"We've had obviously some hard times dealing with them, and today was no different", said Schaefer, 0-9 against SC but 124-42 against everyone else in his five seasons with the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State guard Morgan William (2) hit a game-winning jump shot to put her team in the title game.
"We're proud an SEC school could do it", SC guard Kaela Davis said. The Gamecocks defeated Stanford, 62-53, in Friday's other semifinal.
In an unbelievable turn of events, UConn Women's Basketball's incredible winning streak, which had reached 111 games, ended Friday night at American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
But if I went into this game thinking the model was too optimistic for Mississippi State, by halftime it started looking like that 13 percent might have been low.
This was sports drama at its finest.
Tom Mastrick drove from Manchester for a chance to cheer on the women as they returned to campus. The last time they lost in the NCAA tournament was 2012. When the time came to play UConn, they still had that game on their mind. UConn, which won its seven post-season games this year by these margins: 48, 22, 56, 61, 30, 15 and 38.
Thanks to that win, the crowd heavily favored Mississippi State, which used the energy for an early 7-1 lead before the Gamecocks took control for a third straight win this season against the Bulldogs.
Morgan William, the diminutive point guard who had helped deliver the Bulldogs (34-5) to the title game, wasn't even on the floor in the fourth quarter of the final game.
Mississippi State guard Morgan William (2) shoots the game winning shot shot over CT guard Gabby Williams (15) during overtime in an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the women's Final Four in Dallas on Friday, March 31, 2017. Unfortunately, their efforts did not allow CT to take the lead over Mississippi State for the remainder of the quarter. A wondrous passing team all season, the Huskies had 17 turnovers, collected only 11 assists, and took 21 fewer shots than did the Bulldogs.
But as the Bulldogs showed Friday, they are a talented, driven group that has every reason to believe the sports adage that it's hard to beat a team three times. The defensive strategy to pressure the Mississippi State point guards and disrupt the start of the Bulldogs' offense worked brilliantly, and despite two small spurts in the second half, Mississippi State never solved it.
UConn trailed by as many as 16 in the first half and by eight at the break. The Bulldogs led the game entering the fourth quarter before being outscored 19-4.More news: UK Triggers 'Article 50' Invokes Divorce From The European Union
Mississippi State's victory over UConn was a great game, and a great upset.
The Bulldogs have another chance at redemption vs. the Gamecocks. "It's just showing that our talent is here, and it should be a big game".
With 26 seconds left in overtime, MSU's Dominique Dillingham was called for a flagrant one foul, awarding the Huskies two free throws and the ball.
In Overtime, the battle continued till the last 12 seconds of the game, and the Bulldogs held possession of the ball.
"We didn't score until the six-minute mark and the four-minute mark", William said.
"Here's a kid trying to win the game". "She has been playing great this whole tournament". Auriemma said with a chuckle. This time, they felt the pain of losing a big game on a last-second shot.
Auriemma tried to console his players. "Today, they deserved to win".
"When we started October 15 to where we are today. these kids were way older than they were supposed to be", Auriemma said. For me to make that shot against them, it's unbelievable.
The current UConn team was young, with Saniya Chong the only senior starter.
"I just couldn't be more thrilled for her and the opportunity she has right now", Semrau said about Thibault. "They know now the prize now is in front of them; it's attainable. When the Yankees dominated, when the Celtics dominated, they still lost games".
To use a cliché like all good things come to an end would not do that game justice.