Notre Dame didn’t play a completely perfect game to upset the previously undefeated Connecticut Huskies in the Final Four. But an Arike Ogunbowale deep two-point game-winning shot made sure it was enough. The Fighting Irish played well defensively for stretches, shot well from the field, and had just a little bit of luck to seal the deal for a trip to the National Championship game. It’ll go down as a masterpiece for Irish head coach Muffet McGraw.
If McGraw looked at the box score before the game tipped off and saw UConn would score 89 points, Gabby Williams would double-double, Napheesa Collier would score 24, Katie Lou Samuelson would knock down four threes, and Azura Stevens would come off the bench for 19 points, she’d have probably told her team she was proud of their efforts and packed her bags.
But Notre Dame had flashes of brilliance that contained Connecticut’s unearthly powers for periods of time that made just enough of a difference to bridge the talent gap. This wasn’t supposed to be the Irish’s game after all. They lost four role players to ACL injuries over the season, and Connecticut couldn’t possibly lose in back-to-back seasons in the Final Four.
Yet it happened in a 91-89 overtime win against the unbeatable. Here’s how.