Jessica Shepard’s jumper with 1:29 left in the game sparked a 9-0 run that lifted defending champion and top-seeded Notre Dame to an 81-76 win over second-seeded Connecticut in the NCAA Women’s Tournament Final Four on Friday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
Arike Ogunbowale added four straight foul shots for a 78-73 lead with 40.4 seconds remaining, followed by three more free throws by Brianna Turner that wrapped up the game.
Ogunbowale - Points - Half - Fighting - Irish
Ogunbowale scored 21 of her game-high 23 points in the second half for the Fighting Irish (35-3), who meet top-seeded Baylor in the national championship game Sunday night. The Bears eliminated second-seeded Oregon 72-67 in Friday’s first semifinal.
Shepard finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Turner had 15 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots, including a critical rejection of Napheesa Collier’s attempted layup with 49 seconds remaining in a three-point game. Marina Mabrey chipped in 12 points and 12 assists, and Jackie Young scored 11 points for Notre Dame.
Katie - Lou - Samuelson - Points - Half
Katie Lou Samuelson scored all 20 of her points in the second half to pace...
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