5:00 PM ET, December 2, 2007
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Janessa Wolf watched in amazement as teammate Brianne O'Rourke raced down court with the ball with 8 seconds left.O'Rourke drove into the paint and drew Wolf's defender, leaving the forward wide open for the easy game-winning bucket with 0.3 seconds left in the Lady Lions' thrilling 86-84 upset of Duke (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge."I honestly don't know how Brianne got it down the court," Wolf said with a smile. "I said a quick prayer and put it up there."Wolf could breathe easy after a desperation foul-line jumper by Duke's Karina Christmas fell well short. The rebuilding Lady Lions (6-2) secured the biggest win in first-year coach Coquese Washington's young career and handed Duke (5-3) its first three-game losing streak since the 1996-97 season.The win also snapped Duke's 76-game winning streak against unranked opponents, dating back to 2004.O'Rourke played an integral role after scoring 23 points, going 15-of-15 from the foul line and setting up the game-winning bucket. Mashea Williams added 22 points and went 8-for-8 from the foul line."Bad defense, horrific defense," Duke coach Joanne McCallie said when asked about the play.Christmas had just scored four straight points to tie the game at 84 but missed a chance to give Duke the lead after missing a foul shot with 8 seconds left. Penn State secured the rebound and called timeout.In the huddle, Washington warned her team to watch for Duke to press on the ensuing inbounds.But the Blue Devils did not, and Washington said the team looked over to her briefly with a mystified look."They just said. 'Well what do we do," Washington said. "I said, 'Well, go!"O'Rourke listened, driving the length of the court into the lane before finding Wolf.The Lady Lions couldn't stop smiling after the final buzzer sounded as fans roared their approval. It's the type of win that had been in commonplace at Penn State until three years ago, when the program struggled in the final seasons of longtime coach Rene Portland's tenure."For this group of players, this is a big confidence-booster for them," Washington said.The ACC still won the inaugural Challenge tournament with the Big Ten, 8-3.Duke nearly made it nine wins after storming back from an early 15-point deficit. They trailed by 11 at the half before Chante Black and Abby Waner led a second-half charge.Waner finished with 23 points and shot 6-of-9 from 3-point range, while Black had 21 points and dominated the paint. Christmas added 10 points for Duke.Christmas nearly got the Blue Devils back on top in the game's waning seconds.Two free throws by O'Rourke gave Penn State an 84-80 lead with 22 seconds left. Christmas responded with a quick layup. She scored again and was fouled by Tyra Grant after a backcourt steal off Grant by Black.But Christmas missed the free throw and Duke fell short. One of the game's top programs was left stunned after another loss."It was a very entertaining game, obviously," McCallie said. "Lot of offense, not much defense."At least Duke gets to go home following five straight contests away from home. They won their first two games at the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands over Thanksgiving weekend before getting blown out by Connecticut in the final.Duke lost at Vanderbilt last Wednesday before falling to Penn State. They have been beset by injuries to several players including Wanisha Smith (fractured right hand), who didn't play Sunday.Waner is back at full strength following a high left ankle sprain on Nov. 13, but her solid play Sunday still wasn't enough for Duke.McCallie vowed the Blue Devils would get better."We'll be a team to check back with in a little bit as we get healthy," she said.
|FG Made-Attempted||34-70 (.486)||27-50 (.540)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-17 (.529)||4-9 (.444)|
|FT Made-Attempted||7-10 (.700)||28-30 (.933)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||26 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|