Mississippi State had all the momentum on its side after a shocking upset over UConn on Friday night that ended the Huskies' record winning streak at 111 games.
Right after Morgan William hit the victor to end UConn's 111-game winning streak, the Bulldogs dogpiled at center court as if they had won the school's first title. This will be both team's first shot at a program-first national title.
The Bulldogs got to this point in their matchup with SC by pulling off one of the more memorable moments in recent women's basketball history.
3-Point Goals - Mississippi St. 2-12 (Richardson 0-1, Dillingham 1-2, Vivians 1-5, William 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Schaefer 0-2), SC 0-3 (Davis 0-2, Gray 0-1).
When it comes, Mississippi State's diminutive point guard has a ready answer. It was the first time the championship game went to overtime.
The Bulldogs had won their first 20 games of the season, but SC rallied in the second half when Allisha Gray had 16 of her 17 points. She said the Bulldogs brought plenty of pressure against UConn - similar to what FSU did earlier in the season. A'ja Wilson leads SC with 15 points, and Allisha Gray has 14.
Staley became just the second African-American coach to win a national championship.
GLENDALE, Ariz. - 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.
"We beat a heck of a basketball team, the greatest of all time, with the best coach (Geno Auriemma) of all time", Schaefer said.
Kaela Davis has been the saving grace for the Gamecocks late in the season.Though Kaela only scored 6 points in the 62-53 win against the Stanford Cardinals, Davis seems to find a rhythm against the Bulldogs collecting 23 points in the division title game.
"He [Schaefer] said, "You about to win the game". UConn has 11 titles overall.
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I guess the committee doesn't just give Most Outstanding Player to anyone.
Now that UConn is surprisingly out of the way, it's time for an SEC party with a pair of teams that have never played in the NCAA women's championship game.
After the game, Schaefer took responsibility for the Bulldogs losing. South Carolina's defense forced MSU to take bad shots the last time both teams played and the Bulldogs went 0-for-15 from 3-point range. It was a three pointer with just about four minutes left in the fourth quarter that kept Stanford at arm's length and put SC in its first-ever national championship game. During the first quarter, Mississippi State tallied 8 offensive rebounds that led to 10-second chance points.
Seven members of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic women's basketball team have been honored at the NCAA women's championship game.
SC junior A'Ja Wilson, who had 13 points and 19 rebounds against Stanford, averaged 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in the two games with Mississippi State. But Staley has never won an NCAA title, and now, as a head coach, she has SC on the brink. She's going bowling. She's heading right for that weight room to wipe off that magic marker, as surely as she's replaced the image of Mississippi State in the nation's consciousness of a particularly grim victim of the Huskies with their vanquisher. It may behoove SC coach Staley to move Wilson around the court in order to pull McCowan out of the paint. The Huskies didn't take their first lead until 6:15 was left in the third quarter.
The Huskies lost 66-64 on Morgan William's last-second shot in the national semifinals.
A'ja Wilson has had success against Mississippi State before. William had 13 and Breanna Richardson 12.
The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs are playing for the national championship Sunday night in Dallas.
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. Another wasn't selling for less than $700. A junior, William said she wasn't bringing enough energy and didn't blame it on the notion of having an emotional letdown from the UConn game.
They will be next season. Whatever comes next, the record book is stamped, and so are the eyes of everyone who saw tiny Morgan William rise up and drop that soft-handed jumper in the net at the buzzer in overtime to end the longest winning streak in basketball history.
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