Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale sheds tears after women's national title loss

Notre Dame and Baylor to meet in Sunday's championship game

Ogunbowale had 14 points in the fourth quarter. "Just didn't come out ready".

It's easy to say in hindsight, but without her play off the bench, Baylor may not have won its third national title.

Jackson, a graduate transfer who previously played at LSU and had never played the point guard position until she got to Baylor, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

OR held a three-point lead over Baylor at halftime, but the Bears used a 39-33 second half to pull out the 72-67 win. Against Arizona State on November 11 - just the fourth game of her collegiate career - Smith had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

In 2012, then-junior Brittney Griner helped Baylor go 40-0 and put the Lady Bears back atop the women's basketball world.

There was no late-game heroics needed by Ogunbowale this Final Four; it was a season ago when Ogunbowale hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Huskies 91-89 and send the Irish to the title game in dramatic fashion.

"It was tough when I went down for my team", said Cox, wearing a brace on her knee after what appeared to be a severe injury.

After Crystal Dangerfield missed a drive down the lane, Ogunbowale hit two free throws to give the Irish a three-point advantage with 58.3 seconds left. "That kid probably would have been defensive player of the year nationally next year".

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Agunbowale leaves Notre Dame as the school's all-time leading scorer. Plus, two nights earlier, UConn had an nearly identical lead (64-55) on the Irish with 7:55 left before falling 81-76.

Cox had eight points and eight rebounds before leaving the game. On the other end, Arike Ogunbowale got fouled, but her first free-throw attempt rimmed out. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have won their last eight non-home games.

"The same two", McGraw said after Friday night's 81-76 semifinal win over UConn.

A year after Ogunbowale hit an unbelievable pair of buzzer beaters in the Final Four, the Irish star rushed to the rescue early in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Bears were primed to run away with the game as Notre Dame struggled to score. She also added a season-high 12 assists for her second double-double of the season.

The starting five of Ogunbowale, Turner, Mabrey, Young and Jessica Shepard finished the season with 10,230 career points - an NCAA Division I record for both men and women. At 36-1 on the season, the Bears are now on a 28-game win streak. "I just know when you lose a big-time player in the middle of a national championship, you're not supposed to win". The Irish were able to rally from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to tie it at 78 in the fourth. She tried to miss the second on objective, hoping for an offensive rebound, but made it. But to the degree there is a softer side, it clearly comes out with her baby grandson, Kannon Fuller. The Baylor Bears are allowing 29.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 47.6 rebounds per game.

For most of the first three quarters, the game appeared to be heading toward a routine Baylor win as Kalani Brown (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Lauren Cox (8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) dominated the Fighting Irish on the interior and the Bears raced out to a 33-16 lead.



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