Arike Ogunbowale couldn't make a shot.
That year, they had defeated Tennessee in the Elite Eight and UConn in the national semifinals, becoming the only program to beat those two teams in the same NCAA tournament. The Final Four got started with two stirring overtime games - the first time that's happened. The Bulldogs then outlasted Louisville in OT to earn their second national title game berth in as many years.
"Phenomenal for women's basketball".
Notre Dame beat MS in the NCAA Championship on Sunday after Arike Ogunbowale hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired. "The crowd was tremendous tonight". It's already being hailed as the greatest women's basketball Final Four ever played as this will be a weekend that they talk about in the sport for years to come.
The title game did not disappoint.
Mississippi State had taken advantage of a Notre Dame dry spell early in the second quarter in which shots simply wouldn't fall for the Irish and worked to frustrate them even more with lightning-quick Jordan Danberry and Holmes, whom Coach Vic Schaefer had sent off the bench seemingly for the sole objective of bothering Notre Dame's guards on defense. Only one of McGraw's active players, senior Kathryn Westbeld, has been to a title game.
A case in point: With 40 seconds to play and scored tied at 58, State called a timeout and Vic Schaefer drew up a play that was created to go to Teaira McCowan in the low post.
OK, so everybody go right down the middle and drive it to the rim, ' " said Mabrey, Notre Dame's most prolific 3-point shooter. "Jess just kicked it to me, and I was like, 'OK, Marina, it's time".
"Now, whether that was from emotional distress, from, you know, just coming off the high, or if we were just physically exhausted, which I don't think it is, whatever the case, I can control that today".
It was the second game-winning shot in three days after the guard made a two-pointer in the closing seconds to beat CT in the Final Four.
It's been a whirlwind weekend for Ogunbowale, that included a Twitter back-and-forth with Kobe Bryant, who was in the stands for Friday's game. More importantly though, the 6'7 junior changes shots with her length and wingspan.
"Columbus has been a fantastic host". They take a lot of pride in their defense.
Big time shot Arike! They rallied from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter and were down five in the final 1:58.
The MSU team is excited for another chance at the title, and for the seniors, it is a chance for redemption of unfinished business from previous year. The Irish lost four players over the season to ACL injuries.
"I work for this in practice", Ogunbowale said. We never even talked about where we could be or what we should be thinking. "So this team is really special just due to their personality".
It's been a long wait for Mississippi State University's first team National Championship but come Sunday night, that wait very well may come to an end.
-There's Mississippi State's 5-5 senior Morgan William whose jump shot a year ago at the buzzer in overtime in the national semifinals dispatched an unbeaten CT team.
Player of the game: Ogunbowale is not only the player of this game, but her two game-winning shots will go down as legend at Notre Dame.
Well, the game against Mississippi State came and Arike delivered. Now, Vic Schaefer and MSU are looking to bring home a trophy. They played their hearts out...
For the fourth straight NCAA game, the Irish found themselves trailing at the half.
But over the next few minutes the Irish had trouble finishing inside as Mississippi State extended the lead to 40-25, its largest margin of the game. Then Mabrey's attempt to find contact for a three-point play on the following possession led to a traveling call. The Fighting Irish scored just three points in the second quarter, which set an NCAA championship record low for a single quarter. Notre Dame was held to one field goal over the final 11:10 of the first half.
"This team is relentlessly driven", said Jessica Shepard, who scored 19 points to lead the Irish.