TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Baylor recovered after blowing a 17-point lead and losing a star player, beating Notre Dame 82-81 for the NCAA women’s basketball championship Sunday night when 2018 tournament hero Arike Ogunbowale missed a foul shot in the final seconds.
Chloe Jackson made a layup to put Baylor ahead with 3.9 seconds left. Notre Dame called timeout and inbounded to Ogunbowale, whose buzzer-beating jumper in the championship game lifted Notre Dame to last year’s title. Ogunbowale was fouled trying for a layup, then missed the first of two free throws. She made the second, but the Irish never got the ball back.
The Lady Bears (37-1) won their first championship in seven years.
Baylor was able to pull off the win without star forward Lauren Cox, who injured her knee late in the third quarter. The Irish were able to rally from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to tie the game at 78.