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Bulldogs headed back to title game

Mississippi State defeated Louisville 73-63 in overtime in the opening game of the Final Four.

Posted: Mar 30, 2018 10:14 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2018 10:56 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - When the last day of the women’s basketball season arrives, Mississippi State will be on the dance floor for a second straight season.

MSU survived an epic marathon Friday night, beating Louisville 73-63 in overtime in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four being played at Nationwide Arena.

MSU (37-1) will face either Notre Dame (33-3) or Connecticut (36-0) at 5 p.m. CT Sunday for the national championship on ESPN. The Bulldogs are back in the title game for a second straight season after becoming the first team ever to win two Final Four semifinal games in overtime.

“So proud of my team and have been all year,” MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said. “When things get too tough for most people, it’s a time that is just right for us. When you are down three late in a game, you have to have a lot of people do everything just right. In this game, we had a lot of people do things just right tonight.”

Things looked bleak for the Bulldogs late. However, Roshunda Johnson hit a game-tying 3-pointer with seven seconds left in regulations. The Cardinals then missed two shots in the paint, forcing the game into overtime.

Victoria Vivians scored a 3-pointer to get overtime started and the Bulldogs did not trail in the extra five minutes. The Bulldogs even survived Vivians fouling out early in the overtime.

Vivians led the Bulldogs with 25 points, while Teaira McCowan collected her NCAA-best 28th double-double with 21 points and a career-high 25 rebounds. The rebound total also set a new Final Four record.

Jordan Danberry, who came up big in 26 minutes off the bench, added 10 points and a critical steal late to preserve the victory. Morgan William also had 10 points.

Louisville scored the game’s first six points but after that both teams gained some traction and a defensive masterpiece began to play out.

The Bulldogs scored the final six points of the first quarter to take a 13-11 lead.

Vivians scored back-to-back baskets as the Bulldogs stretched the lead to 20-15 midway through the second quarter.

Louisville responded with a 12-2 run for a 27-22 lead.

The Bulldogs then plowed back ahead with a layup by Vivians running the half out with the Bulldogs on top, 31-30.

MSU held the lead for most of the third quarter. However, the Cardinals finished with a flurry for a 48-46 lead after three quarters.

Louisville stretched the lead to seven at 53-46 with 7:14 left. A layup by Vivians, defensive rebound and layup by Danberry helped kickstart a 10-0 run by the Bulldogs.

Louisville received and led by three before the Bulldogs’ perfect execution coming out of a time for Johnson’s game-tying basket.

For the contest, MSU hit 25 of 62 shots from the field (40.3 percent), 4 of 15 shots from 3-point range (26.7 percent) and 19 of 25 shots from the foul line (76.0 percent). Louisville hit 27 of 70 shots from the field (38.6 percent), 4 of 20 shots from 3-point range (20.0 percent) and 5 of 7 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent).

MSU held a 46-38 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 15 turnovers, while the Cardinals had seven assists and 11 turnovers.

Louisville (36-3) received 18 points from Asia Durr, 15 points from Jazmine Jones and 11 points from Myisha Hines-Allen. Jones had a team-high nine rebounds for the Cardinals.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15752

Reported Deaths: 739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds100625
Lauderdale73862
Madison72423
Scott65012
Neshoba64639
Jones62928
Forrest56438
DeSoto5427
Rankin4398
Holmes42928
Leake42712
Copiah3124
Jackson30813
Attala29817
Yazoo2814
Newton2714
Leflore26431
Lincoln26329
Harrison2587
Monroe25725
Oktibbeha23912
Lamar2385
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Wayne2041
Pike20311
Adams19915
Noxubee1866
Washington1787
Warren17310
Covington1652
Jasper1634
Bolivar16211
Lee1536
Smith15211
Kemper14411
Clarke14418
Lafayette1364
Chickasaw13512
Coahoma1254
Carroll11711
Winston1171
Marion1159
Clay1124
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Tate941
Grenada943
Yalobusha935
Hancock9111
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Montgomery851
Sunflower843
Union835
Marshall833
Jefferson Davis773
Tippah7311
Panola713
Webster692
Calhoun654
Amite641
Humphreys607
Walthall560
Tunica553
Prentiss533
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Pontotoc353
Quitman330
Tishomingo320
Stone300
Franklin292
Tallahatchie271
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene131
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18075

Reported Deaths: 644
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2239116
Jefferson1837102
Montgomery171040
Tuscaloosa78315
Marshall6939
Franklin5567
Lee54833
Shelby51720
Tallapoosa42765
Butler41118
Chambers35525
Walker3542
Elmore3548
Madison3394
Baldwin2909
Morgan2801
Dallas2723
Etowah25711
DeKalb2483
Lowndes24612
Coffee2361
Sumter2247
Autauga2214
Houston2204
Bullock2095
Pike2030
Colbert1842
Hale1739
Russell1710
Marengo1706
Barbour1671
Lauderdale1642
Calhoun1603
Choctaw1538
Wilcox1487
Clarke1442
Cullman1430
Randolph1277
St. Clair1231
Marion12211
Pickens1164
Dale1150
Talladega1135
Limestone1060
Chilton1011
Greene944
Winston900
Macon824
Henry802
Covington801
Jackson782
Crenshaw753
Bibb751
Washington706
Escambia633
Blount621
Lawrence500
Geneva430
Conecuh411
Coosa401
Monroe402
Perry390
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar260
Fayette160
Cleburne151
Unassigned00
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