Notre Dame wins NCAA Women's Basketball Championship 61-58 over Mississippi State

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Notre Dame has erased a 13-point halftime deficit to tie the score with Mississippi State after three quarters in the women's NCAA championship game. Irish standout Arike Ogunbowale delivered the dagger, knocking down a jumper with one second left to hand UConn its second Final Four loss in two years.

The Bulldogs meet a Notre Dame team that improved to 34-3 on the season with a 91-89 overtime victory against UConn in Friday's second semifinal. After hitting the game-winner against the Huskies, she made another shot for the ages.

"We just constantly focus on what we have, what we can do, who's going to step up?"

"Ogunbowale earned most outstanding player honors for the tournament".

Today Mississippi State will bid to win the school's first national title in any sport as its takes on fellow top-seed Notre Dame at 5 p.m. on ESPN. Notre Dame was up 79-77 in the closing seconds before a basket by UConn's Kia Nurse sent the game to overtime. But this version of Muffet McGraw's squad refused to lose, and the run was even more improbable because the Irish lost four players over the season to ACL injuries.

With this game tied, Ogunbowale took the inbounds pass from Jackie Young, dribbled twice toward the corner and, closely guarded, lofted home an off-balance 3 from in front of the Notre Dame bench, almost the same angle as her shot that beat the Huskies.

Notre Dame - which managed only three points in the second quarter - pulled off the biggest comeback in women's title game history.

Then Mabrey made Notre Dame's first three-pointer of the night at 1:35 (after starting none for seven) to make it a two-point game. McCowan committed a foul to leave the game with 18 points and 17 rebounds.

For the fourth straight NCAA game, the Irish found themselves trailing at the half. The Fighting Irish came out after the half and scored 24 points in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs will face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this year, after Notre Dame stunned CT in the Final Four, much like Mississippi State did a season ago. A couple of Mississippi State players had already headed for the locker room, while Notre Dame players celebrated.


But Mississippi State responded with an 11-0 run in less than two minutes to lead by three (17-14) after one quarter. "This year, we have that mentality of 'We don't care how you feel, we don't care how exhausted you are, how sore.' We have come together as a team and made a point to finish it off".

Bryant even tweeted at Ogunbowale after her game-winning shot.

8 Over the past eight seasons, this is Notre Dame's fifth appearance in the national title game.

The 6-foot-7 McCowan certainly deserved a break.

Then the Bulldogs seriously took control, forcing Notre Dame into seven second-period turnovers and a single field goal (on one-for-nine shooting).

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.

The starting five has averaged 85.2 points, led by junior All-American guard Ogunbowale's 25.4 figure, the best in the tourney.

Just like Friday, the game came down to one play.

Both Victoria Vivians and Teaira McCowan were named to the All-Final Four team.

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