COLUMBUS, Ohio — A rattled, unnerved Notre Dame team walked to the locker room at halftime of Sunday night’s NCAA championship game, trailing Mississippi State by 13 points and looking every bit like a squad that exhausted its energy and emotion beating UConn two nights earlier.
The Irish scored only three points in the second quarter at Nationwide Arena, the fewest in any quarter in Final Four history. Arike Ogunbowale couldn’t make a shot. Marina Mabrey kept turning it over. And no one could hit a 3-pointer or keep Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan off the glass. It was a mess.
“We weren’t really playing our game at all,” senior forward Kathryn Westbeld said. “I think a lot of us were shook a little bit. Our minds were kind of going everywhere.”
That Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw got her players focused and back on track, overcoming the largest deficit in an NCAA championship game (15 points in the third quarter) in a 61-58 thriller for the program’s first national title since 2001, says plenty about how
Article source: http://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/22993718/women-final-four-muffet-mcgraw-motivates-notre-dame-make-right-adjustments
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