Notre Dame beats UConn, will face Mississippi State in NCAA Women's Championship


The Mississippi State women's basketball team will play for a spot in the national championship game on Friday night when they take on the Louisville Cardinals. It's not going to be an easy road to get there - Louisville finished second behind Notre Dame in the ACC with a 36-2 record - but Mississippi State has the talent to pull it off. But the Bulldogs lost in the championship game to SC.

In overtime, the Bulldogs asserted themselves and Morgan William, who hit the game-winning shot in OT a year ago in the Final Four to end UConn's 111-game winning streak, made two free throws in the last minute to help Mississippi State (37-1) pull away. McCowan, who scored 21 points and grabbed 25 rebounds, helped keep the Cardinals scoreless until the final minute of OT.

The victor of this game will play for the national championship game on Sunday night at 6 p.m. on ESPN and play the victor of Notre Dame-UConn. And, after losing past year, winning it all is all that they want. Tearia McCowan averages 18.1 points per game but also leads Mississippi State in rebounds, with 13.6 per game, and blocks, with 2.1 per game.

Coach Vic Schaefer said the Bulldogs are tempered by the fight in last year's tournament and a long, rigorous season that saw them to go 32-0 until losing to SC in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

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"Shooters never give up on a shot", Johnson said.

But, despite those 46 combined points and 29 total rebounds, the Bulldogs were down by three with seconds left at the end of regulation. "We're all in, but this is just another game for us". Durr and Mississippi's State's Victoria Vivians, both seniors, want to finish their careers celebrating a national championship. Vivians averages 19.6 points and shoots at a 49 percent clip. It missed the layup, though, sending the game into the extra period. "They all know how to score from anywhere on the court". As the No. 1 seed in the Lexington region, Louisville defeated Boise State, Marquette, Stanford and Oregon State by an average of 27.5 points.

"When I hit the shot", she said, "I mean, it made me 1 for 3". I don't care where she plays after this. But once teams do, they quickly realize its much more than basketball.