Abril 20, 2018

NewsAlert: Notre Dame beats Mississippi State to win women's title

02 Abril 2018, 02:14 | Gervasio Siguenza

Mississippi State advances to Women's Final Four

Mississippi State's Vic Schaefer wins Coach of the Year

It was the second straight game the junior guard made a shot in the final second to carry the Fighting Irish.

Ogunbowale's three-pointer from the right corner with one-tenth of a second left gave Notre Dame a thrilling 61-58 win over Mississippi State in the women's NCAA Tournament championship game Sunday night.

Notre Dame needed a jumper from Arike Ogunbowale with 1 second left to overcome UConn in OT on Friday.

- Sure, you're going to get plenty of boards from Teaira McCowan but MSU absolutely needs Victoria Vivians and the guards to do their part to keep Notre Dame off the offensive glass. She scored 27 points while Jackie Young finished with a career-high 32. It was the shot heard around world, overshadowing Mississippi State's loss in the final to SC. If MSU can do the same to Notre Dame, it could be a game-changer. "It is just tough, but Notre Dame is a great team, so we knew it was going to be hard to beat them".

Ogunbowale scored 18 in the game and was, rightfully, named the Final Four's most outstanding player. It was close to the spot on the court where she had gone one-on-one with UConn's Napheesa Collier and beaten the Huskies, and it was only the second made three-pointer of the game for the Irish. And it's the kind of attitude from her teammates that Ogunbowale said allowed her to make big shots after missing early ones. "Plays all 40 minutes, 6-foot-7".

The Irish kept either of their two 6-4 forwards, Shepard and Kristina Nelson, behind McCowan, with a guard or forward dropping in for a double team.

McCowan recorded her 29th double-double of the season.

This victory, however, signals the second consecutive defeat for Mississippi State in the national championship game, losing to SC previous year.

How it was won: Notre Dame overcame a terrible first half in which it was held to a season-low 17 points. McCowan fouled out of the game stopping an Irish fast break after consecutive turnovers and that set up the final 3 seconds.

This will be the first time these teams have played each other.

The Bulldogs were in the title game for the second year in a row after defeating Louisville with their own overtime win Friday.

Ogunbowale's aggressiveness and Shepard's patience on offense keyed a 16-1 third-quarter run. Ogunbowale had 18, and Mabrey added 10. By the end of the first quarter, Mississippi State had moved ahead by 17-14.

After intermission, the Fighting Irish emerged from the locker room composed enough to end Mississippi State's redemption tour.

A few more interesting tidbits: Muffet McGraw earned her 800th win at Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish had more players tear their ACLs this season (four) than losses (three).

Stat of the game: McCowan still got her numbers, but she wasn't almost as impactful in this game as she was in the other five Mississippi State tournament games.

Geno Auriemma called timeout with his team leading 72-71 with 3:31 remaining.

Schaefer and William have to hope their motivation to win is simply bigger than Notre Dame's, which will play its fifth national championship game in the past eight years and sixth overall.

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