COLUMBUS – Notre Dame faced its most challenging season in program history. Facing two of the top teams in the country, four key players out with season-ending injuries, and down double-digits in the National Championship Game.
48 hours after her shot to take down No. 1 overall seed UConn, Ogunbowale’s three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left lifted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish past Mississippi State 61-58 to clinch the school’s second National Championship at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.
ARIKE OGUNBOWALE JUST WON NOTRE DAME THE 2018 NATIONAL TITLE! pic.twitter.com/ZCNhyF1uIf
— ESPN (@espn) April 2, 2018
“It just felt right,” Ogunbowale told ESPN’s Holly Rowe after the win. “I practice late-game all the time. I just ran to Jackie and said, ‘Throw it to me, throw it to me.'”
The Irish were without Brianna Turner, freshman Mychal Johnson, and seniors Mikayla Vaughn and Lili Thompson all out with ACL injuries for the entire run. The took down No. 1 overall seed UConn and trailed 40-25 in the second half of Sunday’s contest, pulling off the biggest comeback in title game history.
Ogunbowale finished with 18 points, scoring 14 of them in the second half. She also earned outstanding player honors. The championship is the first for Coach Muffet McGraw and first for Notre Dame since 2001.
The fact is that heart, determination, talent, and hard work all came together at the right time to lift the Fighting Irish to the championship.
What a Happy Easter indeed.