Mississippi State ends UConn's 111-game winning streak
DALLAS, Texas -- Mississippi State stunned Connecticut, ending the Huskies' 111-game winning streak.
Guard Morgan William hit a 10-foot jumper at the buzzer in overtime and the Bulldogs recorded a 66-64 victory on Friday in the NCAA Tournament semifinals that shocked the women's college basketball nation at the American Airlines Center.
The Bulldogs led 64-62 before a flagrant foul call on Mississippi State guard Dominique Dillingham allowed Connecticut's Katie Lou Samuelson to tie the game at the free throw line with 26.6 seconds remaining in the extra period.
But the Huskies couldn't score on the ensuing possession as Mississippi State created a turnover to set up William's decisive shot.
Guard Victoria Vivians scored 19 points to lead Mississippi State. William finished with 13, forward Breanna Richardson added 12 and forward Teaira McCowan pitched in 10.
Forward Gabby Williams scored 21 to lead the Huskies and Samuelson finished with 15.
Connecticut (36-1), in its 10th straight Final Four, will not get a chance to add to its streak of four consecutive national championships.
Mississippi State (34-4) advances to play South Carolina in the title game on Sunday evening back at the American Airlines Center. The Bulldogs finished one game behind South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference standings.
Vivians drove baseline and spun to get an open look that she converted to give MississippiState a 56-52 lead with 3:57 remaining in the fourth quarter, forcing Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma to call timeout.
The Huskies scored seven straight points, but Vivians hit a 3-pointer that gave MississippiState a 60-59 lead with 1:14 remaining.
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.
Earlier, Mississippi State had gone ahead by 10 when Richardson hit a jumper 20 seconds into the second half.
But Connecticut closed the gap quickly.
The Huskies went on a 12-1 run and took their first lead of the game when Collier hit a jumper in the lane, putting Connecticut in front 40-39 with 6:14 to go in the third quarter.
Mississippi State went almost four minutes without a field goal in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs snapped out of the lull in time to tie the game at 48 going to the fourth quarter.
A year ago, Mississippi State fell behind the Huskies by 28 points after the first quarter when Connecticut handed the Bulldogs a 60-point loss in the Sweet 16.
Mississippi State flipped the script on Connecticut this time around as the Bulldogs claimed a 16-point lead early in the second quarter.
Vivians, who led Mississippi State with 12 points in the first half, made a layup to put the Bulldogs ahead 29-13 with 7:36 left until halftime.
But Connecticut fired back at that point.
Guard Saniya Chong sparked the Huskies by scoring seven during a 12-0 run to close the gap. Chong capped the surge with a 3-pointer that cut Mississippi State's lead to 29-25 with 3:44 left in the second quarter.
Mississippi State still took an eight-point lead to halftime after outrebounding the Huskies 21-11 in the first 20 minutes.
The Bulldogs scored 12 second-chance points in the first half while holding Connecticut to a single offensive rebound in the same period.