Women’s basketball: South Carolina wins SEC title, hands Mississippi State first loss

March 5, 2018 in Sports

Associated Press

South Carolina forward A'ja Wilson, center, and teammates pose with their trophy after defeating Mississippi State in the NCAA college basketball championship game at the women's Southeastern Conference tournament, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson, center, and teammates pose with their trophy after defeating Mississippi State in the NCAA college basketball championship game at the women’s Southeastern Conference tournament, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

A’ja Wilson helped eighth-ranked South Carolina become the first Southeastern Conference women’s program to win four consecutive tournament titles Sunday, snapping the nation’s longest winning streak at 32 with a 62-51 upset of No. 2 Mississippi State in Nashville, Tenn.

Wilson scored 16 points, and the Gamecocks beat Mississippi State yet again with a title on the line. South Carolina beat the Bulldogs last April for the program’s first national championship, and now the Gamecocks (26-6) have their third straight SEC tournament title at Mississippi State’s expense.

Mississippi State (32-1) had not lost since that national title game, coming into the SEC tournament final with the Bulldogs’ first regular season championship and hoping a third try at the tournament title would be the charm.

The SEC’s best 3-point shooters struggled outside the arc, and the Bulldogs couldn’t overcome South Carolina’s dominance in the lane with Teaira McCowan limited by foul trouble most of the first half.

Tyasha Harris added 14 points for South Carolina, Mikiah Herbert Harrigan had 13 and Bianca Jackson 11.

Victoria Vivians led Mississippi State with 17 points, and Morgan William had 10. McCowan, who came in averaging 18.1 points a game, was limited to six points.

No. 4 Louisville secures ACC title • Asia Durr scored 17 points and Sam Fuehring converted a key three-point play in the final minute, helping Louisville beat No. 5 Notre Dame 74-72 in Greensboro, N.C., for its first Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title.

Arica Carter had 16 points and hit four 3-pointers, Fuehring and Myisha Hines-Allen each added 15 points and Durr, the ACC player of the year, hit four free throws in the final seconds for the top-seeded Cardinals (32-2). They won their first conference tournament since 1993 in the Metro.
Jessica Shepard had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the second-seeded Fighting Irish (29-3). They had won the tournament the previous four years.

No. 25 Mercer wins first SoCon title • Three-time Southern Conference MVP Kahlia Lawrence added a tournament MVP award and more important an NCAA Tournament berth, scoring 29 points and leading Mercer to a 68-53 win over East Tennessee State in the championship game in Asheville, N.C.

It was the first league tournament title in their third straight championship game for the Bears (30-2) and fittingly, it came as they reached 30 wins for the first time in history and ran their record winning streak to 27.

No. 3 Baylor breaks margin record over TCU • Baylor’s Kalani Brown scored 28 points and rolled past Texas Christian 94-48 in a record-setting Big 12 semifinal in Oklahoma City for its 27th straight victory.

The 46-point margin was the biggest in a Big 12 Tournament game, topping Iowa State’s 37-point win over Nebraska in 2000.

Lauren Cox had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Alexis Morris scored a season-high 18 points for Baylor (30-1). Jordan Moore and Amy Okonkwo each scored 12 points for TCU (19-12).

Baylor will play No. 7 Texas for the championship. The Lady Bears won six straight conference tournament titles before losing to West Virginia in the final last year.