UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. — STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Everyone knew what was supposed to happen when top-ranked Penn State had the ball with 19 seconds left and a chance to win or tie the game.
Even James Madison.
But when Jeanine Michealsen blocked Tanya Garner's three-point shot at the buzzer, no one was more surprised than James Madison's women's basketball team, which advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Association East Regional semifinals with a 73-71 victory yesterday.
It was the first time in the 10 years of NCAA women's nTC tournaments that a No. 1 team lost in its first playoff game.
"The buzzer goes off and I'm standing there, and I realize we've won," forward Vicki Harris said, dropping her mouth open to show disbelief.
The Dukes (26-4) trailed 11-0 in the game's first 4 1/2 minutes and were down 41-29 at halftime before storming back. They outscored Penn State 18-6 in the first seven minutes of the second half -- while Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Susan Robinson was on the bench with three fouls -- to tie the game at 47.
Penn State (29-2) was the top seed in the East Regional and playing on its home court.
"I am stunned and very disappointed. All of us can point out what went wrong," Penn State coach Rene Portland said, referring to the shorter Dukes out-rebounding the Lady Lions and 19 seconds of confusion at the end of the game.
"The girls knew what play to run, but didn't know we just had 19 seconds left," Portland said. "At the time of the panic, they didn't have the frame of mind to call a timeout."
Garner dribbled the time away, looking for a shot inside but settling for a 21-foot attempt at the buzzer.
"I tried to penetrate, and when I looked back up there were only four seconds left," she said.
She dribbled to the right and at the buzzer shot right into Michealsen's outstretched arms.
James Madison found the Penn State confusion uncharacteristic.
"I was confused. I didn't know who to guard. I believed they were either going to set a pick for Robinson or Tanya would go inside and shoot it. It never happened," Harris said.
James Madison, which defeated Kentucky in a first-round game Wednesday night, took a 62-54 lead on back-to-back short jumpers by Michealsen. Penn State could only manage to tie the game at 65 and 67 on Robinson's eight-foot jumper and Garner's layup.
Garner scored 24 points for Penn State. Harris had 18 points to lead JMU.
Michealsen put James Madison up for good on a tip-in with three minutes left. Brandy Cruthird's layup put the Dukes up by four points a minute later.
In the game's final minute, Garner hit a layup to cut James Madison's lead to 73-71. After rebounding a James Madison miss with 20 seconds left, Garner ran down the clock until firing a three-point attempt from the right wing. Michealsen, three inches taller than Penn State's 5-foot-7 guard, blocked it cleanly as time expired.
Paula Schuler added 13 points for James Madison, while Michealsen and Cruthird had 11 apiece.
Kathy Phillips had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Penn State. Dana Eikenberg added 12 points and Robinson 10.
N.C. State 94, GW 83
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rhonda Mapp scored 27 and Andrea Stinson added 20, as second-seeded North Carolina State defeated George Washington in a second-round game of the East Regional.
The Wolfpack (27-5) had a 17-2 run early in the first half put away the Colonials. Stinson scored six points in the run to give N.C. State a 24-10 edge at the 12:40 mark.
Finishing the half with a 17-7 run, N.C. State took a 53-35 lead. Successive baskets by Sharon Manning to start the second half extended the lead to 57-35 with 18:51 to play.
George Washington (23-7) battled back to within 89-79 behind Anne Riley, who scored seven points in a 15-6 spurt. Kristin McArdle capped the run with her first career three-pointer with 1:34 left. The Wolfpack held off the threat by hitting five free throws in six attempts in the next 23 seconds.
Sharon Manning and Jenny Kuziemski added 12 points each for N.C. State. The Wolfpack also set a second-round record for free throws, hitting 28 of 37 attempts to break the mark of 24 set by Rutgers in a second-round game against Duke in 1987.
L Mapp and Manning also had 13 rebounds apiece for N.C. State.
McArdle scored a career-high 22 points to lead George Washington. Mary K. Nordling had 20, Riley scored 14 and
Jennifer Shasky 11 for the Colonials.
Arkansas 105, N'western 68
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Amber Nicholas and Delmonica DeHorney sparked a 25-4 first-half run that carried ninth-ranked Arkansas over Northwestern in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
The Lady Razorbacks, the No. 3 seed in the Midwest, were down, 30-26, when the run began. They led by 15 at the half and by 75-45 on a free throw by Nicholas with less than 13 minutes remaining.
Nicholas, the smallest player on the court, at 5-5, finished the spurt with a three-pointer and a three-point play during a 19-second period. Those points put the Lady Razorbacks up, 51-34, with 14 seconds left in the half.
DeHorney, the Lady Razorbacks' leading scorer and two-time Southwest Conference Player of the Year, managed only two free throws in the first 14 minutes of the half but scored 11 points during the run. Nicholas finished the half with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds.
DeHorney led all scorers with 31 points and Nicholas had 23. Donna Groh led Northwestern with 15 points and Heather Ertel added 13.
Tenn. 55, SW Missouri St. 47
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Daedra Charles had 25 points, 22 rebounds and five blocked shots in leading top-seeded Tennessee over Southwest Missouri State in the second round of the NCAA women's Mideast Regional.
Tennessee (26-5) advances to meet the winner of the game between Western Kentucky and Florida State. The Lady Bears (26-5) bowed out of their first NCAA tournament after setting a school record for victories in a season.