WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Badgers beat Illinois to snap skid
The Wisconsin men's basketball team beat Illinois 75-63 last night. It was the Badgers' second victory in their last seven games, as Illinois lost for the eighth straight time. A snowstorm kept the crowd down to about 41-hundred fans. Wisconsin had a three-point lead midway through the second half when the Illini stopped the Badgers on three straight possessions -- and Illinois couldn't score on any of them. Ben Brust made a pair of free throws with eight minutes left, and Wisconsin hung on from there. Brust and Sam Dekker each scored 16 for the Badgers, who've won three straight at Champaign for the first time since 1908. Rayvonte Rice scored 24 points for Illinois, which lost its seventh match-up against the Badgers and fell to 2-and-8 in the Big Ten and 13-and-10 overall. Wisconsin improved to 5-and-5 in the conference, and 18-and-5 overall. The Badgers will host Michigan State on Sunday.
The Marquette men came back from a 10-point second-half deficit last night to beat Butler, 69-to-62 in Milwaukee. The Golden Eagles were down 39-to-29 with 15:40 to play, when Todd Mayo led Marquette's comeback rally. All 17 of Mayo's points came in the second half. Butler also got sloppy, committing 20 turnovers to just 10 for the Eagles. Marquette out-shot Butler 49-to-41 percent. Jamil Wilson also scored 17 as the Eagles improved to 5-and-5 in the Big East and 13-and-10 overall. Four Butler players scored in double figures, led by Kellen Dunham with 16. The Bulldogs dropped to 2-and-8 in the league, and 12-and-10 overall. Marquette doesn't play again until next Tuesday night at Seton Hall. Tonight, the U-W Green Bay men host Illinois-Chicago. The Marquette women host Seton Hall. And the Wisconsin women entertain Nebraska.
John Henson could return tonight for the Milwaukee Bucks when they play at Denver. The second-year forward-and-center practiced yesterday, after missing three games with a sprained right wrist. The Bucks have been plagued all season with injuries to their big men. Center Zaza Pachulia has been back for two games, after missing time with a stress fracture in his right foot. Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders have also missed a sizable amount of playing time. The Bucks will try to win their 10th game of the season tonight against 39 losses. They're the only N-B-A team without 10 victories -- and after beating New York on Monday night, the Bucks will try again for their first back-to-back wins. Denver is at .500 at 23-and-23.
U-W Whitewater men's basketball coach Pat Miller will have cervical spine surgery. And he'll miss an undetermined number of games, starting with a key contest at home tonight against top-ranked and undefeated U-W Stevens Point. Media reports said Miller was hoping to wait until the end of the season to deal with his ongoing issues -- but after consulting with doctors, he's having the operation now. Assistant coach Nick Bennett will lead the Warhawks, which are ranked seventh by D-Three-Hoops-Dot-Com. Whitewater goes into tonight's contest at 17-and-3 overall, while the Pointers come in at 20-and-0.
The Milwaukee Admirals will return to the ice tonight, when they host Hamilton. The Admirals are coming off a 3-to-2 home shoot-out loss to Grand Rapids last Saturday night. They're currently in third place in the American Hockey League's Midwest Division with 52 points, and a record of 21-13-6-and-4. Hamilton is also third in its division, the North, with 44 points and a mark of 20-21-0-and-4.