DALLAS — It happens every time.

In every interview she does these days, Morgan William gets the same question: “How tall are you?”

When it comes, Mississippi State’s diminutive point guard has a ready answer.

“Whatever the paper says,” she said with a smile. “That’s how tall I am.

“I really don’t know. I don’t think it really matters right now.”

Not even a little bit.

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For the record, the paper says William is 5-5, though seemingly every broadcaster who mentions that these days is quick to add that she might not actually even reach that less-than-lofty level.

On the court, though, she has been a towering figure in the Bulldogs’ unexpected run to Sunday’s NCAA women’s basketball championship game against South Carolina.

William has been the motor in Mississippi State’s machine all season, averaging 10.9 points, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game and leading the attack for a 34-4 team.

But her real talent is rising in the biggest moments to make her biggest plays.

That talent has been especially noticeable in her past two games.

In the Oklahoma City Region final, the junior from Birmingham, Alabama, almost singlehandedly took down top-seeded Baylor with a spectacular 41-point performance in a 94-85 overtime win.

And on Friday night, with the clock ticking down in overtime against unbeaten four-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut in a national semifinal, William fearlessly went to the basket before stopping and lofting in a 15-foot pull-up jumper over 5-11 UConn forward Gabby Williams at the buzzer to complete a shocking 66-64 upset.

“Ain’t any shots bigger than that,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. “That’s the shot we wanted. That’s who we wanted taking it.”

Those performances — and especially that shot — have won William a whole lot of new fans, one of whom, incidentally, is UConn coach Geno Auriemma. After Friday’s game, he made a point of seeking out William and telling her, “You deserve everything that’s coming your way.”

“I always tell my team one play doesn’t cost you a game,” Auriemma told the media afterward, “but a lot of times, one play will win you a game. And that’s exactly what she did.

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“Things happen for a reason . . . This kid’s had an incredible run. When it went in, I was almost like, ‘Of course. Of course it’s going to go in.’ She’s been amazing.”

And she’s become a celebrity. After her shot that has seemingly been heard ’round the world, William’s phone has been blown up by hundreds of texts. She’s been tweeted by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, a former Mississippi State star who attended Friday’s game, and actress Gabrielle Union.

She’s even picked up a new nickname, “Itty Bitty,” which she said was first pinned on her by former Georgia coach-turned- TV analyst Andy Landers. It seems to have stuck.

All of this is foreign for William, an unassuming sort who says she’s kind of shy and certainly “not a social butterfly.”

“I guess it’s great,” she said hesitantly, not sounding convinced at all. “I’m shocked . . . It’s overwhelming, but it’s exciting because it’s for a great cause.

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“I’m just enjoying it. Everywhere I go, it’s, ‘Can I get a picture? Can I get an autograph?’ Celebrity-style.”

The nickname, though, might be another matter.

“Everybody pretty much ran with that ‘Itty Bitty’ thing,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. I’m small, so . . . I guess it will grow on me.”

William definitely has grown on Mississippi State fans and on Schaefer, one of the few major college coaches willing to take a chance on the undersized kid from Alabama.

William said more than a few coaches passed on her simply because of her height — or lack of same. How does she know that? Because they told her so, though not in so many words.

“No, they didn’t say it like that,” she recalled. “They said, ‘You’re a little short. I’ll keep in contact with you.’

“They missed out on an opportunity.”

William’s greatest opportunity is now before her. Which is why she is so grateful to Schaefer for giving it to her.

“After every game,” she said, “I always tell coach Schaefer, ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to come play.’ He believed in me when no one else did, and I can’t thank him enough for it.”

She has repaid that belief again and again. Whenever the big moments arrive, she finds a way to deliver.

William said she doesn’t remember her first game-winning shot — “I just remember the last one.” But she knows that when there’s one to be taken, she wants to take it.

“My stepdad was my high school coach,” she said. “He was like, ‘I want the ball in your hands.’ Sort of like coach Schaefer. I’m the point guard. He wants the ball in my hands so I can create something for someone or make something for myself.

“It’s about having the confidence that I can make something happen. I live for moments like that now.”