Notre Dame beats UConn in OT on last-second shot

It was the second straight year that the Huskies lost on a last-second shot in the Final Four, with Mississippi State's William dashing their flawless season a year ago. Ogunbowale's shot bailed out a Notre Dame team that held five-point leads in the final minute of both regulation and overtime, only to see UConn storm back to tie the game.

Arike Ogunbowale's jumper from the corner with a second left lifted Notre Dame to a 91-89 overtime victory over UConn on Friday night in the national semifinals.

Arike Ogunbowale leads the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game, Jessica Shepard has been a consistent presence down low at 15.6 ppg. and Jackie Young provides even more offense at 14.3 ppg.

In a sign that the basketball gods do indeed have a sense of humor, Notre Dame will take on Mississippi State in the National Championship Game on Sunday. The Irish chipped away until they took a brief lead with 2:21 left in the period.

It is not a stretch to say the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team was one of the worst in the country for their first 13 years of existence.

There's just a team that came from nothing and climbed to the top showing others that they can do the same as well.

"Both games, they really came at us, and they really exposed a lot of weaknesses better than any other team has", Samuelson said. The Irish won seven times, twice knocking UConn out of the Final Four.

The Huskies outrebounded Notre Dame 41-38. They already beat their Final Four opponent, Notre Dame, in December by nine points - a mediocre margin by their standards. "One weekend in March gets to decide your season".

"When you come out of high school and you choose to go to Notre Dame or CT, you're saying I want to play in big games", Auriemma said.

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"For a long, long time we made it look like it was easy. And going in, you never know who they're going to be", Auriemma said. No team has come closer than a dozen points against the Huskies since Louisville made it an 11-point loss on February 12.

CT has won the last seven meetings between the two schools, including the most recent one on December 3rd, a 80-71 Huskies win in Hartford, CT.

Napeesha Collier had a team-high 24 points but the Huskies fell in overtime to Notre Dame at the Final Four in Columbus. UConn challenged her to beat them, and she did not shrink from the opportunity, including converting two three-pointers after coming into the game only 9-of-35 (25.7 percent) beyond the arc.

For Notre Dame, it's been an improbable run to the title game.

The Huskies feature two players, Gabby Williams and Katie Lou Samuelson, who were named finalists for the Naismith Award, which is awarded to the sport's best player.

Mississippi State's Teaira McCowan has 18 points and 18 rebounds.

"You know, one or two players really make the difference at this time of the year".

Stat of the game: Notre Dame was the more aggressive offensive team for all 40 minutes, and it helped put the Irish at the free throw line, where they shot 19-of-23.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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