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Penn State suffers first setback to Duke|
By Brad Stratton|
Note: The following stories are the most recent wire transmissions from SportsTicker and other ESPN.com sources. Versions of some of these stories appear elsewhere on the service.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania (U-WIRE) -- After dominating performances against Maryland and St. Joseph's, the Penn State women's basketball team struggled in a loss Sunday against Duke to close out its Thanksgiving break.
The No. 9 Lady Lions spent the break on the road, winning at Maryland 91-60 Tuesday night, before defeating St. Joseph's 96-64 Saturday night in the first round of the Duke Women's Basketball Ronald McDonald Classic.
But the following day, the Lions were handed their first loss of the year, falling 63-49, at the hands of Duke in the tournament's championship game.
For the Lions (3-1), the key to the two wins was balance. Five players and four starters scored in double figures against the Terrapins, while all five scorers accomplished the feat against St. Joseph's.
Against Maryland, center Andrea Garner, forward Maren Walseth, guard Lisa Shepherd, guard Katrena Carr and forward Rashana Barnes all scored 10 points or more.
Shepherd scored a career-high 31 points against St. Joseph's, as she, Garner, Carr, Walseth and guard Helen Darling all scored in double figures against St. Joseph's.
Maryland (3-1) opened Tuesday night's game, staying close with Penn State, hanging in the contest until the Lions took off on a 21-4 run late in the first half and led 48-27 at intermission.
Garner led all scorers with 16 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes, The Lions would shoot 52 percent from the floor and out-rebounded the Terrapins, 52-35.
On Saturday against the Hawks (2-1), Penn State connected on 11 of 16 3-point attempts, with Shepherd making six of those buckets from behind the arc.
In addition to her accuracy from the floor, Shepherd converted seven of eight free throws and grabbed five rebounds. Her previous career-high was Jan. 22 in a 28-point performance at Illinois.
But the Lions' performances against St. Joseph's and Duke were like night and day.
Penn State looked to win the tournament Sunday against the Blue Devils, but stumbled early in the game, connecting on only one of its first 12 shots. Overall, the Lions would convert on 27.3 percent of its shots from the floor
Despite their shooting woes, the Lions had a 17-14 lead with 5:40 remaining in the first half. But a 10-0 run by Duke gave the Devils a lead they would never relinquish.
Trailing 28-23 at halftime, the Lions hoped to come back in the second half. Instead, Penn State watched Duke's lead increase, as it was outscored 35-26 in the second stanza.
An obvious omission from the Lions' game lay against the Blue Devils was the balance from the two previous games. Garner led the Lions with 12 points and Walseth rounded out their double-digit scorers with 10 points.
With the win, Duke secured its eighth consecutive classic title and 10th in school history.
The Lions return home this week as they host St. Francis at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night in The Bryce Jordan Center.