WJTV – Mississippi State had said all week that they wanted to approach playing Connecticut like just another basketball game.
But the Bulldogs found out it’s a completely different experience when you take on the now 35-0 Huskies after a 98-38 loss. The 60-point margin of victory for UConn is the largest in Sweet 16 history.
Breanna Stewart, widely seen as the best player in women’s college basketball, led the Huskies with 22 points and 14 rebounds. At halftime, she had more points, 18, and rebounds, 13, than the entire Mississippi State team (12 points, 9 rebounds).
The Huskies controlled the pace with their intimidating speed early on, getting out to a quick 13-0 run. Morgan William finally got the Bulldogs on the board with a jumper at the 5:32 mark of the first quarter.
It only got worse from there for Vic Schaefer’s team. UConn led 32-4 at the end of the first quarter and held a commanding 61-12 lead at halftime. Coming into the game, Mississippi State gave up an average of 54.7 points per game.
Connecticut continued to cruise in the second half and stifled the Bulldog offense. Mississippi State’s 38 points were its lowest of the year, as it shot its third-worst shooting percentage of the season at 28.6 percent and went 0-14 from three-point range. Leading scorer Victoria Vivians scored a season-low six points and tied a season-worst shooting percentage of 20 percent.
A usually stingy Bulldog defense just couldn’t contain a dominant Husky team. The 98 points allowed are the most during the Vic Schaefer era since giving up 100 to Kentucky in 2013.
Connecticut has won 119 of its last 120 games, all by double-digits. This is UConn’s 72nd straight win and 21st straight NCAA Tournament victory. The Huskies are on their way to their 11th straight Elite Eight.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State finishes the season at 28-8. The 28 wins are the most in school history.