Texas A&M Wins First National Championship


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There was something off about the national championship game Tuesday night- neither Stanford, Connecticut, or Tennessee was playing.

This year the women’s national championship game was being played by a couple of relative newcomers, the Texas A&M Aggies, who had never played in a national title game before, and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

The Irish were not exactly newcomers, but they had not played in the national title game since winning it back in 2001. Another national title was not in the cards for the Irish as the Aggies overcame a two-point halftime deficit to win 76-70 and claim their first national title in school history.

With her team battling to a 35-33 deficit in the first half Adams came out in the second half determined to get her team on top.  She scored on each of her first eight baskets en route to a 22-point half that was not only pivotal in helping the Aggies win their first national title, but helped her earn tournament MVP honors as well

"I knew I had to take over," Adams said. "I knew they couldn't stop me inside.

“Every time we’d get down we were telling each other we’re not going to lose this game. We worked hard all season to prepare for this point. I had to do this for my teammates. They’ve been doing everything for me. I decided to take them on my back and just let them ride on my back.”

Notre Dame extended their first half lead to seven within the first few minutes of the second, but the Aggies were able to chip away at the lead, and tie the game at 48-48 with 13 minutes still to play. Tyra White made a jump shot to give the Aggies the lead, 58-57 with over eight minutes still to play.

The Fighting Irish kept the score close over the remaining minutes of the game, managing to tie it back up at one point, but were unable to get back in the lead.

“We turned it over too much. I don’t know if it was nerves or what,” Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins said. “We just didn’t handle the pressure.”

Tuesday night’s game between the women’s teams had a decidedly different feel to it in comparison to the men’s game played Monday night—the women actually made shots. Texas A&M completed 54.7 percent of their shots to 46.2 percent for Notre Dame.

Butler set a new record low for shooting percentage in a championship game with 18.8 percent. Connecticut made just 34.5 percent of their shots.

The win gave the Aggies their first national title in a major sport since the football team won the national title back in 1939. Women were not admitted to the all-male school until 1963, and it was another 11 years before the women started playing basketball (1974-75 season).

"Nobody asked me this, but I want to go to Disneyworld with my family," Aggies head coach Gary Blair said, "preferably for free."

 

photo credit:  AP

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