Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Notre Dame wins national championship

Notre Dame wins national championship

After leading by 15 points in the second half, the Bulldogs couldn't hold it together against Notre Dame and Arike Ogunbowale's game-winning shot against CT was followed by an even more epic shot.

Ogunbowale was a starting player and led the team to its 2015 state championship.

Arike Ogunbowale's game-winner for Notre Dame is the moment that will live on in highlight reels from tonight's national title game.

Sunday night was a night for redemption and celebration for Mississippi State in a second-straight national championship appearance, but the luck of the Irish reared its head to take it all away. The Irish are champions for the second time in program history. She also made the winning shot in Friday's semifinal victory over CT. Not many people can say that they hit two game-winning shots in the final seconds of two Final Four games.

Notre Dame broke that mark thanks to the heroics of Ogunbowale, who hit the buzzer-beater Friday night to lift Notre Dame to a 91-89 victory against CT in the national semifinals.

Arike Ogunbowale did not just make the game-winning shot once, but twice in one weekend.

This Final Four belonged to Ogunbowale and the Irish. Jessica Shepard led the Irish with 19 points. In fact, she wears number 24, which was Bryant's number in the second half of his career, SBNation points out. McCowan finished with her 29th double-double, scoring 18 points while pulling down 17 rebounds.

McCowan recorded her 29th double-double of the season. That contributed to Notre Dame putting up the fewest points they scored in any quarter all season - three. McCowan fouled Young with 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". So many years we've had a great semifinal game and the final was a disappointment. The Irish closed out the quarter with a 16-1 run, tying the score 41-41 on a put-back by Shepard. She was missing easy buckets and had two points on 1-for-10 shooting at halftime.

Marina Mabrey hit a 3-pointer from the wing and then Jackie Young had a shot in the lane to tie it.

It was the second year in a row that Mississippi State (37-2) fell short in the title game. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 15 turnovers, while the Fighting Irish had eight assists and 17 turnovers. When you are up five with 1:40 to go in the game, it's my job to get them home and I didn't get them home. Congratulations to Notre Dame, but I am awfully proud of my group. It was also the final college game for the Bulldogs' senior quartet of Victoria Vivians, Blair Schaefer, Morgan William and Roshunda Johnson.

Notre Dame's first national title since 2001 was an improbable one. In both 2013 and 2016, LeBron carried his teams to National Basketball Association titles with remarkable performances in the final games.

Now Vic Schaefer will try to keep the Bulldogs among the nation's elite with a very different roster next season.

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