COLUMBUS – It was the shot heard around Columbus.
It was so loud it was heard all the way back in South Bend. The cheers that followed were heard around the women’s college basketball world.
Arike Ogunbowale’s jumper with one second remained lifted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to a 91-89 overtime victory over favorite Connecticut Huskies at Nationwide Arena on Friday night.
A cold-blooded dagger to end UConn's perfect season. pic.twitter.com/RXjvoOMaCE
— ESPN (@espn) March 31, 2018
Connecticut (36-1) was heavily favored due to the fact that Brianna Turner, freshman Mychal Johnson, and seniors Mikayla Vaughn and Lili Thompson all out with ACL injuries. However, the Fighting Irish lived up to their name and fought.
Notre Dame jumped out to an early 13-point lead, showing their grit from the opening tip-off. The game was the first time that the Huskies had ever been tested in the tournament to this point. Despite going down early, UConn responded with a massive 36-0 run.
The fourth quarter saw the lead go back and forth until the final seconds. The Irish took a five-point lead but UConn had a chance to tie it up with Napheesa Collier’s 3-pointer and a steal and score from Kia Nurse to force the extra period.
In overtime, Notre Dame took a three-point lead with 33 seconds left. The Huskies responded again with a 3-pointer from Crystal Dangerfield. That’s when the Irish called timeout and drew up a play for Ogunbowale, who would hit the biggest shot of her playing career.
Jackie Young led the Irish with a career-high 32 points but the night belonged to Ogunbowale, who finished with 27 points.
The loss is the second straight in the Final Four for UConn after falling to South Carolina a year ago.
Notre Dame will take on Mississippi State in Sunday’s National Championship Game for all the marbles.