March 31 (UPI) — Notre Dame upset top-ranked UConn 91-89 in the 2018 NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament Friday at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The win means the Irish battle Mississippi State Sunday in the National Championship.
Notre Dame and UConn were tied at 89-89 with less than 10 seconds remaining in overtime. Irish guard Marina Mabrey dribbled away from the rim and handed the ball to junior guard Arike Ogunbowale near half court.
Ogunbowale dribbled back toward the paint before stepping back for a long-range jump shot. She drained the attempt, sending the arena into bedlam.
“That definitely wasn’t the play call…my team trusted me to have the ball at the end of the game,” Ogunbowale said in her postgame news conference.
“It felt good. I didn’t know it was going in but it felt good.”
Huskies forward Gabby Williams launched a Hail Mary pass to junior Katie Lou Samuelson at the end of the game, but Samuelson’s attempt was off target.
Jackie Young scored a game-high 32 points and had 11 rebounds in the win. Ogunbowale scored 27 points for Notre Dame.
Napheesa Collier led the Huskies with 24 points.
“Somethings just don’t need explanations, you know? You really can’t describe what goes into getting here and trying to win a championship,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma told reporters after the game. “It’s very, very difficult. For a long-ling time we made it look like it was easy, but it’s very, very difficult, as it has played out the last two years.”
The Huskies’ 111-game winning streak was snapped last year in the same round of the tournament, after a 66-64 loss to Mississippi State.