Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears, who beat Notre Dame 82-81 on Sunday night, returned home from Florida and went directly from the airport to the Ferrell Center to celebrate their third national title with their fans. We are lucky to have you, we are fortunate to have witnessed all these great seniors and we thank you for continuing to make our game absolutely incredible. "I think you're always looking at that one thing you could have done differently to make the difference in the game", McGraw said. Instead, she was fouled and sent to the line, where she made one of two free throws.
In tears during the post-game celebration, Mulkey said she was "emotional from Cox's injury", which was painfully similar to the torn ACL that senior point guard Kristy Wallace suffered previous year "that kept us from getting (to the Final Four)".
Cox, a two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a third-team AP All-American this year, finished with eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes. "Whatever that means. I don't know what "old school" means, I just know how to win". And the way they won in 2018 was breathtaking, with buzzer-beaters by Ogunbowale in the semifinal and championship games against CT and Mississippi State, respectively.
"That kid, if she didn't get hurt, and she will be back, God works in mysterious ways, would have been the No. 1 probably pick in the draft next year", Mulkey said.
Notre Dame opens the 4th quarter on a 19-8 run to tie it at 74???? But unlike her clutch shot to win the championship a year ago, there were no heroics this time.
She said she doesn't know much about her injury but that she'll "get it fixed, whatever it is".
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Cox was taken off the floor in a wheelchair after the injury and came back later on crutches, wearing a brace on her left leg.
"We had to do it for LC", Chloe Jackson, referring to Cox, told reporters after the game.
Ogunbowale scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-27 shooting, while Marina Mabrey added 21. The victor of the title game will move into sole possession of third place on the all-time list behind Geno Auriemma (11) and Pat Summitt (8). One of the biggest upsets in women's NCAA tournament history, to Louisville in the 2013 Sweet 16, when many thought the Lady Bears could repeat. Mulkey's daughter, Makenzie Fuller, had a daughter who was stillborn in November 2017. In 2012, Baylor went 40-0 when Makenzie (Robertson) Fuller was a guard on that title team.
Instead, the Lady Bears were able to run off the final seconds, setting off a celebration that lasted well into the night and carried back to the team hotel for a pep rally to celebrate with a group of students that were busing 20 miles back to Waco.
At various times over the last several years as Baylor's seasons ended in disappointment, Mulkey tried to be philosophical. She did also have nine rebounds and six assists in the loss. "I won't let this define the whole four years".
"We just beat the defending national champions".