NCAA WOMEN: Ogunbowale lifts Notre Dame to title

04 April, 2018, 02:16 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Tom Pennington  Getty Images

But the loss to the Fighting Irish was tougher to handle, and not just because of Arike Ogunbowale's last-second, game-winning shot.

On Friday, Ogunbowale made a jumper with a second left in overtime to beat UConn.

With the game tied, Ogunbowale took the inbounds pass and dribbled to the corner, hitting the game-winner.

Competing against the number 1-seeded Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs, Ogunbowale scored a 3-pointer with just 0.1 second to go!

Give Ogunboewale credit for making her second game-winning shot of the Final Four. "I know that she'll be successful with whatever she does because of that incredible work ethic and that ability to focus is so valuable no matter what you do", Bartel said. She finished the game with 16 points, and earned most outstanding player honors for the tournament. The 3-pointer from the wing came from almost the same angle as her shot that beat the Huskies.

"On Easter Sunday, all the Catholics were out there praying for us", Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said in a postgame interview with ESPN. William appeared to force a turnover, but the Bulldogs gave the ball right back to the Fighting Irish as they tried to push it up court.

Both teams advanced to Sunday's title game with thrilling overtime victories in the Final Four.

The Bulldogs held the Irish to just three points in the second quarter - the fewest points in any regulation period in Final Four history. Ogunbowale's shot was on constant play on the bus.

"There's been so many great teams and so many players here with us celebrating in the locker room just now, all the former players", McGraw said. The Bulldogs ran the play that everyone anticipated they would. She would foul out around 24 seconds later, a foul that saved the Irish from winning on an easy layup. It lost to SC previous year after ending UConn's record 111-game winning streak.


For the fourth straight NCAA game, the Irish found themselves trailing at the half.

A 3-pointer by Vivians ran the lead to 40-25 with 6:41 left in the third quarter. Sure. Mississippi State was never meant to shine. The Irish scored the game's first six points and led 10-4 five minutes in the game.

Mississippi State blew a 15-point, third quarter lead and held a 58-53 advantage with less than two minutes remaining.

The 6-foot-1 guard could have played just about anywhere in the nation after a terrific high school career at Scott Central, a small school in central Mississippi.

Miss State's two stars, Victoria Vivians and McCowan were terrific.

She finished her career with 2,527 points, but the scoring was nearly secondary to the immediate credibility she gave the program. The ball swished through the net less than a second later, followed immediately by the flash of the end-of-game red lights on the border of the backboard.

This weekend's performance even got her a shout out from National Basketball Association legend Kobe Bryant.

The play was created to get the ball to Jessica Shepard, who led Notre Dame with 19 points, but inbounder Jackie Young told Ogunbowale beforehand to be ready. "We've been down multiple times this year, but nobody stops us". The junior from Milwaukee finished with 18 points, and point guard Marina Mabrey added 10.

Jessica Shepard had 19 points for Notre Dame, and Ogunbowale had 18.

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