No. 6 Penn State loses 1st of year, 69-65 to Miami
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -- For the first time this season, Penn State will have to try to bounce back from a loss.
The No. 6 Lady Lions trailed early before rallying for a lead but could never take control in a 69-65 loss to Miami on Thursday night.
Suriya McGuire's layup with 14 seconds remaining broke a 65-all tie. Alex Bentley had a chance to tie it but her jumper with 5 seconds left bounced off the rim. Miami's Michelle Woods grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
"It's a shot she makes pretty regularly," Penn State coach Coquese Washington said of Bentley's attempt. "I trust her and I trust her decision making. She thought it was the best shot she could get."
Woods made both free throws with 2 seconds remaining to secure the win for Miami.
Penn State (5-1) played at a disadvantage against the Hurricanes (5-1) most of the game. The Lions committed a season-high 29 turnovers, 20 in the first half.
"I thought we were careless and sloppy with the ball the whole game, not just the first half," Washington said. "It might have improved a little bit in the second half but when you give 29 turnovers on the road, it's going to be pretty tough to win the game."
Maggie Lucas scored a game-high 20 points for the Lions and Bentley finished with 14 points.
"There's a lot of basketball left, it's November," Washington said. "Our team will bounce back and play better."
Morgan Stroman scored 15 points and Stefanie Yderstrom finished with 13 points to lead the Hurricanes (5-1).
"I hadn't felt we were meeting our talent level how we were playing this season," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "This is a big moment. This is a big gap we had to close."
Woods' 3-point play with 35 seconds left gave the Hurricanes a 65-62 lead. Woods finished with 11 points.
"This win means a lot," Stroman. "I knew coming in that they were going to be a great team."
Lucas hit a 3 to tie it with 23 seconds remaining.
Bentley's layup with 8:47 remaining in the second half gave the Lions their first lead at 51-49. Lucas' two free throws with 8:22 left increased Penn State's lead to 53-49 and ended a 10-0 run.
Miami responded with a 3-pointer and jumper from Yderstrom and a layup by Stroman in the next 3:01 and retook the lead, 56-53.
Penn State rallied from a 10-point deficit midway through the first half and outscored Miami, 13-4, during a 5:03 stretch.
Bentley's short jumper with 5:35 remaining pulled the Lions to 24-23.
The Lions twice tied it but couldn't overtake Miami in the first half. After Mia Nickson's basket with 2:00 left tied it at 29, the Hurricanes finished the first half on a 7-0 run. Woods' driving layup with 15 seconds remaining ended the surge and gave Miami at 36-29 lead at halftime.
The Hurricanes forced nine Penn State turnovers in the first 4:25 and opened an 8-0 lead. Stroman's two baskets keyed Miami's early surge.
"We were resilient and we did it with our defense," Meier said. "Those two kids, Lucas and Bentley, they had to work for every point they got."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)