Purdue, the Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion, captured the NCAA title with a 62-45 victory over Duke in San Jose, Calif., on March 28, 1999. The Boilermakers finished the season with a 34-1 record, a 32-game win streak, a No. 1 ranking, and as the conference's first-ever women's basketball national champion.
Stephanie White, who left the national championship game with four minutes remaining due to a severely sprained ankle, played a key role throughout the year, being named Big Ten Player of the Year, Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, GTE Academic All-American of the Year, and first-team All-American. She also took home the Wade Trophy and Honda Award as the nation's top player, while her coach, Carolyn Peck, was named both the Big Ten and National Coach of the Year.
Despite White's injury late in the national championship final, the Boilermakers stopped the Blue Devils and held them scoreless over the final minutes of play. Purdue's Ukari Figgs finished the final contest of her collegiate career with a game-high 18 points, all in the second half, while White tallied 12 before leaving the game. Sophomores Camille Cooper and Katie Douglas both registered 13 points in the historic victory.
Purdue, which beat defending three-time national champion Tennessee in its season opener, finished the 1998-99 campaign as the nation's best team. The win also put a happy end to Peck's brief but successful tenure in West Lafayette. After just two seasons with the Boilermakers, Peck left to become coach and general manager of the WNBA's Orlando Miracle.
Boilermaker senior Stephanie White