WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: UWGB's Sykes named Horizon League POW for record sixth time
GREEN BAY - UW-Green Bay junior guard Keifer Sykes made history today when he was named the Horizon League men's basketball player-of-the-week. It was the sixth time this season he received the weekly honors -- something no Horizon player has ever done.
Sykes also has 10 player-of-the-week awards for his career, tying him with three others for the most in that department. He scored a total of 49 points in Green Bay's victories last week over Oakland and Illinois-Chicago. Thirty-six of those people came in the second halves of those games. Sykes helped Green Bay maintain a 12-game winning streak. On the women's side, Kaili Lukan of the Phoenix received the player-of-the-week honors today. Lukan, a junior guard, scored 23 points in Green Bay's 69-67 win over Wright State on Saturday. She had a hand in five of the Phoenix' first six baskets -- and she shot 9-of-15 from the floor for the game.
After losing three straight games, the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team fell five spots today in both major national polls. The Badgers ended their losing streak at Purdue on Saturday -- but it didn't stop them from dropping to 14th in the Associated Press media poll, and 13th in the USA Today coaches' poll. The Badgers are 4-3 in the Big Ten Conference and 17-3 overall. They'll host Northwestern on Wednesday night. Arizona and Syracuse remain first and second in both polls. Florida is ranked third by the media, and Wichita State is ranked third by the coaches.
University of Wisconsin men's basketball coach Bo Ryan still feels the effects of a flu-type bug he suffered on Saturday at Purdue. At a news conference in Madison today, the 66-year-old Ryan said he was hoping it would only be a 24-hour bug -- but the team's trainer told him a 72-hour virus was slowing people down in Madison. Ryan says that's what he has and quote, "It just knocks you down." TV cameras caught Ryan alone and silent during a timeout late in Saturday's Badger victory at Purdue. Afterward, associate head coach Greg Gard substituted for Ryan at his postgame news conference. Ryan said he never missed a game or a practice in 42 years of coaching and quote, "That's the only reason I'm here today ... We have practice."
The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team still remains ninth in the new Division-One poll today from U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers are 14-7-1 overall, after splitting a home series with Ohio State during the weekend. Wisconsin ended a four-game winning streak with a 3-1 loss to the Buckeyes on Saturday night. That was after a 5-3 Wisconsin victory on Friday. Ohio State was among those not in the Top-20 that received votes in the new poll. Minnesota remains at Number-One. In the Division I women's poll, Wisconsin remains second behind the Gophers. The Badgers are 21-3-2 after sweeping Minnesota-Duluth during the weekend.
The University of Wisconsin wrestling team won back-to-back road meets during the weekend, capped off with a 23-15 victory at Northwestern. Jesse Thielke gave the 19th-ranked Badgers an 11-0 lead with a 5-4 decision over Pasquale Greco at 141 pounds. Greco was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, which took a point away from the Wildcats. A pin by Scott Leigel at 174 and a win for Jackson Hein at 182 secured the dual meet victory for UW. Alex Polizzi of Beloit and Michael McMullan won the final two matches of the day for 16th-ranked Northwestern, which fell to 1-5 in the Big Ten and 6-5 overall. The Badgers improved to 5-1 in the conference and 11-4 overall. Wisconsin will wrestle North Dakota State this Sunday at the UW Fieldhouse in Madison.
For the second time in a week, a top scorer for the Milwaukee Admirals has been called up to the NHL. Rookie Colton Simmons was called up to Admirals' parent club at Nashville, after the Predators promoted Taylor Beck last week. Sissons leads Milwaukee with 28 points, including 16 goals. Beck was the team's top scorer when he was called up, with 27 points.
The Milwaukee Bucks are just 1-13 against teams in the NBA's Western Conference. They'll try to avoid going 1-14 tonight, when they host the Los Angeles Clippers. Coach Larry Drew said the Bucks showed a lack of effort after their latest loss on Saturday night, a 25-point home defeat to an injury-depleted Atlanta team. The Bucks held a team meeting after that game -- and afterward, Drew asked quote, "Do we have anything inside that will allow us to go out and compete at a high level?" The Bucks are an NBA-worst 8-35 -- and they've lost 10 straight home games against Western Conference teams. Milwaukee averages a league-low 91 points a game, which puts the Bucks on pace for the NBA's lowest season scoring average in eight years. They'll play a Clippers' team that has averaged 119 points in its last two games, and 106 for the season. Blake Griffin scored 30 when the Clips beat Toronto by eight on Saturday night. Former Buck J.J. Redick is coming off a pair of 18-point games.
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed two more veterans to minor league contracts, with a chance to make the big club at Spring Training. They are outfielders Jeremy Hermida and Joe Thurston. Hermida last played in the Majors at San Diego in 2012. Hermida, who turns 30 next week, batted .247 for the Cleveland Indians' Triple-"A" affiliate at Columbus a year ago. He had 17 homers and 66 RBI's in 132 games. The 34-year-old Thurston played with Saint Louis in 2009. But he played in just one big league game after that, with Miami in 2011. He spent time last year with Lancaster of the Atlantic League, and Yucatan of the Mexican League.
Quarterback Luke Barthelmess of Lawrence University in Appleton will start a pro football career overseas. He has signed with the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League. Barthelmess will report to training camp in late March, and his season will open in May. He completed 193-of-346 in his senior year at Lawrence for 2,133 yards and 14 touchdowns. Barthelmess was second in the Midwest Conference with 213 passing yards a game. He also ran for 889 yards on 177 carries with two touchdowns. Barthelmess finished first in the league in total offense, with just over 302 yards per game.