Luck of the Irish stuns State in National Championship Game

Luck of the Irish stuns State in National Championship Game

Notre Dame outlasted the Huskies in overtime on Friday, with Ogunbowale hitting the game-winner in the semifinal as well.

They won't have to worry about the Gamecocks in this year's Final Four, with UConn beating SC 94-65 Monday night in the Albany Region final. "Jess just kicked it to me, and I was like, 'OK, Marina, it's time". In 2011, while Schaefer was an assistant coach at Texas A&M, the Aggies met the Irish in the National Championship and ultimately won. She challenged the head coach's comment with one of her own after a member of the media noticed she was shaking her head when her father made his comment.

"We had confidence in her", Young said. The Bulldogs' only other loss of the season came against defending champion SC in the SEC tournament title game before Sunday night's last-second defeat. Alas, little was left for the Bulldogs in the 67-55 loss to SC in the championship showdown less than 48 hours later.

That village for Notre Dame point guard Jackie Young was back home in Princeton Sunday night cheering her on. Mississippi State beat Louisville in overtime but first needed a tying 3-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to force the extra period.

The victor will face either UConn or Notre Dame for the title. The Irish lost the previous four.

Mississippi State wants to write some more history in the women's college basketball world. Their championship run was nothing short of wonderful, following up an overtime win against debatably the best UConn team ever with an improbable comeback at the buzzer in the title game. The Bulldogs knocked off Nicholls State, Oklahoma State, North Carolina State and UCLA before a thrilling win over Louisville in the Final Four.

The final shot, which fell through the net with 0.1 seconds left, was Ogunbowale's first 3-pointer of the game; she finished with 18 points.

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Just when it seemed, at halftime, like maybe the Irish would be fortunate to score 30 points by game's end, much less 61. The irony Sunday night was that she had a poor shooting performance otherwise, scoring 18 points on 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from the floor.

Louisville and Mississippi State are headed to overtime in the first game at the women's Final Four. Yet they managed to stay in the game, and for the seventh time this season came back from a double-digit deficit to win.

When asked how the game would help motivate her and the Bulldogs for next season, McCowan said, "I will have my team ready". Each of the four seniors, the star center Teaira McCowan and the contributors on the bench, have played their part in this run.

With virtually the same guard-strong lineup as past year, the Bulldogs are back in the Final Four seeking more.

Jessica Shepard finished with 19 points for Notre Dame (35-3). "She's just done it night in and night out with the best game plan, the best players, trying to attack her in so many different ways".

Mississippi State becomes the sixth team to lose back-to-back NCAA title games. The Mississippi State guard hit a 3-pointer with 1:54 left to give the Bulldogs a five-point lead. When Notre Dame double-teamed her, McCowan made only 1-of-8 shots.