'Itty Bitty' guard big in Bulldogs lore after UConn shocker
- Iris Howard
Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer is 0-8 against SC in five seasons.
Mississippi State showed flashes in the first half. This was the first time this season that UConn was losing in the fourth quarter. A'ja Wilson, at 6-foot-5, had 15 points and nine rebounds in the SEC Championship. Even with the usual team leader center senior Alaina Coates out with an ankle injury, SC has had consistency amongst the perimeter with guards Kaela Davis and Tyasha Harris. SC has made it work to its advantage in the head-to-head games against Mississippi State.
NOTES: By making its 18th Final Four appearance, UConn is now one Final Four berth away from tying Tennessee's record 19 Final Fours. After scoring 41 points in the Elite Eight game that sent the Bulldogs to their moment of sports destiny, William was emotional when she opened up about the death of her father, nearly three years to the day of her Elite Eight performance.
Victoria Vivians has 12 points and Dominique Dillingham 11 for the Bulldogs.
William scored 18 points total in two games against SC. 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.
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. Today they deserved to win, they beat us. They had already watched film and analyzed mistakes against SC.
All of this is foreign for William, an unassuming sort who says she's kind of shy and certainly "not a social butterfly".
Semrau's Seminoles were the first team in years to challenge the Huskies earlier in the season, though the Seminoles lost 78-76 in the Tucker Civic Center on November 14.
Mississippi State flipped the script on CT this time around as the Bulldogs claimed a 16-point lead early in the second quarter.
The Gamecocks overcame an early surge that delighted a pro-Bulldogs crowd, leading by as many as 13 points in the second quarter before settling for a 36-26 halftime lead Sunday night.
SC erased a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Stanford in the first semifinal on Friday.
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. "I never gave up on winning a national championship, no matter how hard it was, no matter what it looked like".
"This was about two basketball teams", Mississippi St. basketball coach, Vic Schaefersaid. They take on SC (32-4) in a rematch of the SEC Tournament championship game - this time for the national title. SC coach Dawn Staley, an assistant on the staff, was mentioned as she worked the huddle with her Gamecocks. That run brought Huskies alums Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore, who were sitting 20 rows behind the UConn bench, to their feet. The Gamecocks center, who was the nation's top recruit coming out of high school three years ago, is amusing, articulate and walks around, when she's not playing, sporting a huge set of pearls around her neck to go with her warm-up suit. "He was like, 'I want the ball in your hands.' Sort of like coach Schaefer". As reported earlier this week by AP, a paltry average of 4,719 fans attended the women's tournament games for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds, a 27 percent drop from 2016 levels and nearly 50 percent from 2014, the past year games were played at campus sites.
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The Bulldog's defense pressure has to stay consistent against Coach Staley's classic guard performance.
Live streaming for Mississippi State vs.
Staley became just the second African-American coach to win a national championship.
CT guard Gabby Williams wipes away tears as she talks with the media following the team's loss to Mississippi State in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the women's Final Four, Friday, March 31, 2017, in. Another wasn't selling for less than $700. Maybe South Carolina wins even if William plays the game's final 10 minutes.
Tucker, who finished the drive Sunday without tickets, said he and two friends had found two tickets at a "reasonable price" about an hour and half before tipoff and were looking for one more.
Oh, so parity does exist in major women's college basketball.
In a tense national semifinal matchup, a last second jumper from Mississippi State point guard Morgan William over the outstretched arm of Gabby Williams not only ended the 111-game winning streak of the Connecticut Huskies, but it put the Bulldogs in their first ever national championship game.
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.
Eastern time. The Bulldogs won 66-64 in overtime on William's buzzer-beater, which was one of the biggest shots in NCAA women's tournament history.
Staley is confident going into the game. Turns out he couldn't make the arrangements. The Bulldogs averaged 37% in shooting in both previous games, compared to the Gamecocks averaging 47%.
Both teams are in the title game for the first time.
"Well, Coach called the timeout". The Gamecocks defeated Stanford, 62-53, in Friday's other semifinal.
But if major women's college basketball is going to be taken seriously by the national audience, it needs other programs to contend and win national titles.
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