Mississippi State women reach first Final Four

OKLAHOMA CITY – Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey knew what her Lady Bears were getting into against Mississippi State because she saw Lady Bulldogs center Teaira McCowan grow up right before her eyes in her own backyard.

On Sunday, Mulkey saw McCowan score 10 points and grab five rebounds to help the Lady Bulldogs beat her Lady Bears 94-85 in overtime to win the Oklahoma City Regional of the Women’s NCAA Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Morgan William led the Lady Bulldogs with 41 points, followed by 34 points by Victoria Vivians. The Lady Bulldogs advance to the Final Four for the first time in school history.

Oklahoma City hasn’t been kind to Mulkey and the Lady Bears in March. It was in this arena where Baylor fell in the Big 12 championship game and where its season ends in the elite eight.

Baylor started on top early with a quick 7-2 run. The Lady Bulldogs came back to take a 14-11 lead on a three point basket but Victoria Vivians. The Lady Bears clawed back but the Lady Bulldogs maintained a 21-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Vivians led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points in the first half. The Lady Bears started the second quarter with a 23-21 lead but a steal and layup in transition by Vivians gave back the lead to Mississippi State and went into halftime up 43-40.

Baylor came back in the last minute of the third quarter with five consecutive field goals and took a 61-60 lead going into the final period. The two teams traded small leads and went into overtime tied 75-75. In total, the game saw 12 ties and 24 lead chances.

Consecutive three point shots from Baylor’s Alexis Price and Vivians made it an 80-80 game in the middle of overtime. That sparked a 10-2 run for the Lady Bulldogs between Prince’s three-pointers. The Lady Bulldogs then sunk in their free throws and Baylor’s season.

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