Notre Dame triumphs over Mississippi State in women's basketball title game.
A three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left on the clock was the saving grace that earned Notre Dame’s women’s basketball squad a championship title. For the second time in the tournament it was junior guard Arike Ogunbowale who sank the game-winner that ultimately led to the Fighting Irish’s victory. She made a familiar play in the Final Four on Friday as she launched a three-pointer with three seconds left in overtime to push past the previously undefeated Lady Huskies of UConn.
This now marks the first title for Notre Dame and Coach Muffet McGraw since 2001 when they outran Purdue with a score of 68-66. They would make four more appearances in the championship game against Texas A&M in 2011, Baylor in 2012, and Connecticut in 2014 and 2015, all ending in defeat.
This victory, however, signals the second consecutive defeat for Mississippi State in the national championship game, losing to South Carolina last year.
A final score of 61-58 was the result of a major comeback for the Irish after pulling away from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter, and another five-point deficit in the final two minutes. Ogunbowale finished the game with 15 points while only shooting 5-for-20 from the field. On the Bulldogs’ end, Teaira McCowan and Victoria Vivians pushed out 18 and 21 points, respectively. But for all their dominance, there was no predicting of Notre Dame’s miracle finish repeating itself Sunday evening.