Mississippi State shocks UConn

The Associated Press

DALLAS — UConn’s record 111-game winning streak came to a startling end when Mississippi State pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in women’s basketball history, shocking the Huskies 66-64 on Morgan William’s overtime buzzer beater in the national semifinals Friday night.

William hit a 15-footer to cap it, moments after a replay review awarded UConn two free throws for a flagrant 1 foul call that tied the game with 26.6 seconds left.

The Bulldogs (34-4) will play South Carolina for the national championship Sunday night in a matchup of two SEC teams.

Mississippi State and UConn met in the Sweet 16 last season and the Huskies won by 60 points — the biggest win in regional semifinals history. All season long the Bulldogs had that humiliating loss on their minds.

Now they’ve erased that defeat, beating UConn (36-1) — which had won the last four national championships — on the grandest stage in one of the sport’s greatest games.

South Carolina triumphs

DALLAS — Allisha Gray scored 18 points, A’ja Wilson had a double-double and South Carolina is going to its first national championship game after beating Stanford Friday night in the women’s national semifinals.

Wilson had 13 points and 19 rebounds for the Gamecocks (32-4), who lost in the semifinal of their only other Final Four appearance two years ago. They went ahead to stay with 13 straight points in the third quarter.

Stanford (32-6) took a big hit when senior guard Karlie Samuelson sprained her right ankle with about 41/2 minutes before halftime after the Cardinal had taken an eight-point lead with a 13-1 run.

South Carolina’s Dawn Staley, who played for Tara VanDerveer on the U.S. women’s team that won the 1996 Olympic gold medal, won as a coach against the Stanford coach for the first time in six tries. Staley also made three consecutive Final Four appearances as a player for Virginia (1990-92).

Two of those included semifinal losses to VanDerveer and the Cardinal on way to their only national titles. The victory kept up a big run by the South Carolina basketball teams. The men’s team takes on Gonzaga in the Final Four on Saturday.

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