Notre Dame stuns Bulldogs, wins title

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She cited a January game against Tennessee that the Irish won by 14 after being down by as much as 23.

Ogunbowale's victor came after a wild sequence with the score tied; both teams got steals with less than 20 seconds to play. Before playing for the Fighting Irish, the basketball powerhouse was a Divine Savior Holy Angels Dasher. To his left, sat his four seniors - three of whom were part of 126 victories over the past four seasons. The Notre Dame junior had downed UConn in the Final Four with a miracle jumper in a tie game.

"Can anyone name another player who's done it back to back in semi-final and a final game, I've not heard anybody come up with somebody who's equaled that feat", Bartel said.

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish against the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs during the third quarter in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

Two days before the guard's title-game heroics, she had hit another game-winning shot, this one with a second left in overtime against undefeated UConn in the national semifinal. The Irish shot 42.3 percent from the field but made their only two 3-pointers of the evening in the final 1:35. She finished the game 6 of 21 from the floor though she was 5 of 7 from the charity stripe.

With Sunday's game tied, Ogunbowale took an inbounds pass from Jackie Young, dribbled twice toward the right corner and sank an off-balance three-pointer over 6-1 Victoria Vivians from in front of the Notre Dame bench.

Honorable mention goes to Jessica Shepard. Ogunbowale had 18, and Mabrey added 10.

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

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Notre Dame's title came 17 years to the day after its only other championship. "(My players) played their hearts out and you just got to give Notre Dame credit.

It wasn't quite as easy against Mississippi State, with a late foul forcing the Irish to inbound the ball with just three seconds remaining. "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".

Mabrey had 10 points in the game, and none were bigger than the 3-pointer she made with a minute and a half left.

Vic Schaefer, the Bulldog head coach, watched as his crew regularly bothered Irish passers and shooters - keeping Notre Dame far from any sort of comfort zone.

"I didn't want to give them a chance to get the ball", Ogunbowale said after the game.

Mississippi State used a floater from Teaira McCowan, a pair of free throws from Jazzmun Holmes and an ice-cold three-pointer from Roshunda Johnson to take a 58-53 lead with about two minutes to play. Congrats to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

This was Notre Dame's fifth opportunity at the national title in the past eight years.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter. The Bulldogs knocked off Nicholls State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina State and UCLA before a thrilling win over Louisville in the Final Four.

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