Through 39 minutes and 57 seconds of Notre Dame‘s national championship matchup with Mississippi State on Sunday, Fighting Irish star Arike Ogunbowale struggled, hitting just five of her first 20 shots.
But she nailed her 21st, in stunning, dramatic fashion — beating the buzzer with an off-balance, side-fading three-pointer to finish off a 15-point comeback and deliver Notre Dame their first title in 17 years.
NOTRE DAME… WOW pic.twitter.com/Vs3uR9a9nx
— NCAA Women’s BKB (@ncaawbb) April 2, 2018
ESPN’s broadcast team of Rebecca Lobo, Tara Lawson, and Adam Amin couldn’t believe what they’d seen.
I’m such a fan of the announcer camera. Adam Amin, Kara Lawson, and Rebecca Lobo are national treasures. pic.twitter.com/9CDini9Qjz
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) April 2, 2018
“I was missing a lot of bunnies with the layups, it was a little frustrating,” Ogunbowale said after the 61-58 victory. “But I knew I had to keep shooting, keep going to the basket. My teammates, they tell me to keep shooting, but I think that’s just my mentality. I’m never going to stop.”
The Irish reached the championship game on the strength of another Ogunbowale game-winner two days earlier, in overtime to hand the UConn Huskies their only loss of the season.
NOTRE DAME SHOCKS UCONN!!!
Arike Ogunbowale’s game winning jumper is even better with Titanic music!!! What a moment for @NDWBB!!!
— 🏀🚢🎶TITANIC HOOPS🏀🚢🎶 (@TitanicHoops) March 31, 2018
“To do that twice in one weekend, the biggest stage in college basketball, it’s crazy,” Ogunbowale said.