Saturday, 24 June, 2017

UConn's 111-game winning streak snapped

SEC pride: S Carolina happy to see Miss St in women's final Huskies have all the pieces to start another long streak
Warren Dawson | 02 April, 2017, 01:35

This was the year that the UConn women's basketball team would be vulnerable.

This game will have ripples for years to come.

It didn't work out that way. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and 72.8 percent from the free throw line.

"Across the nation, the ratings may not be as high as if it was UConn and SC".

Their streak of 111 straight wins eclipsed the previous record of 90 straight set by UConn teams between 2008 and 2010.

They were on the road to a fifth straight NCAA national championship. Mississippi State won 66-64.

UConn rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit, its biggest during its NCAA record streak, to take a 59-56 lead in the fourth quarter. It wasn't caught live, but UConn coach Geno Auriemma called timeout and the officials looked at the Dillingham incident on review. The Huskies are 0-6 in overtime games since 2004.

"When you come into a program like this, there's going to be pressure", said Kia Nurse, who started on the past two title games.

"Karlie twisting her ankle really kind of gave us a tough time", VanDerveer said.

"Today, you know, they deserved to win".

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I like the South Carolina Gamecocks to get the victory here and to be crowned champs for the first time. They took us away from the things that we like to do. When we really needed to be a little more mature with what we're doing, we didn't have it. A layup by Teaira McCowan with 1:12 left put the Bulldogs back up two.

Prescott, who obviously was really invested in this one with a custom-made Mississippi State basketball jersey, didn't have to travel far to see his team play. "It nearly never does", Auriemma said. "We still have unfinished business, and for us to be playing SC, it's kind of like, now we get another chance, like we got another chance at UConn, now we get another opportunity to play against SC, but it's on a bigger stage and it means more". Beating UConn, Miss State celebrated like it already won the title and has received more attention than ever. "That's exactly what she did". The Bulldogs pulled down 14 offensive rebounds. William and Vivians combined for 97 points and 19 assists in those two games. Samuelson had 15 points. "I'm extremely proud of my group with such a gutsy performance that probably no one in the country knew could happen". "Only have to beat them once", Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. "That's what these kids have, they have heart". They also have a little pride. "So we're just going to try to enjoy it".

The loss snapped UConn's 111-game win streak.

Growing pains? There were no growing pains. The minus-14 differential was the second-worst margin for the Huskies this season.

"Some of our young guys got a little bit ahead of themselves (in growth this season)", Auriemma said. "I call my team the people's team".

The entire world believed this UConn team was invincible. "It feels so good, but we're not done yet", Wilson said.

Schaefer savored the victory afterward. That was the last overtime game in the national semifinals.

TAKING DOWN THE TOP SEEDS: Mississippi State is looking to be the third team in NCAA history to beat three No. 1 seeds. Can you blame them? "We had our chances, but they beat us". Didn't have to play the best out of five. Time was just ticking.

"I knew this was coming at some point", Auriemma said of the loss. "Maybe we just weren't ready for this".

"She was shocked and amazed just like us", Harris said of Staley. "I'm just shocked that it took this long to get here".

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