FARGO, N.D.--For a few cherished moments late on the afternoon of March 23, 1996, life in the world of North Dakota State women's basketball was perfect. It doesn't just happen in the movies.
The film “Fargo” debuted earlier in the week. The real show, with real characters and real emotions, was at the Bison Sports Arena. There is no way Jen Rademacher could have written a better ending to her career.
Her last shot was a 3-point field goal. Swish. It gave the Bison 100 points. It was the toast of 6,534 fans. It was part of a 104-78 celebration over an outmatched Shippensburg University that gave NDSU the 1996 NCAA Division II women's basketball tournament title.
In finishing 30-2, the Bison claimed their fourth national championship and fifth in six years. Their 104 points set an NCAA championship game record, eclipsing last year's 98 against Portland State.
“Highlights,” Rademacher said, in repeating a question. “There are four.” Rademacher and senior Lori Roufs each won their fourth NCAA ring, something that can only be duplicated.
Their last game, however, will never be replicated.
Roufs led all scorers with 28 points and all rebounders with 10. Rademacher hit 7 of 8 field goals and finished with 15 points.
NDSU had a 57-percent accuracy against a man-to-man defense. The Lady Raiders, then, started the second half with a zone. Birch and Lang promptly drilled NDSU's first 3-point field goal attempts of the game for a 63-35 advantage.
In short, it was a dominating performance.
For the second straight year, Morlock of NDSU was named most valuable player of the tournament. In three games, she scored 54 points and grabbed 22 rebounds.
Joining Morlock on the all-tournament team were Lori Roufs and Jen Rademacher of NDSU, Jennifer Clarkson and Caroline Omamo of Abilene Christian, and Shippensburg's Spencer.