Mississippi State shocks UConn, ending Huskies' record 111-game win streak as Bulldogs advance to title game

The Dagger

Do you believe in miracles?

Don’t laugh — this might have been the greatest upset of them all.

Mississippi State stunned the sports world Friday, as Morgan William’s jumper at the buzzer ended the latest UConn dynasty in dramatic fashion, giving the Bulldogs a 66-64 overtime win in the Final Four.

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“i live for moments like this,” William told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the game. “UConn, I mean, they’re an incredible team, and for me to make that shot against them, it’s unbelievable. I’m still in shock right now, but I wanted to take the shot — I wanted to take the shot — so I took the shot and I made it.”

[Watch Geno Auriemma’s priceless reaction to MSU’s game-winning shot here]

The Huskies’ record 111-game winning streak is officially over, and the defeat could not have come at a worse time, as their loss in the national semifinals drops them to 36-1 and ends their reign of four straight national titles.

How absurd was the streak? And how much more absurd is the fact that it came to an end at the hands of the Bulldogs in Dallas?

Consider:

  • UConn’s 22-13 deficit at the end of the first quarter was, at the time of the game, the Huskies’ largest deficit of the season, and the first time they trailed at the end of the first quarter since they faced Texas on Dec. 4.

  • UConn’s 29-13 deficit in the second quarter marked the Huskies’ biggest deficit of their streak.

  • UConn’s 36-28 halftime deficit marked just the fourth time the Huskies trailed at halftime during the streak, and only the second time this season. (They had trailed Florida State by four at the half earlier this season.)

  • The 48-48 score entering the fourth quarter marked the first UConn entered the fourth quarter in a tie game during the streak.

  • Oh, and just for good measure: These two teams met last season in the Sweet 16 … with UConn winning by 60 points.

On and on you can go with the numbers, which make what Mississippi State just pulled off all the more remarkable.

“Sometimes there’s not really much you can say,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma told ESPN’s Holly Rowe before the fourth quarter. “You just have to go out there and play. Time for talking’s over. This is the Final Four. We came out in the second half and actually got some movement on offense, people were helping each other get open, it wasn’t just 1-on-1, 1-on-1, 1-on-1, which is what happens when you become a little tentative.

“Give Mississippi State all the credit in the world, they did that to us — some of it was our fault, but a lot of it was because of what they’re doing. And now that we’ve got a sense of how we’re going to do it, I think we’ll be all right.”

Instead, the fourth-quarter became a tight affair, with both teams missing free throws and the period finishing in a 12-12 tie, overtime coming only after UConn’s Gabby Williams rejected Morgan William’s shot attempt near the basket before time expired.

The Bulldogs had jumped out to a 16-point lead early and withstood a UConn rally that saw the Huskies take the lead in the third quarter. MSU re-took the lead by as many as four in the fourth quarter, then went back-and-back forth down the stretch.

With 26.6 left in overtime, Katie Lou Samuelson hit two flagrant free throws to tie the game at 64 and give UConn the ball back, presumably for the last shot. But the Huskies shot early with the ball, giving the Bulldogs one last chance with 12.3 seconds to go.

Did they ever take advantage of the last chance, with the 5-foot-5 William beating the buzzer to shock the world.

MSU will face South Carolina in Sunday night’s national title game, an all-SEC affair. The Bulldogs will enter that game after doing what no team since did since Stanford did on Nov. 17, 2014: Beat UConn.

Mississippi State pulled off arguably the greatest upset in women’s basketball history, shocking UConn. (AP)
Mississippi State pulled off arguably the greatest upset in women’s basketball history, shocking UConn. (AP)

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Matt Fortuna is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

More Final Four coverage from Yahoo Sports:
UNC coach’s folksy lingo keeps players loose
Pat Forde: How David is slaying Goliath in college basketball
How a Final Four star became the nation’s top defender
Why UConn coach smiled after 111-game win streak ended

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