N. Dakota St. 98, Portland St. 85
FARGO, N.D. (AP) _ North Dakota State, behind Lori Roufs’ 23 points, won its fourth national championship and became the first NCAA Division II women’s team to go undefeated in a season, beating Portland State 98-85 Saturday.
NDSU is the first Division II women’s team to win three straight national titles and has won four of the last five. The Bison finished the season with a 32-0 record and extended their winning streak to 41 dating back to last year.
Portland State (26-6), was led by Kim Manifesto’s game-high 27 points.
Playing before a record women’s Division II championship game crowd of 7,138 on its home court, NDSU used a strong inside game that outrebounded the Portland’s Vikings 34-24, including 15-5 on the offensive boards.
Portland State outshot the Bison from the floor, 63 percent to 51 percent, but NDSU compensated from the free throw line, making 27 of 29. Portland was 12 of 16 from the line.
Roufs, a 6-foot junior, was 9 of 9 from the line and had five rebounds.
Jenni Rademacher added 17 points, Kasey Morlock 15, Lynette Mund 15, Rhonda Birch 11 and Linda Davis 10 for NDSU.
Kristi Smith had 24 points, and Katie Rose 17 for the Vikings.
NDSU led 42-35 at the half, thanks to 13 first-half points by Roufs and 10 from Rademacher.
Portland’s only lead during the game was 4-2 during the first two minutes. The Bison went on a 12-2 run to go up 15-6 at the 15:37 mark, with Roufs accounting for 8 of the points.
The Vikings pulled to within 3 points several times before the Bison reeled off 7 unanswered points for a 39-29 lead on Rademacher’s steal and layup with 3:33 left in the half.
Portland outscored the Bison 6-3 in the last 2:20 of the half.
The Vikings could get no closer than 5 points early in the second half on a basket by Manifesto. NDSU was up by at least 10 over the last seven minutes of the game.