Baylor outlasts Notre Dame to win national championship | Women's College Basketball Highlights

Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale had 23 points and six assists in Friday’s victory against Connecticut

Notre Dame guard Arike Ogunbowale had 23 points and six assists in Friday’s victory against Connecticut

From there, the teams traded bucket for bucket down the stretch, as the game turned from a snoozer into an all-time classic as Baylor won the third national title in school history.

Jackson would draw on her magic once again - this time nailing another lay up to give Baylor their 2 point lead with three seconds left. Kalani Brown is averaging 15.5 points and 8.1 rebounds while Lauren Cox is averaging 12.9 points and 8.3 rebounds.

As it had so many times in the past two years, and the last week alone, Notre Dame fought back from a significant deficit against Baylor in the national championship game.

Playing in place of Cox, Smith racked up eight points, four rebounds and a block over the next 11 minutes of play.

Brown converted inside at 2:34 for a 78-77 Baylor lead, and a Jackson jumper at the 35-second mark put the Bears back up 80-78. But the fates weren't with or her team this time, in fact, the ending was quite the opposite.

"Well, I trusted her", an emotionally drained Kim Mulkey said at the postgame presser, sitting at the podium. Incredibly, the automatic Ogunbowale did, missed both really - the first one bounced around and then off the rim, and she meant to miss the second one, but it went in, depriving Notre Dame of a chance to try and tip in a game-tying rebound. As a coach, she said a few things haven't changed since here last visit.

The Fighting Irish scored the first eight points of the final quarter to get within three, then tied the game at 74 with 5:18 to play on a 3-pointer by Mabrey. The Irish will now take on Baylor in the National Championship game.

Last season, Notre Dame beat UConn 91-89 in overtime to advance to the final, which they won 61-58 against Mississippi State.

As discussed above, Turner anchored the Irish defense and was crucial to their success against UConn. "We'll rest her, do whatever". She got us here. Her three foul shots with a second left gave UConn a 54-52 lead.

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Notre Dame began to rally in the fourth behind Ogunbowale, Marina Mabrey (21 points), and Jessica Shepard (11 points).

Katie Lou Samuelson scored 20 points - all in the second half - for coach Geno Auriemma's Huskies (35-3). Ogunbowale won both games with dramatic buzzer-beaters. In the final moments, she blocked a shot by UConn's Napheesa Collier near the rim to help secure the win.

Briana Turner played as solid as ever for the Irish finishing with a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double.

"The game didn't come down to that free throw", Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw told reporters afterward. Baylor went on to shoot more than 65 percent from the floor as the Lady Bears raced to a 25-14 lead.

Still, the stakes of it raised further still when Lauren Cox, she of the never-ending wingspan and remarkable defensive versatility, crumpled to the floor with an injury so severe, she needed to be wheeled off, crying into the top of her jersey as she left her team in the hands of the seniors, Kalani Brown and Jackson.

She said she doesn't know much about her injury but that she'll "get it fixed, whatever it is".

"We had to do it for LC", said Jackson, who was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

A year after Ogunbowale hit an wonderful pair of buzzer beaters in the Final Four, the Irish star rushed to the rescue early in the fourth quarter. Sunday can't get here soon enough.

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