Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Thanks to an incredible shot, Notre Dame wins NCAA women's basketball championship

Thanks to an incredible shot, Notre Dame wins NCAA women's basketball championship

Notre Dame and Mississippi State both won dramatic overtime games in the semifinals Friday.

Sunday's championship came 17 years to the day of the Irish's only other national title.

Arike Ogunbowale floated in a three-pointer from the corner with 0.1 seconds left, lifting Notre Dame to a thrilling 61-58 comeback victory over Mississippi State. "We're all just on the bench, watching in slow motion", she said. They responded this year by going 37-2, including their own overtime win Friday in the Final Four against top-seeded Louisville, with their one loss before Sunday coming in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game against the same SC team that beat them in the national final a year ago. Plus, game-winning kicks, even in the snow, are converted at a higher rate than game-winning jump shots, so Ogunbowale wins for degree of difficulty. But I definitely don't regret the decision, " she told Time after their Championship win on Sunday. She said that she channeled her Mamba mentality in the win over UConn. Give Notre Dame credit for coming back from a 15-point third quarter deficit.

Mississippi State's Victoria Vivians, right, and head coach Vic Schaefer, following Notre Dame's game-winning shot. Young then made three free throws over the next 2 minutes to give the Irish a five-point lead with 43 seconds left. 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. The Irish's final possession came after Marina Mabrey knocked the ball away from Mississippi State point guard Morgan William at midcourt.

Vivians led the Bulldogs with 21 points in her final collegiate game. MS lost in last year's national championship to SC. Notre Dame hit 22 of 52 shots from the field (42.3 percent), 2 of 9 shots from 3-point range (22.2 percent) and 15 of 17 shots from the foul line (88.2 percent). Since the 6-foot-7 McCowan was out of the game, and Mississippi State had a foul to give, McGraw thought it was best to get a look closer to the basket. I just ran to Jackie [Young] and said, 'Throw it to me. The Irish do it again!

"The kid made a shot", Schaefer said. Rebounds-Notre Dame 35 (Westbeld 9), Mississippi St. 38 (McCowan 17).

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This is one of the greatest coaches, greatest teams, greatest shots and one of the greatest stories we have ever seen in women's basketball. They were down 40-25 early in the third quarter before finally getting on track offensively.

Later, when it came her time to talk, she disagreed with her dad.

But she connected on the one that mattered most.

With three seconds left, the Irish inbounded the ball. In both 2013 and 2016, LeBron carried his teams to National Basketball Association titles with remarkable performances in the final games.

Ogunbowale was named Most Outstanding Player in the tournament, and she showed that you can win a title in women's college basketball without going to UConn, which is an important point.

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