Baylor holds off Notre Dame 82-81 for women's title

Sherman Parsons
April 9, 2019

UConn and Notre Dame have now played seven times in the national semifinals or title game since 2011 - the Irish hold a 4-3 advantage. Kalani Brown's hoop put Baylor up 62-48 late in the third, but the loss of star forward Lauren Cox to a knee injury slowed the Bears after that. "It was my time to step up".

But this year, even with Chloe Jackson, a grad student who'd never previously played point guard running the show, Mulkey seemed to have a twinkle in her eye as if she knew this, at last, would be Baylor's year again.

The game felt as back-and-forth as a boxing match, with tension in a sold-out Amalie Arena ratcheting to a new level of in the last minutes of the third quarter. She played 17 minutes, which was second only to the 18 she played in an opening round blowout of Abilene Christian. The year after the Lady Bears won their last title, she returned most of the team and they were upset by Louisville in the Sweet 16. We have the best freshman recruiting class in the country. "We had control of that game from the start to the time she went off the floor. I am excited to have two women in the final".

It has also drawn some of the largest crowds.

The top-seeded Fighting Irish advanced to their second straight national title game with an 81-76 win over archrival CT in the powerhouse programs' 50th overall meeting, their eighth in the Final Four.

Anyone who opted not to watch the women's Final Four missed out. The former Hernando High standout, 35, had a rooting interest.

"Nalyssa came in, and she kind of played like she was Lauren", junior guard Juicy Landrum said.

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"Well, I trusted her", an emotionally drained Kim Mulkey said at the postgame presser, sitting at the podium. "But it wasn't too hard because the game was so exciting". "That kid probably would have been defensive player of the year nationally next year". That did not happen. She can move up to fourth with two against Baylor, moving her past Rebecca Lobo, Courtney Parris and Brittney Griner. "We still had a chance".

"So I feel a deep connection to the program". "They work well together like Kalani and I do". Baylor's previous championships came in 2005 and 2012.

The Baylor songleaders perform during a second-round game against California in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Waco, Texas, Monday, March 25, 2019. Jackie Young is the third double-digit scorer and Brianna Turner is grabbing 7.7 rebounds.

Baylor's win Sunday snapped Notre Dame's two-game streak in the series. Then Notre Dame called a timeout and inbounded to tournament standout Arike Ogunbowale.

Ogunbowale scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-27 shooting, while Mabrey added 21. OR guard Sabrina Ionescu's clock started after the Ducks lost to Baylor Friday night. We knew it was going to be tough without her, but we had to do it for her. Ionescu led the Ducks to their first Women's Final Four. He'll hear about how Baylor lost one game that season and learned from it.

The Irish will try to become the fourth school to win consecutive championships - Connecticut, Tennessee and Southern California have done it. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw danced a little jig at midcourt after this comeback victory. "Strategies, completion and skill is growing and the fans are the greatest winners". But I do know that you absolutely DO NOT want to miss this.

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