Philly March Madness: (9) Wilbert Montgomery vs. (8) Jeff Carter

Philly March Madness: (9) Wilbert Montgomery vs. (8) Jeff Carter

Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition. Examine the cases of the two fine Philadelphia athletes below, and cast your vote at the bottom as to which you think should advance to the next round. And as always, feel free to explain your selection and/or debate the choices in the comments section.


(9) Wilbert Montgomery

Part of the allure of growing up a Philadelphia sports fan is hearing the tales about the guys your dad was mesmerized by back in the day. Wilbert Montgomery was my dad's favorite Eagle, and for good reason. In perhaps the biggest Eagles win ever outside of the 1960 season, Wilbert ran for 194 yards while helping the Birds beat the hated Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship in 1980. And he did it on the home turf at Veterans Stadium in front of rabid fans that would remember it forever -- my dad included. "It was colder than hell, I had an army rain coat that went down to my shins. We got cardboard and put it under our feet to keep the cold away. We were standing behind the 300 level. When Montgomery ran up the middle for a touchdown, it was just unbelievable, the Vet went wild. We forgot about the cold real quick," my dad remembers with a smile.

Montgomery played eight seasons in Philadelphia and was an All-Pro twice. Wilbert was a quiet guy who put his team first. He still holds the team career rushing record with 6,538 yards and the single season rushing record with 1,512 yards in 1979. "When Wilbert is healthy, he is the finest player in the game," quarterback Ron Jaworski said of Montgomery. "Some backs might run better, some might catch a little better, but no one does everything as well as he does." Wilbert was traded on the downside of his career after the 1984 season for Garry Cobb and later won a Super Bowl as a part of Dick Vermeil's Rams coaching staff in 2000.

 
(8) Jeff Carter

Drafted 11th overall in the first round of the 2003 entry draft, ahead of teammate Mike Richards (24th), Jeff Carter is a guy who feels like he's been wearing orange and black forever. In reality, he's in his sixth season with the Flyers and is a scoring threat every time he's on the ice. He came into the league with tremendous pedigree, including All-Star-caliber play in the OHL and tremendous showings representing Canada in World Junior competition. Carter is currently in his fourth straight season with 29 or more goals, including 46 in 08-09. A seemingly unassuming guy, his game can get big in a hurry, whether it's with a huge hit or, more often, a goal. Carts has one of the best wrist shots in the game and showed heart while battling through injury on the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 00-10, scoring 5 goals in 12 playoff games. Carter and Richards led the Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup in 2005, and their fates continue to be linked, with each signed to the Flyers for the rest of the decade.

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Penn State blasted at home by red-hot George Mason

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Penn State blasted at home by red-hot George Mason

BOX SCORE

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The cheers reverberating from George Mason's locker room came from players experiencing their hottest streak in years. The quiet from Penn State's mirrored the whimper of the Nittany Lions in the second half as their run was snapped.

Marquise Moore scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, Otis Livingston added 18 points and the Patriots beat Penn State 85-66 for their sixth straight win and best stretch since 2011-12 on Wednesday.

"It was a great win for our team, really proud of our guys," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen said. "We really, really competed with toughness in the second half, especially I think our second-half defense was really good."

Jalen Jenkins added 15 points for the Patriots (7-3) who snapped Penn State's four-game winning streak.

Penn State led 38-37 after a wild first half that featured 12 lead changes. But the Raiders took control starting with Livingston's 3-pointer that made it 42-40 early in the second. They dominated from there, leading for the remaining 18:58 and outrebounded the Nittany Lions 44-29, outscored them 44-16 in the paint and held a speedy Penn State team to just two fastbreak points.

"We looked young tonight for whatever reason," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We have to figure that out. We have to play much harder."

Payton Banks led Penn State (6-4) with 21 points. Shep Garner and Lamar Stevens chipped in 13 apiece for the Nittany Lions.

The big picture
George Mason: The Patriots are on a roll and keeping pace in a competitive Atlantic 10 conference that had five teams with six wins entering the night. They seem to have flipped a switch following a 93-65 loss to Houston on Nov. 21 and haven't lost since.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions had been winning despite deficiencies in a few areas while making up for them in others over the last four games. They weren't able to make up for their lack of production in the paint, however.

Guards on the glass
Paulsen was wary of the size advantage Penn State's forwards had heading in. The Patriots didn't start anyone over 6-foot-7 while Penn State boasted a trio of forwards at or taller than that. Paulsen was particularly concerned about 6-foot-9 Mike Watkins who was fresh off his best game where he blocked 12 shots against Wright State.

But the George Mason coach had faith in his guards' ability to attack the net and win those rebounds. Moore entered the game as the country's top rebounding guard with 10 per game and posted his sixth double-double of the season.

"We have some pretty good rebounding guards," Paulsen said. "So you can't do it unless you have really active, rebounding guards."

Veteran responsibility
Penn State's gotten big time contributions from a handful of freshmen and started three as usual. But it was one of the veterans who shouldered blame afterward.

Banks was dejected after the game and pointed the finger at himself. Despite leading the team in points, he wasn't able to help on the glass.

"A lot of it just starts with me right here," Banks said. "I had zero rebounds. We can't rely on Lamar (Miller) and Mike for the scoring load and Julian (Moore). Our guards have to rebound and that's what we lacked this game and it definitely showed on the scoreboard."

Up next
George Mason plays at Penn on Saturday and has three of their final five games in 2016 at home.

Penn State plays Pittsburgh in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday and has another on the road before closing out 2016 with a pair of games at home, including the Big Ten opener on Dec. 27.

Instant Replay: George Washington 66, Temple 63

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Instant Replay: George Washington 66, Temple 63

BOX SCORE

With one second on the shot clock, George Washington forward Tyler Cavanaugh let a three-point shot fly from the corner right in front of his bench.

Cavanaugh’s shot hit the bottom of the net to give the Colonials a three-point lead with 8.2 seconds left. Moments later, Temple redshirt senior swingman Daniel Dingle’s open look at a game-tying shot hit off the back of the rim, and George Washington handed the Owls a 66-63 loss on Wednesday at the Liacouras Center.

Temple (6-3) came into the game on a five-game winning streak but looked sluggish from the start. The Owls scored just five points in the game’s first six minutes, 34 seconds.

Temple went into halftime down, 31-25, and trailed George Washington (6-4) by as many as 15 points in the second half. Senior guard Josh Brown hit two threes late in the second half to bring Temple within six. Dingle hit two more to tie the game at 61-61 with 2:44 left. 

Two Cavanaugh free throws followed by a jumper from Temple sophomore guard Shizz Alston Jr. then tied the game at 63-63 with 39.1 seconds left.

The Owls played the game’s final moments without junior forward Obi Enechionyia, who fouled out with 3:41 left.

Enechionyia cooling off
Enechionyia was held in check for the second game in a row. He scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds but made only one basket in the second half.

The junior went 5 of 17 for 12 points against Penn on Saturday. He scored 20-plus points in five of Temple’s first seven games.

Inside the box score
• Colonials guard Jordan Roland came into the game averaging 4.3 points per game. Roland scored 14 points on Wednesday.

• Brown, who played his first game of the season last Wednesday against St. Joe’s, played a season-high 24 minutes. He played a combined 25 minutes in his first two contests.

• George Washington outrebounded Temple, 37-23. The Colonials had 18 turnovers compared to nine for Temple.

Up next
Temple plays DePaul in the Miami Hoophall Invitational on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.