02 April, 2017
The Mississippi State women's basketball team pulled off an incredible upset on Friday night, ending UConn's 111-game winning streak with a 66-64 overtime victory. Morgan William for Mississippi State put up the final buzzer beater shot that sent Bulldogs fans into an absolute joyous craze.
"This year, I wasn't showing 'Miracle.' We weren't watching any movies, I wasn't talking about the Philistines slaying giants, although it was in the back of my mind", Schaefer said.
"They are going to remember that play because they have never been in that situation", UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of those looking to blame Chong for the loss. "So I just say going into this game, I have to take care of the ball, don't force too many things, look inside, and make the right decisions". I'm still in shock right now. "She's got a bright future in basketball at the next level and we don't want to risk setting it back potentially with her coming here instead of rehabbing".
He knows it doesn't take away from the history the Huskies made before that. Mississippi State is called with a foul allowing UConn to tie it at 60 with a free throw.
Afterwards, UConn coach talked about the Huskies' run, which started 865 days before when the Huskies lost to Stanford in overtime on November 17, 2014. On Sunday, the Lady Bulldogs will attempt to add their name to history against SEC rival SC. The win came as sweet revenge for the Bulldogs after they lost to UConn in the Sweet 16 round in 2016 by 60 points! This was the first time this season that UConn was losing in the fourth quarter. "Mississippi State came out from the beginning and just went at us", Samuelson said.
This will be the sixth time in women's NCAA tournament history that teams from the same conference will meet for the national championship. "But how proud am I of my kids?" She rocked the court with 41 points and 7 assists and the game ended in a 94-85 overtime win for the Bulldogs. "We still have unfinished business, and for us to be playing SC, it's kind of like, now we get another chance, like we got another chance at UConn, now we get another opportunity to play against SC, but it's on a bigger stage and it means more". "Maybe we were ready for everything else, but maybe we're just not mature enough for this", Auriemma said.
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Vivians had 19 points, William had 13, Richardson had 12 and McCowan finished with 10 for the Bulldogs (34-4).
UConn will return to campus from the Final Four on Sunday for the first time in five years without a national championship trophy.
"We had an incredible run, but we came up against a much better team tonight", Auriemma said. Gabby Williams, who made the second team, and Kia Nurse will be seniors.
In the final minute, Katie Lou Samuelson was hit in the neck by Dominique Dillingham. That group also includes 5-10 guard Andra Espinoza-Walker from NY, 6-foot wing Lexi Gordon from Texas and 5-10 guard Mikayla Coombs from Georgia.
Against the Gamecocks, who beat Stanford 62-53 in Friday's first semifinal, Mississippi State will need to try to do more of the same.