CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.--Sophomore Jody Buck's 7-of-9 field goal shooting headed a patient offense that led North Dakota State University to an 81-74 victory over Southeast Missouri State University for the NCAA Division II women's basketball title on March 23, 1991.
Buck's 19 points led five North Dakota State players in double figures. The Bison led 38-34 at halftime, then wrestled away the lead for good at 50-49 on Susan Faus' three-point play with 12:13 remaining.
North Dakota State shot 59 percent in the final half and 54 percent overall to conclude a 31-2 season--setting school records for most victories and best winning percentage (.939).
Southeast Missouri, playing on its homecourt and in front of 7,064 fans, finished 31-4. The host Otahkians brought a hefty 21-game winning streak into the championship contest.
“We went through a lot of challenges and accepted all of them except for one,” said Southeast coach Ed Arnzen. “They are a great team. They hit the big shots time after time when they had to have it.”
One of the biggest shots was hit by Jill DeVries, who put the Bison up 72-66 with a 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining. A layup by Buck and a DeVries free throw made the score 75-66 with 2:05 left. Southeast got no closer than five points in the final five minutes.
Southeast Missouri led three times in the final half, but was unable to match North Dakota State's ball-handling and half-court offense. SE Missouri's biggest of three leads was 49-45 on Stephanie Holland's two free throws before North Dakota State rebounded.
“I had a good feeling that we needed to play defense in a zone tonight,” said Bison head coach Amy Ruley. “It took them out of their game.”
Nadine Schmidt, the tourney's MVP, had 13 points and seven rebounds for NDSU. DeVries was selected to the all-tourney team.
Sarita Wesley netted a game-high 26 points for SEMO.