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UConn women stunned by Notre Dame, ousted from Final Four

UConn women stunned by Notre Dame, ousted from Final Four

UConn women stunned by Notre Dame, ousted from Final Four

It was the second straight year that the Huskies lost on a last-second shot in the Final Four, with Mississippi State's William dashing their ideal season a year ago.

Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale hit an incredible step-back jumper to give the Fighting Irish the overtime victory over the Huskies. "I say it all the time: In 2006 when I was on staff at Maryland and we won the national championship, it was an awesome experience". "You kind of knew [years ago], these teams are going to be at least in the final eight and probably get to the Final Four".

The Irish (34-3) will play for their second national title on Sunday after years of being denied by the Huskies - although Notre Dame has beaten UConn in past semifinals. Again, the Huskies have been left to contemplate going home empty-handed, this time despite having won 147 of their last 149 games.

OR sophomore Sabrina Ionescu is the Nancy Lieberman point guard of the year, teammate Ruthy Hebard, also a sophomore, is the Katrina McClain forward of the year, Mississippi State senior Victoria Vivians is the Ann Meyers Drysdale shooting guard of the year and SC senior A'Ja Wilson in the Lisa Leslie center of the year.

Samuelson had 16 points and seven rebounds Friday. The sophomore scored 32 points on 10-of-15 shooting and also had 11 rebounds. She also grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career.

Amid all the chalk, the intrigue tonight lies in two diametrically opposed matchups: Notre Dame and CT will meet for the 48th time overall and the seventh time in the Final Four.

Notre Dame has never beaten the Huskies in the national championship game.

A 12th title game will have to wait for another year.

When the Huskies got an offensive foul, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had to be held back by assistant Chris Dailey. Two, it isn't squarely on one player, in this case Shepard; it takes a team effort. You can't back into it. "We knew we were playing a great team, obviously, and we knew they had a lot of players that could decide the game".

Despite the Huskies run, Notre Dame came back after halftime strong, and the two teams traded leads.

Notre Dame celebrates after defeating CT in overtime in the semifinals of the women's NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament, Friday, March 30, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. The lesson came against Notre Dame, in the nascent days of one of women's college basketball's richest rivalries. "I think it's great for us to know there's no pressure on us, that this is a game where we're the underdog". "It was just a battle".

Ogunbowale led the Fighting Irish in scoring this season, tallying 773 total points.

Crystal Dangerfield hit a game-tying 3-pointer before Notre Dame called timeout.

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"What a shot by Arike, unbelievable", McGraw said.

"It was hard when we were in our other league, in the same league together, because we would end up playing each other four times some years, and that's not always good". "To have a game like that and then come up short".

UConn senior Gabby Williams was named the Cheryl Miller small forward of the year by the WBCA, which announced its national positional awards Friday.

"For us to make the plays that we made to tie the game in regulation then have a chance to win it and to tie the game in overtime, that's what CT basketball is all about", Auriemma said.

Oregon, U.C.L.A. and Oregon State have loosened the stranglehold that Stanford, a two-time national champion and a Final Four regular, once had on the Pac-12 Conference. Nobody had ever beaten them back to back.

The finish was eerily similar to what happened a year ago.

Jessica Shepard had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Samuelson's 3 at the buzzer made it 24-14 after one. Then they were down after getting outscored 27-10 in the second.

The Huskies, though, had a second surge in them.

Last year, the Bulldogs pulled off the big upset, beating UConn in the semifinals to end its 111-game winning streak.

Nurse and Williams were 148-3 in their careers, with two NCAA titles.

UConn twice came back to tie the the score Friday, first at the end of regulation and again near the end of overtime.

A three by junior guard Marina Mabrey provided Notre Dame its first lead of the second half at 54-53, and it turned into ebbs and flows for both programs thereafter.

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