UConn

Temple's tourney hopes take yet another hit

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Temple's tourney hopes take yet another hit

BOX SCORE

STORRS, Conn. -- Jalen Adams scored 25 points and dished out eight assists as UConn upset Temple 72-66 in the Huskies final home game of the season on Wednesday night.

Terry Larrier added 13 points for Connecticut (14-16, 7-10 American), which shot 37 percent from the floor, but made 11 3-pointers.

Obi Enechionyia had 15 points to lead Temple (16-13, 8-9), which has lost three of its last four to fall a half game behind UCF into seventh place in the conference standings. Shizz Alston had 13 points, but made five of his 15 attempts from the floor. Quinton Rose was 5 of 20 and had 11 points.

Temple led by two points at halftime, but UConn opened the second half with a 10-0 run to lead 42-34.

Temple, which shot 36 percent for the game, made just four of their first 20 shots after intermission.

The Owls trailed 51-42, before going on a run of their own. A layup by Nate Pierre-Louis tied the game at 56 with just over four minutes to play. But UConn did not relinquish the lead.

A layup from Adams put the Huskies up 68-62 with 34 seconds to play. That forced Temple to foul the rest of the way and UConn made their free throws.

Big picture
Temple: The Owls are 8-4 over their last 12 games, but their only losses prior to Wednesday had come to No. 9 Cincinnati, No. 16 Wichita State and a 22-win Houston team.

UConn: It was the final home game for five players, including Larrier, a transfer from VCU who still has a year of eligibility remaining after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Larrier, who played without the mask that had protected a broken sinus wall for the last eight games, says he's not coming back and will try to play professionally next season.

Up next
Temple: The Owls close the regular season on Sunday at Tulsa.

UConn: The Huskies end the regular season on Sunday at No. 25 Houston.

Temple cruises past conference rival for most lopsided win of season

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USA Today Images

Temple cruises past conference rival for most lopsided win of season

BOX SCORE

Shizz Alston Jr. scored 18 points, Quinton Rose had 17 and Temple rolled to an 85-57 win over UConn on Sunday night.

Christian Vital finished with 15 points for the Huskies, who were playing for the first time since it was revealed their program is the target of an NCAA investigation.

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst said in a statement Friday the school will cooperate with the probe but did not specify the allegations. Before the game began, UConn head coach Kevin Ollie issued a statement that expressed a similar sentiment.

"With regard to the inquiry directed at our men's basketball program, I want to express that we will cooperate fully with the NCAA as this process moves forward as we are committed to promoting an atmosphere of compliance with NCAA regulations," Ollie stated. "As we head into the final weeks of the season our total focus will be on helping our team improve and reach its highest potential. To that end, we will have no further comment on this matter."

After UConn took an early 18-14 lead on three straight 3-pointers, Temple (11-10, 3-6 American Athletic Conference) went on a 24-4 run to take control of the game. The Owls built their lead to 53-30 on an off-balance floater by Rose with 14 minutes left en route to their third win in their last four contests.

Temple shot 49 percent from the field in its most lopsided win of the season.

UConn (11-10, 4-4) committed 16 turnovers and shot 5 for 17 from 3-point range to lose for the third time in four games.

Big picture
UConn: A rough campaign got even worse for Ollie and company with news of the NCAA investigation and their third blowout loss in the last two weeks. Hovering around the .500 mark, UConn is trying to avoid another losing season after sputtering through their first in 30 years last season.

Temple: Even though they sit near the bottom of the AAC standings, the Owls are still harboring NCAA Tournament hopes. But despite boasting the No. 1 strength of schedule in the country and owning impressive victories over Auburn and Clemson in the first month, Temple probably needs to be close to perfect the rest of the way to even get onto the bubble.

Up next
UConn: The Huskies stay on the road and have a quick turnaround, heading to Florida to face UCF on Wednesday.

Temple: The Owls host league newcomer No. 17 Wichita State on Thursday for the first time this season -- and just the fourth time ever.

UConn women's 111-game winning streak ends, Miss St wins at buzzer

UConn women's 111-game winning streak ends, Miss St wins at buzzer

DALLAS -- When the final shot beat the buzzer and UConn's record streak was over, Geno Auriemma had to smile.

After all the winning, the Huskies coach could appreciate a thrilling victory -- even from the other side.

UConn's 111-game run came to a stunning end when Mississippi State pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in women's basketball history, winning 66-64 on Morgan William's overtime jumper in the national semifinals Friday night.

"You know what? When stuff like this happens, it kind of makes me shake my head and go, `You know how many times this could have happened and it didn't happen?'" Auriemma said. "The fact that it never happened, that doesn't mean I went home thinking it's never going to happen. I knew this was coming at some point."

"I'm just shocked that it took this long to get here," he said.

The Huskies hadn't lost in 865 days, with that defeat coming to Stanford in overtime on Nov. 17, 2014. Winning had become routine, often by routs. But in an instant, their drive toward a fifth consecutive national championship had been blocked.

When William's jumper dropped, Auriemma broke into that wry smile. He turned to his bench, then went to congratulate the Bulldogs.

"I just kind of shook my head. This kid's had an incredible run," Auriemma said. "When it went in, it was almost like, of course. Of course, it's going to go in."

"Look, nobody's won more than we've won," he said. "I understand losing, believe it or not. We haven't lost in a while, but I understand it. I know how to appreciate when other people win."

It took an incredible shot by Mississippi State's diminutive point guard to end the historic streak.

William hit a 15-footer to cap it, moments after a replay review awarded UConn two free throws for a flagrant 1 foul call that tied the game with 26.6 seconds left.

"I live for moments like this," William said. "UConn, they're an incredible team. For me to make that shot against them, it's unbelievable. I'm still in shock right now. I wanted to take the shot. I wanted to take the shot and I made it."

William's shot came one game after she scored a career-high 41 points to help Mississippi State beat Baylor and advance to its first Final Four.

The Bulldogs (34-4) will play South Carolina for the national championship Sunday night in a matchup of two SEC teams.

Mississippi State and UConn met in the Sweet 16 last season and the Huskies won by 60 points -- the most-lopsided win in regional semifinals history. All season long the Bulldogs had that humiliating loss on their minds.

Now they've erased that defeat, beating UConn (36-1) on the grandest stage in one of the sport's greatest games.

"I don't have to play them 100 times. Only have to beat them once," Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. "That is one heck of a basketball team, the greatest of all-time. But how proud am I of my kids?"

Mississippi State led 64-62 before a replay review gave Katie Lou Samuelson the two free throws that tied the game. After a UConn turnover, William held the ball at the top of the key before dribbling to her right and pulling up for the shot, with the ball in the air when the buzzer sounded.

The Bulldogs ran onto the court, piling up at center court while UConn players stood stone-faced. Schaefer grabbed William in a bear hug, with former Mississippi State star Dak Prescott -- the Dallas Cowboys quarterback -- helping lead the cheers in a sellout crowd.

Prescott said he'd try to come back Sunday for the title game.

UConn rallied from a 16-point deficit, its biggest during its NCAA record streak, to take a 59-56 lead in the fourth quarter. The teams were tied at 60 when the Bulldogs had a chance to win it in regulation, but William's shot was blocked by Gabby Williams, sending the game into overtime.

"Maybe we're just not ready for this. Maybe we were ready for everything else, but maybe we're just not mature enough for this," Auriemma said. "Maybe all our young kids needed to experience this so that we can come back and really be ready for this."

Neither team scored much in OT with Teaira McCowan's layup with 1:12 left in the extra session breaking a 62-62 tie. It was the lone basket for Mississippi State in OT until William's game-winner.

During their last two decades of dominance where they've won 11 national championships, the Huskies rarely found themselves trailing -- let alone by double-digits. This was the first time this season that UConn was losing in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs got off to a great start, taking it right at the Huskies like not many teams had done during the streak. The Bulldogs led 15-13 before scoring 14 straight points to go up 29-13. It was the biggest deficit UConn had faced during its historic streak and one of the largest during the last 22 years, which the Huskies have dominated with 11 national championships.

The Huskies rallied to within 29-25 as senior Saniya Chong scored seven points during a 12-0 run. Mississippi State answered and was up 36-28 at the half.

UConn came back in the third quarter behind its trio of All-Americans with Williams, Napheesa Collier and Samuelson keying a 12-3 run to start the second half. That run brought Huskies alums Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Maya Moore, who were sitting 20 rows behind the UConn bench, to their feet.

"We had an incredible run, but we came up against a much better team tonight," Auriemma said.

Streak buster
The loss ended a 28-game NCAA Tournament winning streak for UConn. The last loss came to Notre Dame in 2012 in the Final Four. That was the last OT game in the national semifinals.

Quarterback connection
Prescott wasn't the only QB in attendance on Friday night. Donovan McNabb was also in Dallas, cheering on niece Kia Nurse, who stars for Connecticut. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was supporting his sister Anna, who is a freshman at Stanford in the first game.

Good Morning Mississippi
Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts was sitting at center court. She was cheering on the Bulldogs, who hail from her home state. Roberts brought out a Bulldogs jersey on her morning show.