Mississippi State stands adult to Connecticut in epic upset

4:20 AM ET


DALLAS — The strangest thing was that we couldn’t hear a final buzzer. Only a roar.

You can always hear a final buzzer when Connecticut plays. It echoes by stands prolonged given emptied on a highway or mixes languidly with a sounds of a confident throng during home.

William steals uncover again, hits diversion leader to startle UConn

Five days ago, Morgan William had a opening for a ages, 41 points to send Mississippi State to a initial Final Four. Friday, her buzzer-beater to jolt UConn was a shot for a ages.

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    Right when many insincere a Huskies were during their slightest vulnerable, they finally showed it in an overtime dissapoint opposite Mississippi State.

  • How Mississippi State dumbfounded UConn in an epic semifinal

    Morgan William strike a pull-up jumper during a finish of overtime to lead Mississippi State past UConn, finale a Huskies’ 111-game winning strain and environment adult an all-SEC inhabitant championship game.

  • It was usually a gossip this night, a participation insincere since of precedent.

    You couldn’t hear it after Mississippi State ensure Morgan William’s shot arced by a atmosphere and forsaken by a net with no time remaining in overtime. Not after No. 2 Mississippi State kick No. 1 Connecticut 66-64 to strech a initial inhabitant championship diversion in module history. Not after a Bulldogs finished Connecticut’s NCAA-record winning strain during 111 games and a run of uninterrupted inhabitant titles during four.

    Mississippi State had a possibility to finish a strain a year ago, to cut it brief before a celebrations and commemorations that tangible this season. To hindrance story in a tracks.

    The Bulldogs mislaid by 60 points. In a Sweet 16. They succinct a competition though balance.

    They found those 60 points somewhere in a inserted year. Well, 12 months and 5 days. For many of that time a series “60” hung in a team’s weight room as a reminder. They done adult all 60 points in 40 mins of law in a American Airlines Center.

    Then they played 5 some-more mins to find a final dual points indispensable to finish one of a many conspicuous year-to-year reversals — and one of a biggest games — in contest history.

    William’s shot silenced Connecticut. And brought a rest of women’s basketball to a feet.

    “I feel like we warranted honour tonight,” pronounced William, whose 13 points this night will be as famous as her 41 in a informal final opposite Baylor. “You know, people didn’t trust in us. But it didn’t confuse us. We usually had to go out there and play. we feel like it showed we’re improved than what everybody thinks.”

    The sound that instead rolled by a locus Friday night was one of adrenaline and amazement. It was a product of some-more than 20,000 people examination a group mount adult to Connecticut. Of observant a group that could so simply have been a intrepid crook exclude that, too.

    This wasn’t a well-place mill from a slingshot felling a giant. Mississippi State had to take down this Goliath by hand. The tough way.

    Teaira McCowan, a 6-foot-7 post who took over a Sweet 16 diversion and who presented a matchup Connecticut didn’t have a crew to counter, picked adult her second tainted environment a shade before a diversion was even 3 mins aged and sat a rest of a initial half.

    A lead that reached 16 points during one theatre evaporated. Mississippi State became a initial group this deteriorate to both take and remove a double-digit lead opposite Connecticut.

    One shot to win, a shot each group dreams it will get a possibility to take opposite Connecticut, went for zilch during a finish of regulation, William blocked by Gabby Williams in a shutting seconds with a measure tied.

    Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State’s heading scorer in this diversion with 19 points and a chairman who strike a late 3-pointer in law that eventually got her group to overtime, fouled out a notation into a additional period.

    “We accepted people were observant it wasn’t probable for anybody to do it, solely for Baylor or South Carolina. But usually since we don’t have any All-Americans doesn’t meant that we don’t have heart or we don’t have a persistence to make it happen.”

    Mississippi State’s Blair Schaefer, on how many didn’t consider violence UConn was possible

    The call that could have lingered in infamy, a disputable extreme tainted on Dominique Dillingham for an bend to a throat of Connecticut’s Katie Lou Samuelson in a final notation of overtime, went opposite a underdog. Samuelson strike dual giveaway throws to tie a diversion and a Huskies still had possession of a round to try and put down a Bulldogs once and for all.

    So most for a group wanting to play a ideal diversion to stop a streak. Mississippi State usually played a game.

    Vivians strike a 3-pointer to open a scoring in a initial minute. When Samuelson strike an early 3-pointer, McCowan answered to retake a lead. When she left in tainted trouble, Chinwe Okorie took her place and converted a 3-point play that launched a 14-0 run by a Bulldogs.

    They led by 9 points after one quarter. A year earlier, Mississippi State trailed 13-0 early in a informal semifinal in Bridgeport, Connecticut. It never again was within singular digits, a lead something reduction than 13 points for usually 19 seconds.

    “From warm-ups, we were intimidated — a round went over half justice and we were too frightened to go get a ball,” pronounced Blair Schaefer, a coach’s daughter, of a 2016 game. “I don’t know why. we consider since of a names that were on that team, we were usually internally scared. And this year, we had no fear. We knew what we had. And we accepted people were observant it wasn’t probable for anybody to do it, solely for Baylor or South Carolina. But usually since we don’t have any All-Americans doesn’t meant that we don’t have heart or we don’t have a persistence to make it happen.”

    Heart and persistence are good. Defense is even better. Connecticut had to work for each indicate it scored. Williams, in particular, forced to uncover off usually how athletically higher she is in figure points out of zero on drives and pull-ups.

    “We didn’t wish them to play flattering ball,” Dillingham said. “They normal 25 assists a game. We wanted them to put it on a ground. We wanted them to emanate for themselves. We didn’t wish them flitting a round around. We wish to repudiate a floor.”

    They still got assists on half their margin goals, though they usually done 20 margin goals. It was bizarre to see, though Connecticut was a group forced to improvise and play one-on-one basketball, while Mississippi State changed a round with relations comfort around a perimeter.

    “We repudiate one pass away,” explained Bulldogs partner Carly Thibault of a technique behind Dillingham’s edict. “We repudiate a floor. We don’t let them get into a upsurge of their offense. They can’t usually spin a ball, pitch a round and get round transformation that way. If you’re going to spin a ball, you’ve got to put a round on a building to do that since we’re going to repudiate one pass away.”

    “I feel like all happens for a reason. We remove by 60 final year, we go into a offseason with a genius that we’re not satisfied.”

    Dominique Dillingham

    The diversion was played a approach they wanted it to be played. When Connecticut finally done it behind from that 16-point necessity and took a lead during 41-40, William strike a layup to answer. There was to be no call from Connecticut, usually a waves fading and issuing this approach and that.

    “We knew they were going to make a run; they’re a group full of runs,” Dillingham said. “I consider we usually couldn’t get on a heels – we never got on a heels. We usually kept being aggressive.”

    A lot of people contend that about Connecticut. Few lived it out during a strain brief on tighten calls.

    Vivians scoffed when asked if Mississippi State could have played this diversion though a knowledge of a diversion a year ago. Of march these Bulldogs could still have pulled this off. That was not a accord opinion.

    “I wish we didn’t have it,” Breanna Richardson said. “But during a same time, it gave us motivation.”

    Women’s basketball has been watchful for teams to respond to a plea thrown down by Connecticut. What’s best for a competition isn’t that one module get worse though that a rest get better. For one night, a basketball justice in Dallas offering a precipitated perspective of that process. Mississippi State saw a customary a year ago. It met a customary Friday night.

    “I feel like all happens for a reason,” Dillingham said. “We remove by 60 final year, we go into a offseason with a genius that we’re not satisfied. In sequence to kick a group like UConn, we have to be perfect, work on things each day — rebounding, fighting out. We have to be good during them.”

    They had to mount adult to Connecticut.

    Coach Vic Schaefer seemed in risk of sketch a technical tainted when referees sensitive both coaches of a preference to consider a extreme tainted after video examination in a final notation of overtime. He stomped his feet and used some succinctly choice difference to demonstrate his opinion until initial executive of operations Maryann Baker and afterwards daughter Blair directed him to a huddle.

    At slightest according to one of those in a center of it, a summary was brief on Xs and Os.

    “We’ve got to face adversity, like we’ve faced all year,” Richardson pronounced of Schaefer’s instructions in that timeout. “Don’t let them take it from us. Let’s go get it.”

    A Connecticut pass slipped divided from Saniya Chong on a indirect possession. And after an additional 30-second timeout, William let lax a shot that floated adult and over Williams and down by a net. Followed by a roar.

    “I don’t even consider that was all a fans,” Richardson said. “I feel like a whole place was usually vehement about a moment.”

    It was a impulse that was a prolonged time coming, a estimable record hilt beaten by a estimable foe.


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