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Mississippi State beats Louisville in OT after wild fourth quarter to reach national championship

Mississippi State beat Louisville in overtime on Friday after a wild fourth quarter to reach the national championship game. (Getty Images)

For the second-straight season, Mississippi State is headed back to the national championship game.

The Bulldogs knocked off Louisville 73-63 in overtime on Friday night from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. And while the extra period was easy street for Mississippi State — they outscored the Cardinals 14-4 to take the 10-point win — the fourth quarter was anything but.

Louisville jumped up to a 53-46 lead just minutes into the fourth quarter, scoring the first five points of the period. The Bulldogs quickly rallied, though, and had retaken the lead by the 3:20 mark thanks to a huge put-back from Teaira McCowan.

Not more than a minute later, it was still a one-point game. Louisville forward Sam Fuehring got called for a foul while trying to grab a rebound, got frustrated and slapped the floor, earning her a technical foul.

Mississippi State took advantage of the call, hitting both free throws to make it a three-point game.

Louisville quickly mustered a 6-0 run, taking a 59-56 lead with just 11.3 seconds left, and seemed to be a lock to advance.

Mississippi State’s Roshunda Johnson, though, drilled a huge 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the game to tie it up. Louisville had one last chance, driving the ball all the way down the court. It missed the layup, though, sending the game into the extra period.

Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs with 25 points in the win. McCowan finished with 21 points and 25 rebounds, bringing her NCAA tournament total to 92 rebounds — nearly 20 more than any other player in history.

The Bulldogs will take on the winner of UConn-Notre Dame in the championship game on Sunday.

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