WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts

Late surge drops Lady Bulldogs' upset bid

#1 South Carolina storms back in the 4th to defeat upset minded Lady Bulldogs.

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 10:19 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2020 10:47 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Down nine points in the fourth quarter and close to getting run out of her building, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley didn't panic. Her top-ranked Gamecocks wouldn't let her.

Tyasha Harris had a season-high 23 points and the Gamecocks rallied in the final period to win their 12th straight with a 81-79 victory over No. 9 Mississippi State on Monday night.

Staley called time out after South Carolina trailed 71-62 with eight minutes to go and quickly saw her players were locked in and eager to turn things around.

"Everybody was really positive in that time out," Staley said. "So I'm like, ‘We got a shot. We've got a shot to come back because they believe.'"

Harris and the Gamecocks put that belief into action, snapping off a 12-2 run to get them back into the game.

Zia Cooke made a three-point play and a basket, both which put the Gamecocks (18-1, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) back in front.

JaMya Mingo-Young had consecutive shots as Mississippi State (17-3, 4-1) built a 79-76 lead with 3:28 to go. But the Bulldogs missed their final five shots.

Mississippi State had several chances to go in front, but Rickea Jackson and Jordan Danberry both missed shots to put the Bulldogs back in front in the final two minutes.

Cooke closed it with her steal of an inbounds pass with 4 seconds left and ran out the clock.

"Let's catch it," Cooke thought as the ball came her way. "And then I need to run away from her so she can't catch me and end it."

Harris scored the final five points for the Gamecocks, who got a sixth victory in seven meetings with a Top-25 opponent this season.

South Carolina freshman Aliyah Boston had 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Mississippi State looked like it might beat its second straight No. 1 opponent -- the first came when it famously ended UConn's 111-game win streak at the 2017 national semifinals -- as it took that nine-point lead in the final period.

But the Gamecocks got their big run to move back in front on Cooke's three-point play.

"They are No. 1," Mississippi State coach Vic Schaeffer said. "But we're not far behind."

Indeed, it's likely these teams might match up again at the SEC Tournament in Greenville, S.C., come March, then perhaps a final team in the Final Four as they did in 2017 when South Carolina won the the title over Mississippi State.

Mingo-Young, a freshman who tied her career high with 14 points, was confident the Bulldogs would learn and recover from their missed chance.

"We'll figure this thing out," she said.

Jackson and Danberry had 16 points each to lead the Bulldogs, who saw their eight-game win streak snapped.

South Carolina came out fast, as it has all season, with seniors Harris and Herbert Harrigan steadily helping the team to a 33-21 lead with less than seven minutes left to the half.

That's when the defending SEC champion Bulldogs dug in to tighten things up with a 21-10 surge to cut South Carolina's double-digit lead to 43-42 at the break.

Xaria Wiggins scored all eight of her first-half points in that stretch while Jackson had a three-point play and another bucket.

By the time Danberry shoveled a pass to 6-foot-5 Promise Taylor for a close-in basket with 3.2 seconds to go, the Bulldogs were within a point and running into the locker room with cheers and smiles.

THE BIG PICTURE

Mississippi State: The Bulldogs look quicker and peskier this season without last year's SEC player of the year Teaira McCowan. But speed could not contain Boston and South Carolina's rugged inside players down the stretch.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks hadn't been pushed in quite some time and gave a strong response about where they're headed. Cooke and Boston, both freshmen, continue to shine while Harris, one of two remaining players from their 2017 national championship team, is a savvy, steady leader.

HARRIS THE LEADER

Cooke and Boston, both freshman, said Harris, a senior who was a freshman starter for the 2017 national champs, has kept them playing hard and confident.

"When times are hard, we look at her and she keeps us going," Cooke said.

SHARING THE BALL

South Carolina had 17 assists on its 32 baskets while Mississippi State had only five assists on its 33 buckets. Harris led the Gamecocks with a game-high seven assists.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State plays its second straight road game at Vanderbilt on Thursday night.

South Carolina starts a two-game road swing at Georgia on Sunday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
Jackson82820
Washington80615
Copiah69616
Leake66420
Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Overcast
80° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Overcast
74° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 74°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 85°
Starkville
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather