Sunday at Aronimink: Rose Holds On

Sunday at Aronimink: Rose Holds On

On a blistering hot Sunday in Newtown Square, 54-hole leader Justin Rose fired an even par-70 to win the 2010 AT&T National. Rose, who started the day with a comfortable four shot lead, faced a series of late charges from his trailers. Ryan Moore turned in a -5 par-65 to finish in sole second, forcing Rose to par his last three holes to maintain his position. He did, and claims victory on tour for the second time in his last three starts. The finish vaults him into second in the somewhat meaningless "regular season" FedEx Cup standings. More importantly, his hot play as of late will create a lot of buzz heading into the British Open at St. Andrews in two weeks.

As for the larger event itself, I'm going to go ahead and declare the AT&T National's temporary move to the Delaware Valley a whopping success. The four day attendance figures pulled in just shy of 200,000 with the final tally coming in at 192,633. That number was 1,500 less than the preexisting record held in the Washington D.C./Maryland market at Congressional Country Club, the site of next year's U.S. Open. 

The fans didn't just show up and stand there with their hands in their pockets, however; the crowd was plenty boisterous and lively all week, especially the guys in the very last corporate hospitality tent on the 17th green on Sunday. Nice work, guys. And though it was a little disappointing to see the number of people on the course dwindle noticeably after Tiger finished his morning rounds on the weekend, the sheer number of spectators and the fervor with which they came, watched, and cheered should have the local golf community more than excited for the tournament's return next year and the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion.

If you were for whatever reason unable to make it out to Aronimink this week, I recommend penciling it in on your calendar for next year. Anyone who makes the argument that golf is just too boring to follow should be reminded that Charlie Wi's missed putt on the 18th hole yesterday cost him a total of $65,000 in extra earnings. Lining someone up from eight-feet and telling them to putt for that kind of money, or in the case of our winner Justin Rose, $1.1 million, sounds like high drama to me. Furthermore, the circus that will continue to follow Tiger Woods for what, at least at this point, seems like the rest of his life is as compelling a story in sports as we have had in decades. And, fortunately for us, despite his on-going rehabilitation and reported $750,000,000 divorce settlement with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Elin, Tiger continues to play golf and wow us with unbelievable strokes of greatness like his approach shot to the par-5 9th yesterday. Highlights of the day can be seen below via PGATour.com.

In closing, I suppose it is somewhat ironic that an Englishman should win a tournament in this area on the 4th of July and be presented a replica Liberty Bell as an award for his accomplishments. Oh well, Justin may have won the battle, but we won the war. God Bless America.

(Photo by Stan Badz/PGATour) 

Penn State blasted at home by red-hot George Mason

uspresswire-psu-lamar-stevens.jpg
USA Today Images

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

usa-obi-enechionyia.jpg
USA Today Images

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.