Here's The Insane Shot That Ended UConn's Perfect Season

Here's The Insane Shot That Ended UConn's Perfect Season

Javier Howell
April 1, 2018

And I think it was similar - any time you beat CT, because of the dominance of their program, it's just such an emotional win. ". So I don't know".

Notre Dame and Mississippi State players shuffled into Nationwide Arena at 10 a.m. Saturday, glassy-eyed from lack of sleep and emotionally hung over, and faced reality.

Mississippi State has more recent practice at managing the emotions of a thrilling overtime win in a national semifinal, since it upset CT at the buzzer a year ago.

Nurse hit a wide-open three-pointer to give CT an 82-80 lead with 4:25 left in overtime but the Irish went on a 9-2 run to take an 89-84 lead with 44 seconds left in the game.

The Huskies led 67-59 after Dangerfield knocked down a 3-pointer with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Huskies led by 11 points late in the second quarter and led by seven points, 69-62 with 5:44 remaining in the fourth quarter on a rebound that Azure Stevens put back into the basket. She also grabbed the 1,000th rebound of her career.

Notre Dame is now 4-3 against UConn in the Final Four - and 4-1 in the semifinal contests.

Samuelson, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, actually has not played in a national championship game, a rare thing for any UConn junior. They lost to SC in the title game.

When the Huskies got an offensive foul, UConn head coach Geno Auriemma had to be held back by assistant Chris Dailey. You can't back into it. The Huskies have never lost an NCAA final; they are 11-0 in those.

Notre Dame moved back into the lead, 54-53, with 2:20 left in the third after a 3-pointer by Marina Mabrey.

It was the sixth time in eight years and seventh time overall the Huskies and Irish have met in the Final Four.

Whatever grandiose word or phrase one wants to use, it would be fitting following the 91-89 Fighting Irish overtime triumph against No. 1 and then 36-0 Connecticut Friday night in Columbus, Ohio.

"I know I just had to shoot it at the last minute", Ogunbowale said.

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Ogunbowale led the Fighting Irish in scoring this season, tallying 773 total points. Nevertheless, a golden opportunity to put away the game in regulation was missed - but it didn't demoralize the Irish in overtime.

"It's all about the mind-set", 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".

UConn had won 38 consecutive games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents dating back to a loss to North Carolina on January 15, 2007.

CT (89) Gabby Williams 6-12 0-0 10, Napheesa Collier 11-17 1-1 24, Crystal Dangerfield 3-11 0-0 2, Kia Nurse 4-13 0-0 10, Katie Lou Samuelson 6-12 0-0 16, Azura Stevens 8-12 3-5 19.

The victor will face Mississippi State, which rallied for a 73-63 overtime victory over Louisville in the first semifinal.

"It's a different feeling than a year ago", Samuelson said. Nobody had ever beaten them back to back. It would be gut wrenching for it to happen again the way this team has battled all year. Azura Stevens added 19. But when they get to this, that's when it really pops for them.

Yet for the second year in a row, the Huskies have, indeed, proved to be beatable.

UConn laid claim to three AP All-American team selections (first teamer Katie Lou Samuelson, second team selection Gabby Williams and third team pick Napheesa Collier) and two honorable mentions, one of whom, senior guard Kia Nurse, was recently named the WBCA National Defensive Player of the Year.

Nurse and Williams were 148-3 in their careers, with two NCAA titles. Ogunbowale got the ball, however, isolated on the right wing before pulling up.

The Huskies scored the first six points of the second period to prompt a Notre Dame timeout at 8:03. The Huskies shot 30.0 percent in the first quarter and 63.2 in the second. But this one, I mean, to come from behind - to have a big lead (in regulation), squander that, come from behind (to win), and with this team - I mean, this one's really special.