NCAA women’s championship: Heroic Chloe Jackson lifts Baylor over Notre Dame

NCAA women’s championship: Heroic Chloe Jackson lifts Baylor over Notre Dame
Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey paces during a practice session ahead of the women's Final Four. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Chloe Jackson hit two big shots in the final 35 seconds, each time giving Baylor the lead and, with the second, the national championship in an 82-81 victory over Notre Dame on Sunday.

The Fighting Irish had a chance to tie in the final seconds after a foul call, but star guard Arike Ogunbowale could only make one of two attempts.

Jackson’s driving layup with six seconds to go put the Bears up two. She also hit a jumper from the free-throw line with 35 seconds left for a two-point lead, which Notre Dame pulled even with on free throws.

Baylor lost star forward Lauren Cox to an apparent knee injury in the second half, then held off a Fighting Irish team that erased an 11-point deficit going into the fourth quarter. Notre Dame had a one-point lead with about two and a half minutes to go.

“Man my teammates and my coaches, they believed in me so much and we had to do it for LC, she got us here, we had to finish the job for her,” Jackson said, referring to Cox.

Jackson led the Bears, who won their third national championship, with 26 points on 13-of-25 shooting. Kalani Brown added 20.

Ogunbowale led Notre Dame with 31 points.

The game was a rematch of the 2012 title game, also won by the Bears.

Notre Dame won the national championship last year.

The game was also the first championship game since 2012 in which both coaches — Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw and Baylor’s Kim Mulkey — were women.

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