For her part, Ogunbowale had 27 points while playing all 45 minutes, as she and Young dictated the pace of Notre Dame's attack.
Friday's game tipped off at 9:53 p.m., about a half hour after Mississippi State earned its spot in the final with an overtime victory over Louisville, and nothing came easy for UConn.
Senior guard and All-American first teamer Victoria Vivians has also averaged 20.25 points for Mississippi State in the tournament, while fellow senior Morgan William, who hit the game-winning buzzer beater to beat UConn in last year's Final Four, has averaged 14 points in the tourney. The Fighting Irish will need to find a way to consistently deal with her size in one-on-one situations, and if they don't, it could force them to send doubles her way. "There are no bad teams".
NOTE: The UMaine women's basketball faced Mississippi State back on December 17th and lost 83-43. And I don't think anybody ever believed me because it just seemed so routine for a while.
"They're a great team, we're a great team", Ogunbowale said.
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Tennessee, an eight-time national champion, has not reached the Final Four since Coach Pat Summitt retired and died from early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Notre Dame senior Kathyrn Westbeld has been the constant for the Irish. "One weekend in March gets to decide your season".
The Huskies entered this year's Final Four 36-0 and were two wins away from winning the 12th national title in program history.
"There's nothing you can say to a college kid after experiencing this two years in a row that's going to make them feel any better about, you know", Auriemma said. No team has come closer than a dozen points against the Huskies since Louisville made it an 11-point loss on February 12.
Collier had 24 points for the Huskies, and go-to playmaker Katie Lou Samuelson had 16 but was limited down the stretch because foul trouble sapped her ability to play with aggression.
"I mean we're going to use this as motivation", Samuelson said. UConn plays Notre Dame in a national semifinal on Friday. Defending the post vs. the Bulldog's TeaIra McCowan, is the biggest key to limiting her touches while also defending on the perimeter as MSU shoots it almost 40 percent beyond the arc.
The teams traded shot for shot in overtime before the Irish led 86-84 with 2:37 left in the extra period. The Cardinals have their own inside player in Myisha Hines-Allen, but she'll have a tough time in the middle against the 6-foot-7 McCowan. As a team, UConn led the nation in offensive and defensive efficiency. "They're really great players".