98-38 loss to UConn in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

After losing her first three games against Mississippi State, Dawn Staley and SC have won ten straight in the series. Staley watched the game with her coaching staff from press row at American Airlines Center and like the rest of us, she was amazed by what transpired in front of her. Rory died in March of William's senior year in high school.

Staley is replacing Auriemma as head coach.

SC wants to remind everyone it's still here because all of the headlines for the last 48 hours have been about what happened between Mississippi State and CT.

A 66-64 overtime win against UConn Friday night snapped the Huskies' 111-game win streak and propelled the Bulldogs into the national title game. Dominique Dillingham and Breanna Richardson had two apiece.

SEC teams SC and Mississippi State, who will play in the women's NCAA Tournament championship game on Sunday, have already played twice this season.

"We've got to find a way to keep A'ja on the floor", Staley said. Another wasn't selling for less than $700.

"There's a kid trying to win the game", Auriemma said "We're impatient". It was a reminder of the point margin in an embarrassing defeat to CT in the 2016 NCAA women's basketball tournament.

With a pro-MSU crowd in attendance, millions watching nationally and a watch party at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs saw their best season in program history end in the title tilt.

The winning shot for Mississippi State was a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer by the smallest player on the court, the 5-foot-5-inch point guard Morgan William. When it went in, I was nearly like, 'Of course. Turns out he couldn't make the arrangements. SC won 64-61 in a home game in January and topped the Bulldogs 59-49 last month in the SEC Tournament.

The Bulldogs were also relentless on the boards on their way to the title game, out-rebounding teams by an average of fourteen per game.



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