The Fighting Irish defeated the Bulldogs 61-58 to win their first championship in 17 years with a buzzer-beating three-pointer from junior guard Arike Ogunbowale.
Mississippi State had a comfortable 30-17 lead at halftime after outscoring the Irish 13-3 in the second quarter.
With three seconds remaining in a 58-58 tie game in the Women's National Championship of college basketball in Columbus, Ohio on April. 1, Arike Ogunbowale sank in a three-pointer to ultimately give her Notre Dame Fighting Irish the national title victory - the school's second-ever in its history, in addition to their 2001 title.
Anyone who has played the game of basketball has spent endless hours on the court - whether it's in the driveway, a barn, on the playground or in a gymnasium - practicing hitting the game winning shot. "I mean, there's been a lot of accomplishments, but to actually do it for your country, that's a pretty unbelievable thing", said Ogunbowale. "I don't understand, she's wonderful, she's the G.O.A.T [Greatest of All Time]". And no one could hit a 3-pointer or keep Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan off the glass.
The two clutch shot makers exchanged tweets after Notre Dame's Final Four win.
Jessica Shepard led the Fighting Irish with 19 points. Mississippi State was a tremendous defensive team.
In theory, the National Coach of the Year was probably right - especially because Ogunbowale hadn't been shooting the ball particularly well against the Bulldogs. Ogunbowale had 18, and Mabrey added 10. Last summer, playing for Team USA, Ogunbowale won her second gold medal.
She did it Friday after starting 2-of-8, and she did it Sunday. She finished with 18. McCowan fouled out of the game stopping an Irish fast break after consecutive turnovers and that set up the final 3 seconds. Young had to start searching for other options, and she had talked with Ogunbowale about being the secondary look. Notre Dame hit 22 of 52 shots from the field (42.3 percent), 2 of 9 shots from 3-point range (22.2 percent) and 15 of 17 shots from the foul line (88.2 percent). "I went to a Lutheran grade school and a Catholic high school".
But McGraw does believe in Ogunbowale.
"This is the toughest, most resilient team I have ever seen", MSU head coach Vic Schaefer said.
The high continued when she returned to the locker room to find her cell phone detonated with texts from back home. "She made a great shot".
Ogunbowale is focused on the next possession, the next shot.
Ogunbowale was named Most Outstanding Player in the tournament, and she showed that you can win a title in women's college basketball without going to UConn, which is an important point. "So for us, I think just a matter of continuing to do what we've been doing and not let the pressure of the moment get to us". She rose up, falling away from the basket like she's done in the gym so many times before. The 3-pointer from the wing came from almost the same angle as her shot that beat the Huskies. But the postmortems that analyze what went wrong leave out the media's own role in the demise (this happened recently in Boston when the professional women's soccer team folded).