YOUR BAYLOR LADY BEARS ARE THE 2019 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
The first quarter saw Baylor breakout to an early lead, getting it up to 11 by the end of the quarter. The Lady Bears defense did an excellent job of keeping Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale in check. Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown didn’t score much, but the supporting cast did an excellent job of picking up the slack.
Baylor held serve with the lead in the second quarter. Ogunbowale started scoring more, but Baylor got the lead up to as much as 14 points. The lead rested at 12 by the end of the half.
The third quarter kept going back and forth, with Notre Dame cutting the lead and then Baylor bringing it back up into double digits. However, the key storyline of the third came late when Cox suffered an apparently serious leg injury that left her unable to stand on her own. Ogunbowale also hit a buzzer beater 3 at the end of the quarter to bring it within 11.
Things started collapsing quickly in the fourth. Without Cox, Baylor’s defense started falling apart and the offense couldn’t get much going. Notre Dame cut the lead to 3 with over 8:30 left to play. Suddenly, both teams caught fire and started exchanging jumpers in the middle parts of the 4th. Notre Dame started lighting it up from 3 and the game got tied up at 74-74 with just over 5 minutes. Notre Dame took a one point lead with just over 3 minutes. Baylor got back up by one off a Brown bucket with 2 and a half left. Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith fouled out with 47 seconds left and Notre Dame hit one of two free throws to tie the game. Jackson hit a huge jumper with 35 seconds to put Baylor back up 2 points. Brown fouled Notre Dame’s Jessica Shepard with 16 seconds left. Shepard hit both free throws to tie it up at 80. Jackson got a HUGE layup in Baylor’s last full possession to put Baylor back up by two with under 4 seconds left. Ognubowale was fouled with 1.9 seconds and had two free throw opportunities. She missed the front end and, in an ill-advised move, made the second free throw. Baylor was able to inbound the ball twice to run the clock completely out and win by one point.
SIC ‘EM NATIONAL CHAMPION LADY BEARS! SIC ‘EM THREE TIME CHAMPION COACH KIM MULKEY.