Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Profiting from Isaiah

Villanova beats George Mason on Isaiah Armwood's first basket of his college career, but Penn State loses to UNC-Wilmington and La Salle falls to South Carolina.

Profiting from Isaiah

Updated after the La Salle-South Carolina game. See below.

WASHINGTON - Let me start by saying that I missed both the Villanova and Penn State games this afternoon. I had the nerve to step away from sports for a few hours. Apologies for that.

But I followed the Wildcats' 69-68 win on Twitter, and most of the talk from people here in D.C. was about how George Mason blew it. It seems to me that Isaiah Armwood deserves quite a bit of credit for that three-pointer, but the Patriots missed four of eight free throws in the final 1:16. They were also playing zone when Armwood scored.

Looking at the box score, it's clear that the Wildcats did not have it together on offense today the way they did against Penn. Scottie Reynolds was 6-14 from the field, Corey Fisher was 1-12 and Maalik Wayns was 3-10.

As a team, 'Nova only made seven of 23 field goal attempts in the first half, and would have trailed by more than nine points at halftime had Corey Fisher not made 10 of 12 free throws.

The second half wasn't much better, but George Mason was even worse. The Patriots were 7-19 from the field and 1-6 from beyond the arc after halftime, and then came those late missed free throws.

Reynolds finished with 18 and Fisher with 16, and Antonio Pena tallied 10 points and 12 rebounds. Ryan Pearson led George Mason with 14 points and 8 boards.

But you know what? Let's give Armwood the Line of the Game. His game-winning three was his first basket as a college player, and he even added a blocked shot in four minutes on the floor.

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
I. Armwood
4
1-1
0-0
1-1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
4
3

The Wildcats will play Dayton tomorrow in the second round of the Puerto Rico Shootout.

That will be a tremendous game and very much worth watching if you can get to a TV.Penn State, on the other hand, had no such luck at the Charleston Classic. The Nittany Lions also had a poor shooting day, but UNC-Wilmington hit 10 of 16 threes and shot 57.4 percent from the field on the whole (27-47) en route to an 80-69 win.

I don't generally like giving Line of the Game honors from players on the losing team, but it's impossible to ignore what Talor Battle did this afternoon. UNC-Wilmington's Chris Tomko had 21 points on 6-9 shooting, including 4-5 from beyond the arc, but Battle did more across the board:

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
T. Battle
40
8-23
11-12
2-9
4
4
8
1
1
1
0
3
22
29

The Seahawks will face Miami in the second round, while Penn State will play Tulane in a consolation game.

I also watched part of the La Salle-South Carolina game, which was part of the same Charleston tournament as Penn State vs. UNC-Wilmington. Specifically, I watched the part of the second half where the Gamecocks pushed their lead from four points to 20 en route to a 78-68 win.

If you didn't see it, we have a nice play-by-play summary right here on Philly.com.

What's the Spectacle of the Week?
Ohio State at Michigan (12:00 p.m., ABC)
Kent State at Temple (1:00 p.m.)
Penn State at Michigan State (3:30 p.m., ABC)
Delaware at Villanova (3:30 p.m., Comcast Network)
California at Stanford (7:30 p.m., Versus)
Oregon at Arizona (8:00 p.m., ABC)

The Explorers led by as many as seven points with 3:16 left in the first half, but only got one Rodney Green layup between that point and halftime.

The score was 40-36 South Carolina at halftime, and La Salle stayed stuck on 36 points until a Rodney Green layup with 17:31 left in the half. Yves Mekono-Mbala's jumper made it 46-40 to the Gamecocks with 16:06 left. But by the time the Explorers got to 51 with 8:59 remaning, South Carolina had 64. That was pretty well it.

For the game, La Salle shot 48.1 percent from the field and South Carolina shot 50.8 percent. So the Explorers' defense still appears to not be there yet.

Consider the splits by half as well. La Salle shot 51.9 percent from the field in the first half and 44.4 percent in the second. But consider this too: the Explorers attempted 27 shots in each half, making 14 in the first and 12 in the second. Not much of a difference.

South Carolina also made 14 field goals in the first half, on 31 attempts (45.2%). The Gamecocks were 17-30 in the seccond half, though (56.7%), and there's the margin.

Rodney Green scored 23 points for the Explorers and Jerrell Williams added 11, but Aaric Murray scored only four points and picked up four fouls. But he did have seven rebounds and four blocks.

Line of the game goes to South Carolina's Dominique Archie, who was his team's leading scorer and one of four Gamecocks in double figures:

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
D. Archie
31
7-14
3-3
0-2
3
4
7
2
2
4
1
1
18
17

La Salle will play Davidson in the consolation round, while South Carolina will play South Florida. The Bulls beat the Wildcats, 65-58, with a 40.8 to 36.7 percent edge in field goal shooting. I'm a bit surprised that USF won that game, but the Big East can now boast of its teams having a combined 35-0 record to start the season.


We turn now to football and another weekend full of dud games. But there are a few good rivalries to consider, so we have a decent Spectacle of the Week poll. You already saw it, so go ahead and vote.

The weekly Top 10 chart is below. I find it interesting that Jeff Sagarin has TCU at No. 3 and Oregon above Boise State.

Do you think the Broncos will make it into the BCS?

Rank
AP
Coaches
Sagarin
Harris
BCS
1.
Florida
Florida
Alabama
Florida
Florida
2.
Alabama
Texas
Florida
Texas
Alabama
3.
Texas
Alabama
TCU
Alabama
Texas
4.
TCU
TCU
Texas
TCU
TCU
5.
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
Cincinnati
6.
Boise State
Boise State
Oregon
Boise State
Boise State
7.
Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech
8.
Pittsburgh
Ohio State
Boise State
Ohio State
LSU
9.
Ohio State
Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh
10.
LSU
LSU
LSU
LSU
Ohio State

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected