WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Badgers men's hoops rout Platteville
The Wisconsin men's basketball team trailed by seven points at the half last night to Division-Three U-W Platteville -- but the Badgers pulled away in the second half for an 80-51 exhibition victory. The Pioneers shot 50-percent in the first half, but they cooled off later and hit 18-of-48 for the game, a 37-and-a-half percent clip. Wisconsin out-scored Platteville 40-to-18 in the paint, and out-rebounded the Pioneers 40-to-21. Senior guard Ben Brust led the Badgers with 20 points. Eight Wisconsin players scored at least six, as the Badgers hit 49-percent from the floor. Jim Stocki scored 14 for Platteville, the school where Badgers' coach Bo Ryan won an N-C-A-A Division-Three championship before moving up to D-One. Wisconsin will open its regular season a week from tomorrow night against Saint John's at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls South Dakota.
The Green Bay Packers will start practicing today for their Monday night home contest against the Chicago Bears. The Bears are normally the ones with the better running game, with their "three yards and a cloud of dust" reputation. But the Packers are no longer a slouch on the ground. After Sunday night's win at Minnesota, Green Bay has the N-F-L's third-highest rushing yards per game with 141. The Packers are on pace to have their fifth-highest season rushing total in team history, with a potential 22-hundred-63 yards. Much of that is due to rookie Eddie Lacy, who has 446 yards on the ground in 112 carries -- even though he missed two games due to a concussion suffered in Week-Two. Lacy is on pace for a 13-hundred-yard season, which would be the fifth-highest in Packers' history. Green Bay has run the ball 44-percent of the time this season, the highest percentage in coach Mike McCarthy's eight years with the team. Against the Vikings, Lacy had 29 carries for 94 yards -- and James Starks had seven carries for 57 yards while returning from a knee injury. Both scored touchdowns.
The Packers gave practice squad quarterback Scott Tolzien a big raise to keep him from leaving. Players' union numbers show that the former Wisconsin Badger is getting a raise from six-thousand dollars a week to just over 32-thousand. That would pay him 288-thousand dollars for the season if he stays on the practice squad throughout. The higher pay is apparently designed to keep another team from signing Tolizen and putting him on their 53-man roster. WTMJ T-V in Milwaukee said the Cleveland Browns had wanted to sign him. Tolzien has been a back-up and practice squad player for San Francisco and San Diego, and he recently said he loves being with the Packers.
Wisconsin inside linebacker Chris Borland sat out of practice for a second straight day yesterday, to rest the right hamstring he hurt against Illinois 12 days ago. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda says the senior stand-out will practice today, and have the hamstring checked out. The Badgers still expect Borland to play on Saturday at Iowa. Aranda says he also has a back-up plan in case Borland cannot play against the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin remains second in the Big Ten at 3-1, with a 5-2 overall record. Iowa is 2-and-2 in the conference, and 5-and-3 overall.
In hockey, the Milwaukee Admirals came back from a 2-nothing deficit for a third straight game, and beat Texas 3-to-2 in overtime at home last night. Mark Van Guilder scored the game-winning goal as Milwaukee continues to be the only American Hockey League team without a loss in regulation. Anthony Bitetto and Austin Watson also scored for the Admirals, who are off to their best start in 11 years. Milwaukee has received team points in each of its first six games -- the most since an 11-game point streak which began the 2002-03 season. The Admirals are off to a 6-4-0-and-2 start with 10 points.