Originally created 03/20/00

Penn State topples Auburn

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Lisa Shepherd had 19 points, including five 3-pointers in her second big tournament game in a row, as No. 6 Penn State defeated No. 16 Auburn 75-69 Sunday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

Maren Walseth added 17 and Andrea Garner and Helen Darling had 15 points each for the Lady Lions (28-4), who waved and hugged at center court as they improved to 15-0 at home. They move to the regional semifinals, which will be held in Kansas City, for the first time in four years.

Shepherd had 18 for the Lions in their first-round victory Friday over Youngstown State.

Tasha Hamilton had 19 and Lori Nero 16 for Auburn (22-8), which has lost in the second round for the third time in a row.

With Penn State clinging to a 64-62 lead with under two minutes to play, Auburn missed five straight shots.

The Lions' Walseth grabbed two misses, was fouled and made one of two shots. Then Andrea Garner was fouled with two seconds on the shot clock, and made both shots to put Penn State ahead 67-62 with a minute to play. The Lions went 8-of-8 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.

The Lions beat Auburn for the second time this season, but for the first time in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers had knocked Penn State out in 1996 and 1988.

The Tigers rallied from a six-point deficit midway through the second half. Working the ball around, they got a basket from each of the five players on the court during a 13-0 spurt to go ahead 54-47. Hamilton capped the run with a strong basket inside and screamed, high-stepping up the lane in celebration.

But with 12:26 to play, Hamilton picked up her fourth personal foul, and Auburn couldn't open a bigger lead.

The Tigers struggled all game with Penn State's half-court press and had 16 turnovers.

Penn State jumped out to an 11-2 lead, then started hitting 3-pointers. Shepherd hit four and Chrissy Falcone added three more as the Lions went 7 of 11 from 3-point range in the first half. But Auburn shot 52 percent to stay within 40-37 at halftime.

Darling had nine assists for the Lions. Garner had 14 rebounds, tying a career high.


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