Mississippi State wins in overtime, advances to NCAA women's championship

Apr 03, 2018, 04:16
Mississippi State wins in overtime, advances to NCAA women's championship

But more than relying on experience to mentally prepare, Mississippi State (37-1) is tapping into their desire for redemption. For the second straight year and the second time in program history, Mississippi State will attempt to win a National Championship.

Mississippi State is heading to the NCAA women's national championship game after beating Louisville 73-63 in overtime. Louisville plays Mississippi State on Friday. This year's Final Four will be played in Columbus, Ohio.

But this time, it was Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale who hit the biggest shot of the season to send UConn home before the title game.

Friday night's game included 15 lead changes in regulation, with Mississippi State taking over in overtime. All four teams are No. 1 seeds.

Mississippi State has more recent practice at managing the emotions of a thrilling overtime win in a national semifinal, since it upset CT at the buzzer past year. "If it's overtime, we say it's our time, it's our game". "We worked hard for this".

"So proud of my team and have been all year", MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said.

"Let's face it", Schaefer said. "That's extremely hard to do".

Louisville has put together a monster season of its own.

Coincidentally, Mississippi State's only loss this season was also to SC in the SEC Tournament title game. The Bulldogs' lone finals appearance came last season versus SC. "It's a great thing, boy, but there's some ups and downs that just kick you square in the ass, and right now is one of those". We truly appreciate it. And I think it was similar - any time you beat CT, because of the dominance of their program, it's just such an emotional win. We're just trying to have fun. "Just an unbelievable game".

Associated Press All-Americans will battle in the opening game Friday night. Teaira McCowan looked back and forth at teammates Victoria Vivians and Roshunda Johnson, who whispered to each other.

Asia Durr scored 18 for Louisville (36-3), which was making its third appearance in the Final Four. Meanwhile, Vivians and McCowan combined to shoot 19-of-33.

They took advantage as only Schaefer knew they would.

The most impressive stat of the Oregon State game was Louisville's three turnovers, which set the school record and tied the NCAA Tournament record for fewest turnovers.

Louisville forward Myisha Hines-Allen said she's not intimidated. She played all 45 minutes.

"You know what? She's had a little bit to do with this today", Schaefer said. "And I was like, I guess I'll go get it, and my team trusted me to have the ball at the end". I can't box her out. I thought we competed, played our hearts out. "Then you shouldn't be here". "Offensively and defensively, they're a mirror image". Everyone's exhausted. It's about that team that can find the grit in them to go finish it. "They're tough, they're physical, aggressive".

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