"We just constantly focus on what we have, what can we do, who's going to step up, how are the roles changing?" Jackie Young looked over her options, trying to get it in for Jessica Shepard at the low post, but she was heavily guarded. "I just ran to (teammate) Jackie (Young) and said, 'Throw it to me, throw it to me'". Ogunbowale's 3-pointer was just the second last-second shot that won a championship game.
Two days earlier, Ogunbowale's jumper with one second remaining in overtime knocked off previously unbeaten CT in the semifinals. She hit two last second game-winners in the last two games of the tournament to bring her team home the title. "They got it down low to 6'7" Teaira McCowan who missed a layup with 27.8 seconds remaining and picked up her fourth foul on the rebound opportunity. It won the game.
Notre Dame reached the national title game out of the Spokane Regional, with wins over Cal State Northridge, Villanova, Texas A&M and Oregon.
Apparently depth is overrated. That's what it comes down to, one more play. I practised late-game all the time. Logic suggests there's now some chance ESPN will consider extending the contract another year.
After hitting a game-winning shot Friday to beat CT in the women's NCAA tournament national semifinals, Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale said her "life" was "complete" because she got a congratulatory tweet from Kobe Bryant.
You hit an even longer one from a similar spot at the buzzer to win the national championship of the best Women's Final Four ever.
NCAA Tournament Championship Preview: Mississippi State Basketball vs Notre Dame
And it proved prophetic.
It was the second year in a row that Mississippi State (37-2) fell short in the title game. UCLA center Bill Walton held the previous distinction with his 44-point eruption (on 21 of 22 field goal attempts) in the Bruins' title game against Memphis State in 1973.
Vic Schaefer, the Bulldog head coach, watched as his crew regularly bothered Irish passers and shooters - keeping Notre Dame far from any sort of comfort zone.
"We treated her like one of the boys", Stone said. They shot 30 percent in the first half and had 12 turnovers.
With three seconds left, the Irish inbounded the ball.
Schaefer's version of the second half? By the end of the third quarter, the Bulldogs and Irish were tied 41-41.
Notre Dame recovered the resulting loose ball.
Mississippi State's four seniors will graduate as the first class in school history to go to the NCAA tournament all four years.
"The kid made a heck of a shot", he said.
In the championship game, the Irish fought their way back from a 15-point deficit to win in the final second. The shot clock was off, and the Irish were holding for the final shot.
Actually, none of what took place over the first 39:57 mattered.
It all came down to a single 3-point shot by Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale. Assists-Notre Dame 8 (Shepard 2), Mississippi St. 9 (Danberry 3). The Fighting Irish then used a screen to free up Ogunbowale. IN won the WNIT championship by defeating Virginia Tech 65-57 on Saturday in front of a record-setting crowd of 13,007 in Bloomington.
"Usually our rule is - it's not usually, it's the rule, when you switch, you switch to deny, and we just didn't get the denial", Schaefer said. "But we don't have anything to lose, so we should be the looser team here".
With that, the Irish players and staff launched into their own arm-in-arm dance moves set to "Swag Surfin, '" a 2009 song by F.L.Y. The junior from Milwaukee finished with 18 points, and point guard Marina Mabrey added 10.
It took some "Black Girl Magic" to vault the Fighting Irish women's basketball team on Sunday to a sizzling NCAA comeback.
Why not us, after all.