Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale hits last-second shot to win NCAA women's title

How do you top a long jumper in the Final Four to beat UConn with a second left?

You hit an even longer one from a similar spot to win the national championship.

Notre Dame’s second-team All-American Arike Ogunbowale swished a 3-pointer as time nearly expired, giving the Irish their second NCAA title with a 61-58 win against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs went to the locker room while the officials reviewed the made shot and put a tenth of a second back on the Nationwide Arena clock, but it wasn’t enough time for MSU.

 

The Irish won the national title in 2001 but had lost four trips to the championship game in a five-year span between 2011 and 2015. Now the Bulldogs have lost consecutive title games.

It was the biggest comeback in the history of the championship game, passing Louisiana Tech’s 14-point rally against Auburn in 1988. Mississippi State led 40-25 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, but the Irish scored 16 of the last 17 points of the period to pull even.

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Notre Dame wins Women's NCAA 2018 Championship
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Notre Dame wins Women's NCAA 2018 Championship
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is congratulated by her teammates Marina Mabrey #3 and Kathryn Westbeld #33 after scoring the game winning basket with 0.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is congratulated by her teammates Marina Mabrey #3, Kathryn Westbeld #33 and Jessica Shepard #23 after scoring the game winning basket with 0.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame players pose with the trophy after winning the championship against Mississippi State during the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Victoria Vivians #35 of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs dribbles around Jessica Shepard #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Championship game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on April 1, 2018 at Nationwide Arena. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 61-58. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is congratulated by her teammates Marina Mabrey #3, Kathryn Westbeld #33 and Jackie Young #5 after scoring the game winning basket with 0.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame players celebrate winning the championship against Mississippi State during the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame players celebrate winning the championship against Mississippi State during the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame players celebrate winning the championship against Mississippi State during the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Kathryn Westbeld #33 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Morgan William #2 of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs battle for the ball during the National Championship game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on April 1, 2018 at Nationwide Arena. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 61-58. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Blair Schaefer #1 of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs looks to pass the ball over Marina Mabrey #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Championship game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on April 1, 2018 at Nationwide Arena. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 61-58. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Kathryn Westbeld #33 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish passes the ball around Teaira McCowan #15 of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs to Jackie Young #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the National Championship game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on April 1, 2018 at Nationwide Arena. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 61-58. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is congratulated by her teammates Marina Mabrey #3, Kathryn Westbeld #33 and Jackie Young #5 after scoring the game winning basket with 0.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Kathryn Westbeld #33 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Morgan William #2 of the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs battle for the ball during the National Championship game between the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on April 1, 2018 at Nationwide Arena. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 61-58. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 1: Notre Dame players celebrate winning the championship against Mississippi State during the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Final Four at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 01: Marina Mabrey #3 and Kathryn Westbeld #33 celebrate the game winning basket by their teammate Arike Ogunbowale #24 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with 0.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to defeat the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs in the championship game of the 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four at Nationwide Arena on April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs 61-58. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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The Irish even overcame a Final Four record-low three-point second quarter.

The Bulldogs also led 58-53 with 1:58 left, but junior guard Marina Mabrey answered with Notre Dame’s first 3-pointer and sophomore guard Jackie Young tied it with a short turnaround jumper off the glass and it was back and forth until Ogunbowale’s game-winning shot.

The miraculous finish came after a fun Twitter exchange between Ogunbowale and Kobe Bryant, who was in attendance at the Women’s Final Four. Notre Dame had beaten undefeated UConn in similar fashion on Friday – with another Ogunbowale shot in the waning seconds – and Kobe had congratulated the Irish junior with a tweet before cautioning that the job wasn’t done yet.

 

 

 

After another game-winning shot, Kobe only had one word to say:

 

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