As I wake up this morning in Dallas, TX; I thought to myself “Did what happen last night…really just happen?” #2 seed Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs just took down the mighty #1 seed Connecticut Huskies in overtime 66-64 on a game-winning buzzer beater from Morgan “Itty Bitty” William. Once again, William showed her heart, toughness and determination. The 5’5, junior guard has a heart of champion and it penetrates the entire Bulldog team.
If I was not in the American Airlines Arena last night; I still would not believe that this is happening right now. However, it did happen. Mississippi State ended UCONN 111-game winning streak. The streak was the longest in the history of D1 basketball. UCONN had not lost since Nov. 17, 2014 to Stanford. That was 866 days ago!
It took everything that Mississippi State had. The Bulldogs led throughout the game. They nearly won in regulation. William decides to drive to the lane and go to the rack and it was blocked by UCONN Gabby Williams. However, a few minutes later in OT…William came back and took the game-winner shot…a mid-range jumper. William said after the historic win, “I wanted to take the shot.” I will remember that shot as “Itty Bitty Slays the Giant.”
Mississippi State beat UCONN at its own game. The Bulldogs dominated on the boards with second chance points and rebounds. They played pressure defense on UCONN. UCONN looked uncomfortable all night, made key turnovers, missed shots from the floor.
The Bulldogs had all year to think about playing UCONN again. It was 1-year ago where Mississippi State lost by 60 points to UCONN. Obviously, the Bulldogs used that loss as driving factor to redeem themselves against UCONN. They were not intimidated by UCONN and was not going to be denied!!!
The way Coach Vic Schafer hugged Morgan William as tears ran down both of their faces showed me why the games are played. To have fun, compete, make a bond that can’t be broken and to give your team a chance to leave all on the floor.
As a proud #Hailstate alum, I could not be happier for my Bulldogs. They had given me a once of a lifetime memory!! Thank you, Coach Schafer, the coaching staff, the entire Bulldog team and Mississippi State University!!
What’s next: The Bulldogs will take on South Carolina in the national championship game on Sunday at 6 pm on ESPN. This will be an all SEC National title game and the third-time Mississippi State and South Carolina will face off this season. #ITJUSTMEANSMORE
Check out Hailstate.com for the awesome photo gallery!!