Baylor Beats Notre Dame To Win NCAA Women's Basketball Championship

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It will be the first championship game since 2012 when both coaches - McGraw and Baylor's Kim Mulkey - are women.

The Notre Dame team celebrates at the end of the team's 81-76 win over CT during a Final Four semifinal of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament Friday, April 5, 2019, in Tampa, Fla.

Chloe Jackson leads Baylor with a 26-point game, including two clutch baskets late to win the game.

The national championship trophy was placed on a table on the stage between Baylor's two Big 12 trophies from this season, one for their 10th consecutive regular-season title and the other for another conference tournament title. Notre Dame closed down the stretch behind its senior shooting Arike Ogunbowale, who past year won both a national semifinal and the national title with buzzer beaters and who led all scorers with 31 points in her final college game. She made the second, despite trying to miss.

Sunday evening will be a completely different task for the Irish as they look to win back-to-back titles for the first time in program history.

It was a special event, and it was like that even before Baylor beat OR and Notre Dame outlasted UConn on Friday night. The Bears were able to melt away the remaining time. A game with an unprecedented level of history between the two teams and a fourth-quarter comeback?

"I'm one of the leaders of this team, so (I came back) just to have my voice there, to tell them that I'm still OK", Cox said to ESPN.

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As the jubilation overcame the dark moment of the injury, Cox added another high to the experience, making it up the ladder to take her turn during the celebratory cutting down of the net. The coach held back those tears as much as she could until the game ended.

"Lauren Cox! My God, she's the heart and soul of our team", Mulkey said. "I'm emotional for a lot of reasons, but mostly for Lauren Cox, and I'm so happy". What would these teams do for an encore after last year's instant classic? "Those kids give me everything they have, and sometimes life doesn't seem fair". Against Oregon on Friday, she had 21 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists. "You go back to Arizona State, against UConn, she came in and helped us win", Messer said.

Cox had eight points and eight rebounds before leaving the game.

Jackson, a graduate transfer who previously played at LSU and had never played the point guard position until she got to Baylor, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.

Coach Mulkey with @SportSiren following the National Championship. Especially after losing one grandchild, Mulkey says of Kannon, "You bet I'm going to hang onto him". Brianna Turner contributed 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Jessica Shepard scored 20 and pulled down 13 rebounds. But those substitutions usually come when one of those players are in foul trouble or need a breather, not when one of them had just suffered a game-ending injury.

The Lady Bears thrive on their post players and defensive play, and those two factors will put them over the top.

The margin reached 17 when Jackson converted a jumper with 6:38 left in the second quarter to make it 33-16.

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