WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Badgers now 16-0 after routing Illinois
MADISON -- Wisconsin is 16-and-0 for the first time in school history, after pounding Illinois 95-to-70 last night in Madison. The fourth-ranked Badgers pulled away early with a 20-to-nothing run in the first half. They were up by 25 at the break and cruised from there. Wisconsin shot 56-percent, and its defense held the 23rd-ranked Illini to just 32-percent. The Badgers committed only four turnovers, and they lead the nation with just eight-and-a-half mistakes per game. Five Badgers scored in double figures, led by Ben Brust with 18 points. Sam Dekker added 17 points and six rebounds, as Wisconsin won its sixth straight game over Illinois. Rayvonte Rice had 19 points and nine boards, as the Illini ended a four-game overall winning streak and dropped to 2-and-1 in the Big Ten and 13-and-3 overall. The Badgers are now 3-and-0 in conference play. Coach Bo Ryan said he's proud of his players and what they've accomplished. He added, quote, "Let's try to keep it going." The Badgers are just one victory away from tying the team-record winning streak of 17 games. They'll go for that milestone next Tuesday night at Indiana.
___________________The U-W Milwaukee men won their Horizon League road opener last night, 84-to-75 at Oakland of Michigan. Oakland scored 11 straight points to start the game. The Golden Grizzlies then scored only two points over the next six minutes while U-W-M caught up. The Panthers led by four at halftime, and used a 19-to-3 run to lead by 20 with 8:34 left. The Grizzlies could get no closer than eight the rest of the way. Steve McWhorter had 17 points and seven assists for Milwaukee. The Panthers shot 50-percent from the floor, as they improved to 2-and-1 in the Horizon League and 12-and-5 overall. Kahlil Felder scored all of Oakland's three-pointers, and he had 25 total points for the game. The Golden Grizzlies shot just 32-percent as they fell to 1-and-2 in the conference and 6-and-12 overall. Milwaukee's next game is on Sunday at home against U-W Green Bay. ___________________
The U-W Green Bay women are 1-and-0 in the Horizon League, after beating Illinois-Chicago at home last night 66-to-50. It was tied at 43 with almost 13 minutes left when the Phoenix ended the game with a 23-to-7 run. Sophomore Kaili Lukan scored a career-high 22 points, and freshman Tesha Buck had a season-high 20 for Green Bay, which is now 8-and-5 overall. Megan Lukan added nine rebounds and five steals, to go with nine points. The Phoenix out-shot Illinois-Chicago 45-to-36 percent, as the Flames ended a school-record 11-game winning streak. Ruvanna Campbell and Katie Hannemann each had 12 points for U-I-C. Hannemann also had 11 rebounds, as Illinois-Chicago fell to 0-and-1 in the conference and 11-and-3 overall. Green Bay will host U-W Milwaukee on Saturday. Tonight, the Wisconsin women play at Michigan. The Marquette men are at Xavier. And the U-W Parkside men and women both play at Missouri-Saint Louis.
___________________Milwaukee Bucks' front-liner John Henson practiced yesterday, but he did not have full contact as he gets over a sprained left ankle. Henson hopes to return either tomorrow night at home against Chicago, or Saturday night at Oklahoma City. The Bucks are the only N-B-A team not to win 10 games yet. They're 7-and-27, after getting crushed by 21 points at home to Golden State on Tuesday night. Coach Larry Drew has been watching a lot of film -- and he says the Bucks are making the same mistakes now than they did in the first week of the season. Drew says the Bucks are learning their X's-and-O's, but they're not picking up natural instincts on a variety of things -- and the team needs to get better at that.
Packers' coach Mike McCarthy said this past season was the most challenging of his eight years in Green Bay. At his season-ending news conference yesterday, McCarthy said there were certain times in his first year in which he felt like he got run over by a truck and quote, "This year, it just seemed like it never stopped." McCarthy was referring to the parade of injuries to top players. Running back DuJuan Harris and right tackle Bryan Bulaga never played. Clay Matthews was healthy for just three whole games. Tight end Jermichael Finley and receiver Randall Cobb were out for most of the campaign. And the biggest injury, of course, was to quarterback Aaron Rodgers who sat out for seven contests. And the issues continue into the off-season. Finley is doing rehab work after his spinal fusion surgery from the neck injury he suffered against Cleveland on October 20th. Defensive end Johnny Jolly is getting a second medical opinion on his neck, after he had a bulging disc at his C-5 vertebra. McCarthy said the Packers hung together throughout the injuries, and it provided some valuable insights that the coach hopes to use in the future. The team finished 8-8-and-1 after its playoff loss to San Francisco in last weekend's Wild Card round. ____________________
A former Olympic yacht racer from Waukesha County will compete in a race around the world. Nashotah native Sally Barkow has been named to an all-female team in the Volvo Ocean Race, a 39-thousand mile event that's held every three years. The 35-year-old Barkow will be one of 11 members of Team S-C-A, the first all-woman crew in the Volvo race in over a decade. She's the first American named to her squad. Barkow was the national collegiate women's champion in 2002, and was seventh in the Yngling Class at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. But all of her races have been relatively short -- just five days at the most. The Volvo event normally runs for about eight months. It will start October fourth in Spain.