Notre Dame Wins the NCAA National Women’s Basketball Title 

(Columbus,Oh)  Notre Dame Junior Guard Arike Ogunbowale sank a game winning shot in the final seconds of the NCAA Womens Championship game to lead the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to the National Title. The game winner was an off balance shot just behind the three point line which went through the hoop without touching the rim propelling Notre Dame to a 61-58 win over Mississippi State.

 

Ogunbowale a 5’8″ Junior from Milwaukee had hoops fans experience a little dejavu this past weekend. Friday night in the National Semi-Final game against the mighty huskies of Connecticut; the tournament MVP also sank a last second shot to win that game in overtime 91-89.  Arike scored 27 points in the win over the huskies and her backcourt mate Jackie Young led the Irish with 32 points as the team from South Bend handed Connecticut its first and only loss of the season.

 

 

As for Sunday night, Arike and her crew did not make winning the second Women’s Hoops title in school history look easy. The Bulldogs of Mississippi State outscored the Irish by three in the first quarter and went into the locker room with a 13 point lead at the Half (30-17). In the second half head coach Muffett McGraw had her ladies firing on all cylinders as the Irish dropped in 24 points in the third quarter and followed up with 20 in the final stanza. The effort was ignited by lay up by Jessica Shepard who scored the first bucket of the second half , followed by  steal and bucket by Marina Mabrey.

 

Notre Dame then caught fire with 5:59 to go in the third quarter down by 15 points(25-40). Kathryn Westbelds layup was the start of a 16 to 1 run which ended with the score tied 41 a piece at the end of the quarter. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs their star Teaira McCowan (6’7″ junior from Brenham Texas ) who finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds, would foul out with 3 seconds left in regulation. That may have been pivotal, because with the ball in possesion of the Irish McCowan could have used her 6’7″ frame to make it difficult for Young to inbound the ball to Ogunbowalee and prevent the eventual game winner from taking place.

 

In the end the Notre Dame nabbed its’ first Women’s basketball  title since 2001 and Coach McGraw’s troops survived a final four weekend that saw the number one teams from each region compete for the coveted crown that now belongs to the lady Irish.

 

Trevin A Jones
Follow me on Twitter: @UMTSportsrepot

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