Notre Dame and Mississippi State battled in the championship game on Sunday after Notre Dame took down undefeated CT in overtime in the Final Four.
Ogunbowale also hit the game-winning jumper in an overtime thriller against No. 1 overall seed UConn on Friday night as she knocked down a heavily-contested three-pointer out of a timeout with 3.0 seconds left to earn the title.
The Bulldogs meet a Notre Dame team that improved to 34-3 on the season with a 91-89 overtime victory against UConn in Friday’s second semifinal.
With the game tied, Ogunbowale took the inbounds pass and dribbled to the corner, hitting the game-winner. “We just constantly focus on what we have, what can we do, who’s going to step up, how are the roles changing?” “I practice late-game all the time. We have broken records and have done a lot of good things at State, but I don’t think it will be finished until (today)”, Vivians said.
3 Consecutive games Notre Dame appeared to be on the precipice of falling too far behind in the first half before rallying to victory, thanks especially to outstanding play after halftime. Notre Dame stormed back with a three-pointer from Marina Mabrey and a bucket from Jackie Young, who was the breakout star of Friday’s win over CT with 32 points.
Tied as the clock ran down, Mississippi State star Teaira McCowan missed a layup with 27.8 seconds left, and both teams turned the ball over in a wild sequence. McCowan committed a foul to leave the game with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Now comes the hard part, in which the Bulldogs and Fighting Irish must find a way to level out mentally and emotionally before meeting in the championship game on Sunday evening.
“You’re up five with 1:40 [to play], it’s my job to get them home, and I didn’t get them home”. The team seemed to gain confidence as she did, and the Irish ended the period on a 16-1 run.
The Mississippi State-Notre Dame game will start at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 1. Notre Dame is trying to win the title despite the loss of four players to ACL injuries this season. The two teams who last toppled UConn-the Bulldogs a year ago in the semifinals, also on a last-second shot, and Notre Dame on Friday-would help usher in an era of more parity in the game, and that was excitement enough.
The Irish stepped up their play after a awful first half.
McCowan, a junior, is a throwback center, strong and big-shouldered, unmovable once she establishes position in the post.
Mississippi State had nine NCAA tournament wins in the program’s first 42 years – and now has 10 in the past two years.
“The only thing worse than playing CT is playing the team that beat them”, Schaefer said.
To get to this point, the Bulldogs needed some last second magic against Louisville.
“This team is relentlessly driven”, said Jessica Shepard, who scored 19 points to lead the Irish. He felt his players were exhausted after practicing the day after the monumental upset of UConn that ended the Huskies’ record 111-game winning streak.
Before the Final Four, Notre Dame defeated CS Northridge (99-81), Villanova (98-72), Texas A&M (90-84) and OR (84-74). Mississippi State vs Notre Dame tv channel schedule is on ESPN.