South Carolina wins 1st national title, beats Miss St 67-55

Coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks women's team in TX

UConn coach Geno Auriemma is in an unfamiliar spot: watching the NCAA women's championship game after his Huskies won the past four titles. We just had to beat them one time, just beat them one time.

But while either the Bulldogs or Gamecocks will win a first-ever title Sunday night, Schaefer knows how loaded CT is, well beyond the current contingent, for next season.

It knocked the 11-time NCAA champion Huskies out of the tournament.

No. 3/4 SC topped No. 7/7 Mississippi State 67-55 to capture the program's first NCAA Championship Sunday night at the American Airlines Center.

Four-time defending champions CT, in their 10th straight women's final four, hadn't lost a game since November 17, 2014. The loss also snapped the Huskies' 40-game postseason winning streak dating back to the 2013 Big East Tournament final against Notre Dame.

UConn trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and by eight at the break.

And the Huskies will take these lessons. It was 48-all going to the fourth.

Mississippi State dictated the tempo of this game from the start. 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.

UConn never led in the extra session. The statement said the video review occurred within the allowable time frame and that Dominique Dillingham made unnecessary contact with Katie Lou Samuelson when both crashed to the court after a tipped pass with 53 seconds left. The first OT win in the tournament spoiled Baylor's chance to play in the Final Four just 100 miles from campus. UConn shot 42 percent on 2-point shots and 47 percent on 3-point shots, while Mississippi State shot 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively. William had 13 and Breanna Richardson 12.

William is producing at a level that forces the world to take her WNBA dreams seriously, with Schaefer comparing her to 11-year league veteran Temeka Johnson, who stood just 5-foot-3.

"Here's the bottom line", he said at a news conference Saturday to preview the title game.

Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism. And they won't have to bear the weight of a record 111-game winning streak.

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Then Jones ran into his latest patch of trouble, and left Cormier to fight Anderson Silva in a non-title bout on two day's notice. There is a distinction between championship and non-championship fights, and this is a championship fight.

For two whole minutes, neither team scored since the start of the fourth quarter till Mississippi St made the first bucket.

Collier? Played 15 minutes in that game and was 2-for-3. Before he left to address the media, he thanked his team, specifically the seniors, for believing in the process.

Wilson admitted to being frustrated by Stanford's physical play, and Mississippi State will try to frustrate USC, as well. The sophomore is a 57.4% shooter from the field, mainly because she's so much bigger than most opposing centers. He's been with Bridgeport the past two seasons, and joins Matthew Peca and Michael Garteig on the list of Bobcats who've been on active National Hockey League rosters this year.

By pulling off a huge upset in a semifinal game, Mississippi State brought to mind another semifinal shocker, or at least it did for Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer. Not easy when everyone kept asking her about beating the Huskies.

This season, SC overcame a seven-point halftime deficit to win 64-61 in Columbia.

However, Schaefer also acknowledged it won't be hard to focus his players on SEC-rival SC. She collected 26 points for the Gamecocks in January, but in March, Teaira McCowan and Chinwe Okorie showed their resistance against Wilson.

A year ago, Mississippi State fell behind the Huskies by 28 points after the first quarter when CT handed the Bulldogs a 60-point loss in the Sweet 16. Because it works for her.

Could the third time be the charm for the Bulldogs who are looking for the first major sports National Title in Mississippi State history?

Even with the buzzer beater that shocked the world, Coach Schaefer said it is understandably hard to prepare for another game when the Bulldogs just beat the best team in history of women's college basketball. "Without Karlie, we really struggled". She probably thought I'm going to do it again.

Gray wasn't a major offensive factor in the SEC title game last month with just two points and three rebounds, but she didn't exactly have to be with how well she defended on the perimeter.

UConn had won 18 straight against SEC foes.

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