In Tampa, Baylor hangs on for thrilling NCAA win

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"Holding a child up here is a heck of a lot more touching than holding one right here that's deceased". Instead, her heroic efforts become just a footnote.

Lauren Cox, the team's All-American junior forward, was on the ground in obvious pain.

"The feeling is unreal", Baylor center Kalani Brown said.

Instead of a dramatic ending for a repeat championship, Notre Dame watched as Baylor celebrate a national championship after an 82-81 victory.


Mulkey was teary-eyed upon winning and also was carrying around a baby. I mean, that was really unfortunate. "They're the defending national champions, can score at all positions, play the zone against us. Everyone was chanting 'Baylor, Baylor, Baylor". "I guess that just explains us".

The Irish certainly did, and much of it was from her own hand. When a reporter asked McGraw about stepping up as an advocate for women in sports, she gave a powerful answer that went so viral it was shared by President Barack Obama on Twitter. From there, the comeback was on.

"It's tough. You can't really do anything about that one", said Ogunbowale, who scored a game-high 31 points. They were making play after play after play for so long.

I felt excitement in anticipation of this great matchup. Perhaps even adding to the shock of Jackson's offensive surge was the fact that two nights ago against OR, she stumbled her way to a 3-of-11 shooting night, not scoring until late in the third quarter.


"[Jackson] was on fire", Mabrey said. I don't think we respected her at first and we paid for it. "She had so many key blocked shots".

For Smith, who finished with 14 points on nine shots, it just represented the completion of the very things she, too, had seen in her mind's eye when she chose Baylor.

Maybe all that is part of why, when Cox went down with a leg injury in the third quarter Sunday, Mulkey admitted she nearly wanted to cry - but composed herself and took charge of her team. "Did we deserve to win?" And she will be back, I promise you that. I don't know what "old school" means. "She feels like she has to carry us because she's the leading scorer", McGraw said. The Irish (35-4), meantime, went 5-for-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch.

As for feeling sorry for herself, Mabrey knows the opportunity was there and the Irish just didn't take it. Jackson capped a 10-point quarter with a driving layup as time expired for a 25-14 Bears lead. "I would have liked Arike to have made the free throw. It will be a little bit tougher now, but we've got to battle, and we did". Mulkey was the pigtailed point guard on that team that won the national championship in the first year of the NCAA era.


For Mulkey, it offered a window into a future when the Bears will be more reliant on Smith, and even once Brown returned, she deployed the three bigs together. "They continue to encourage her and she came alive in the second half". "We kind of knew they were going to come the way they came in the fourth". Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.

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