The Latest: Notre Dame jumps out early lead vs UConn

The Latest: Notre Dame jumps out early lead vs UConn
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the women’s college basketball Final Four (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

Notre Dame is getting the upper hand so far in its women’s semifinal game against unbeaten UConn.

Jackie Young has made five of her six shots for 11 points, and the Fighting Irish lead 24-14 after the first quarter. They’ve been more aggressive at taking the ball to the basket.

UConn’s Katie Lou Samuelson hit a 3 at the buzzer that cut a 13-points deficit to 10. The Huskies are only 6 of 20 from the field with UConn fan, Oscar-winner and NBA champion Kobe Bryant in the crowd.

The Huskies responded, scoring the first six points of the second quarter to cut deficit to four, 24-20.

The winner will face Mississippi State, which advanced to the title game for the second straight year by rallying to beat Louisville 73-63 in overtime in the first semifinal. Last year, Mississippi State ended UConn’s 111-game game winning streak in the semifinals before losing to South Carolina in the title game.

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9:50 p.m.

UConn and Notre Dame have tipped off the second semifinal at the women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.

The Huskies are trying to extend their recent domination of the Fighting Irish. They’ve won seven straight in their rivalry, including the NCAA title games in 2014 and 2015.

The winner will face Mississippi State, which rallied for a 73-63 overtime victory over Louisville in the first semifinal.

Last year, the Bulldogs pulled off the big upset, beating UConn in the semifinals to end its 111-game winning streak. They lost to South Carolina in the title game.

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9:20 p.m.

The team that pulled off the big upset in last year’s women’s Final Four is headed to the title game again.

Roshunda Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie it at 59, and Mississippi State pulled away in overtime for a 73-63 victory over Louisville on Friday night in a semifinal.

The Bulldogs ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak last year before losing to South Carolina in the title game. UConn and Notre Dame play in the other semifinal.

Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with 25 points. Teaira McCown had 21 points and 25 of Mississippi State’s 46 rebounds, setting the rebound record for a Final Four. McCowan set the Final Four record for rebounds, besting Charlotte Smith’s previous record of 23 set in 1994 while playing for North Carolina.

Louisville had a chance to win it in the closing seconds of regulation, but Jazmine Jones’ layup attempt rolled off the rim at the buzzer.

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9 p.m.

Louisville and Mississippi State are headed to overtime in the first game at the women’s Final Four.

The Bulldogs’ Roshunda Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie it at 59, and Louisville’s Jazmine Jones watched her layup roll off the rim at the buzzer, leaving it tied.

The winner will face either UConn or Notre Dame for the title.

Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan has 18 points and 18 rebounds.

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8:25 p.m.

Asia Durr hit a pair of late 3s to give Louisville a 48-46 lead over Mississippi State heading into the fourth quarter of their women’s Final Four semifinal.

Neither team has been able to put together a take-control run. The largest lead has been six points. There have been 12 lead changes.

Mississippi State has 28 points in the point, led by center Teaira McCowan. She’s got 14 points and 13 rebounds, including seven offensive rebounds. McCowan has 80 rebounds in this NCAA Tournament, a record. She’s passed Janel McCarville’s previous mark of 75.

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7:55 p.m.

Both teams finally found their shooting touch in the second half, and Mississippi State was a bit better than Louisville, taking a 31-30 lead into halftime of their women’s Final Four semifinal.

The Cardinals made 7 of 9 shots during a 12-2 run that put them up by five, but the Bulldogs closed it out with Victoria Vivians’ backdoor layup for the lead. Teaira McCowan has eight points and nine rebounds, giving her a record 76 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament. She passed the previous record set by Janel McCarville of 75.

Mississippi State senior guard Blair Schaefer — the daughter of coach Vic Schaefer — was limited in the first quarter after she went down hard on a blocking foul and limped to the bench, holding her lower back. She returned in the second quarter and got hurt again on another blocking foul.

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7:08 p.m.

The team that pulled off the big upset in last year’s women’s Final Four has tipped off another one.

Mississippi State is playing Louisville in the opening game in Columbus, Ohio. The Bulldogs ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak in the semifinals last year before losing to South Carolina in the title game.

Louisville is trying to make it to the title game for the third time. The Cardinals lost to UConn in 2009 and 2013.

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3 p.m.

Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer took time out to accept an award a few hours before the women’s Final Four tipped off with his team facing Louisville. It became a family moment.

Schaefer was honored as the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Mississippi State ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak last year in the national semifinals before losing to South Carolina. The Bulldogs (36-1) are back again, hoping for another shot at the title.

They face the winner of the other semifinal between UConn and Notre Dame later Friday.

Schaefer thanked his family, including twins Blair and Charles Logan. Blair is a senior guard for the Bulldogs.

“You know what? She’s had a little bit to do with this today,” Schaefer said.

A’ja Wilson of South Carolina won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the National Player of the Year. Chennedy Carter of Texas A&M was chosen the National Freshman of the Year.

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