WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Borland named to All-American team
MADISON - University of Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland was named a second-team All-American today by the Associated Press -- and Badgers' offensive lineman Ryan Groy made the national third team.
Borland, a fifth-year senior is the Big Ten's defensive player-of-the-year. He leads the Badgers in solo tackles, total tackles, and tackles-for-losses with eight-and-a-half despite missing almost two full games due to injuries. Groy is a fifth-year senior who plays guard, center, and tackle. The Badgers are gearing up to play South Carolina on New Year's Day at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk needs only 11 more tackles to break the Packers' team career record of 1,020 tackles, set by John Anderson. Hawk is wrapping up his eighth season after being the fifth overall draft pick in 2006. He has 1,010 tackles -- and if he has a good day against Pittsburgh on Sunday he'll break Anderson's mark. If not then, Hawk will certainly set the new mark in the team's regular season finale December 29th at Chicago, if he stays healthy. Anderson broke his record over 12 seasons, and Hawk can break in four fewer campaigns.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy says the Green Bay Packers will build on their comeback win over Dallas, as they once again control their own destiny for a playoff spot. The Packers roared from back from a 23-point halftime deficit, tied for the largest comeback in their 93-year history. McCarthy said it's exactly what the Packers needed, especially after winning just one other game in their previous seven. He said it was a "one play at a time" mentality which helped the Packers earn their victory in the second half on the Cowboys' home field. It's another example of how McCarthy has led his team past adversity. Special teams' coach Shawn Slocum says McCarthy is even-keeled with high expectations, no matter what the situation. As Slocum put it, "When something doesn't work out, go back to trusting your training -- and eventually, it will." In 2010, Green Bay went through 16 major injuries before winning the Super Bowl -- and McCarthy is hoping the Packers' latest recovery can be a lesson in dealing without an injured star like Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback's status will be updated on Wednesday. Thanks to Detroit's loss last night, the Packers can clinch the NFC North title with victories over Pittsburgh on Sunday at Lambeau Field, and at Chicago on December 29th. If that happens, Green Bay will earn its fifth straight postseason bid.
The Milwaukee Bucks only had nine players practice in each of the last two days. Guard O.J. Mayo was away for the funeral of his grandmother in West Virginia. Guard Gary Neal and forward Caron Butler showed up at practice, but did not make it onto the floor due to injuries. Forwards Ersan Ilyasova and Khris Middleton were limited the past two days with ankle injuries. Coach Larry Drew said he hopes Ilyasova and Middleton can play tomorrow night against the New York Knicks -- who have injury problems of their own. Amare Stoudamire and Kenyon Martin are among four players out with various ailments for New York. Center Tyson Chandler could return, after he missed 20 games with a broken right leg. The Knicks are 7-17. Milwaukee is 5-19.
The Marquette University men's basketball team will try to win its third straight home game tonight, when the Golden Eagles go up against Ball State. Marquette is 6-4. They've lost three-of-their-last-five, but are coming off a 36-point home rout of Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis last Saturday. Five Golden Eagles scored in double figures, led by Davante Gardner with 20. Ball State, of the Mid-American Conference, is 2-5 overall. The Cardinals have not played in almost two weeks. They lost by 19 to Horizon League opponent Valparaiso on December fourth. Mark Alstork scored 11 points off the bench in that game. Also tonight, the UW-Green Bay men are at home against Tennessee Tech.
University of Wisconsin men's hockey forwards Michael Mersch and Brad Navin have been named two of the Big Ten's three stars-of-the-week in men's hockey. Mersch, a senior, was given the second star for scoring three goals in a pair of games against Colorado College last weekend. He surpassed 100 career points during that series. Navin, a junior forward, was named the third star of the week for getting a goal and two assists last Saturday night in Wisconsin's 4-3 overtime victory. The three points were a career-high for Navin. Michigan goaltender Zach Nagelvoort was named the Big Ten's first star in men's hockey.
Wisconsin remains second in the new women's hockey poll from U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers are on their holiday break, after going 14-2-2. Top-ranked Minnesota is 19-1. The Wisconsin men are ranked 14th, up one spot from a week ago at 8-5-1. In Division-Three, the UW-Stevens Point men moved up one place to third in their College Online poll. The Pointers are 10-1. Saint Norbert of De Pere fell one spot to fourth. Eau Claire jumped one spot to Number-nine. River Falls also rose one place to 14th. In the Division III women's hockey poll, Stevens Point went up one spot to fifth. River Falls jumped three places to Number-seven. Superior dropped one place to ninth.
Plattsburgh of New York leads both the men's and women's D-III polls.
Boston Johnson and Alyssa Krajco, both of UW-Platteville, are the WIAC men's-and-women's basketball players of the week. Johnson, a sophomore guard, scored 23 and 37 points -- both career highs -- in a pair of Platteville victories over Eau Claire and Carthage. Krajco, a junior forward, had 26 points and 16 rebounds in a victory over Eau Claire. The WIAC also recognized Joe Krause of Eau Claire and Ashley Kuechle of River Falls in men's-and-women's hockey -- and Dylan Shaffer of La Crosse in wrestling.
Wisconsin has one football player on the coaches' All-America team for the NCAA's Division III. Garrett Porter, a senior center from UW-Oshkosh, was among 25 players named to the coaches' squad. No players from U-W Whitewater made the team, even though the Warhawks have advanced to the Division-Three championship game against Mount Union. Defensive lineman Matt Fechko is Mount Union's only coaches' All-American, as his Purple Raiders get ready to play Whitewater on Friday night at the Stagg Bowl in Salem, Virginia.
The UW-Green Bay men's basketball team will open a five-game homestand tonight against Tennessee Tech. The Phoenix are 6-3, after coming from behind to beat South Dakota 89-85 on Saturday. Five Green Bay players scored in double figures in that game, led by guard Keifer Sykes with 23. The Phoenix are 5-0 when scoring 70-points or more. Tennessee Tech, of the Ohio Valley Conference, is 6-6. They're coming off a 79-74 win over Lamar on Sunday, in which leading scorers Ty Allen and Dennis Ogbe combined for 32 points. Allen leads Tennessee Tech with just over 12 points per game. Also tonight, the Marquette men host Ball State.
With final exams taking place, it's another quiet night in Wisconsin Division III college basketball. In men's action, Concordia-Wisconsin plays at Dominican in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Silver Lake travels to UW-Oshkosh. On the women's side, 15th-ranked Carthage hosts Coe College. The Milwaukee School of Engineering entertains North Central of Illinois. And Maranatha Baptist, an independent this year, plays at former NACC opponent Wisconsin Lutheran.
Eric Kittel of Concordia-Wisconsin is the men's basketball player-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The freshman point guard hit a buzzer-beater from half-court, as the Falcons beat Millikin 84-81. Kittel scored a season-high 20 points, including six three-pointers. He also had five steals. Bethany Dorrington of Aurora is the women's player-of-the-week.
Katie Schumacher of Lawrence University in Appleton has been named the women's basketball performer-of-the-week in the Midwest Conference. Schumacher, a sophomore forward, had 26 points and 16 rebounds -- both career-highs -- in a one-point Lawrence victory over Knox College last Saturday. Lawrence came back from 18 points down in that game, as the Vikings ended a 54-game conference road losing streak. Grinnell guard Patrick Maher was named the top men's player.