Arike Ogunbowale's three-pointer with one second left lifted Notre Dame to a 61-58 national title victory over Mississippi State.
With the score tied at 58.
The Bulldogs led the Fighting Irish by as much as 15 in the third quarter. Arike Ogunbowale couldn't make a shot. "We talked about how we were going to break the pressure and then we didn't do any of that (in the first half.) We tried to go one on one".
Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale, the hero of Friday night's win over UConn, did it again. The Fighting Irish scored just three points in the second quarter, which set an NCAA championship record low for a single quarter. Her two game winners came over the outstretched arms of 6-foot-1 Napeheesa Collier and the 6-1 Vivians.
Honorable mention goes to Jessica Shepard.
Give Ogunboewale credit for making her second game-winning shot of the Final Four. Teaira McCowan had 18 points and 17 rebounds.
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Both teams battled back-and-forth in the fourth quarter.
It all happened 17 years to the day after Notre Dame won its other women's basketball title in St. Louis in 2001 - and 2001 MVP Ruth Riley was on hand with maybe 20 other former Irish players to join the celebration. Unfortunately for them, that's exactly what Notre Dame got. The Irish managed only three points in the second quarter. Credit Notre Dame's zone defense, especially in the second half, for taking State out of its offensive rhythm. New Jersey native Marina Mabrey added 10 points.
McGraw also instructed Jackie Young and Ogunbowale to handle the ball more while Mabrey shifted to the wing. Young, who had 32 points in the semifinal win over UConn, struggled all night and finished with six.
For the Mississippi State women's basketball team, it was simply not meant to be. The Bulldogs had to rely nearly exclusively on Vivians and McCowan, who combined for 18 of Mississippi State's 28 points after halftime. This is the second consecutive loss in the National Championship for the Bulldogs. McGraw said ahead of Sunday's championship game against Mississippi State. When Notre Dame double-teamed her, McCowan made only 1-of-8 shots.
Vivians led the Bulldogs with 21 points in her final collegiate game.
Two days earlier, Ogunbowale's jumper with one second remaining in overtime knocked off previously unbeaten CT in the semifinals.