NCAA Women: Victory for Notre Dame

The two Final Four games were great — close and competitive and won in overtime. The championship game belonged entirely to Mississippi State for the first half; they led Notre Dame by 15 points for most of it. The Irish made a run in the third quarter, and continued into the fourth where the game remained close.

The same Notre Dame player who won in overtime in the final four game, Arike Ogunbowale, won the championship — she shot a dagger 3 pointer with seconds left on the clock from almost the same spot on the court from which she won the game the other night. Most players don’t get to do that even once in a career, never mind twice in two successive games. Kudos to the junior superstar. I can hardly wait until she arrives in the WNBA.

Seeing Ogunbowale’s reaction when the shot hit was priceless. Ditto for the reactions of her team mates and coach, Muffet McGraw. I particularly loved seeing the sportscasters Rebecca Lobo and Kara Lawson, both of whom have played for college championship teams and in the WNBA. Lobo just pushed her chair back from the table and threw her hands up in the air in respect and disbelief.

Notre Dame overcame the 6’7″ Mississippi State player who ultimately fouled out very late in the game. Notre Dame overcame a 15 point deficit. And they won, with the killer shot buzzer beater by Ogunbowale. If you like women’s professional basketball, remember her name. Ogunbowale. Absolutely thrilling game. Absolutely thrilling player.

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