WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Marquette beats Providence, faces St. John's tomorrow
With two freshmen in the starting lineup, the Marquette men's basketball team beat Providence last night, 61-to-50 in Milwaukee. Coach Buzz Williams started Deonte Burton and JaJuan Johnson and used an 11-man rotation to keep a faster-and-fresher team on the floor. It worked, as the Golden Eagles scored 26 points off fast breaks. Marquette forced 11 turnovers in the first half, and went up by 17 at the intermission. Providence tried battling back in the second half with a 16-0 run, but the Golden Eagles settled down and hung on down the stretch with key baskets from seniors Jamil Wilson and Davante Gardner. Gardner led Marquette with 14 points and six rebounds. Wilson scored 11. Bryce Cotton scored 20 for Providence, which ended a five-game winning streak and dropped to 5-and-3 in the Big East and 15-and-6 overall. Marquette evened its conference record at 4-and-4. They're 12-and-9 overall, and will play at Saint John's tomorrow.
The U-W Milwaukee men led by 20 points in the second half, and hung on to beat Wright State at home last night, 68-to-64. The Panthers ended a three-game losing streak, as they improved to 4-and-5 in the Horizon League and 14-and-9 overall. Milwaukee was up 47-to-27 with about three minutes gone in the second half. But Wright State got its deficit down to single digits with 6:37 to go, with the help of two runs of 10-1 and 8-2. It was a two-point game with 12 seconds left when Kyle Kelm hit a pair of free throws which iced U-W-M's victory. Five Panthers scored in double figures, led by Kelm and Jordan Aaron with 13 points each. They had a strong inside game, scoring 38 in the paint. J-T Yoho led Wright State's comeback attempt with 19 points in the second half. He had 20 on the night. Wright State dropped to 5-and-4 in the Horizon League and 13-and-11 overall. Milwaukee will host Oakland on Sunday.
The Wisconsin women lost their fourth straight game last night, 71-to-67 at Michigan State. The Badgers trailed by three at halftime. The game was tied with about 11 minutes left, when Michigan State had a 7-nothing run to take the lead for good. Wisconsin got to within three near the end, but could not get overtake the Spartans -- who out-shot the Badgers 49-to-48 percent. Five Michigan State players scored in double figures, led by Annalise Pickrel with 14 points. The Spartans are now 6-and-2 in the Big Ten and 14-and-7 overall. Michala Johnson scored 26 and Morgan Paige added 16 for Wisconsin, which fell to 2-and-6 in the conference and 9-and-11 overall. The Badgers will host Ohio State on Sunday.
The U-W Green Bay women pulled away in the first half last night to win at Oakland of Michigan, 74-to-58. The game was tied at 12 midway through the first half when Green Bay went on a 13-0 run to lead by 16 at the break. Oakland got to within nine early in the second half, and the Phoenix then made a pair of free throws to regain a double-digit lead they would never lose. G-B led by as many as 20 down the stretch, out-rebounding Oakland 45-to-28 for the game. Freshman Mehryn Kraker scored 16 for U-W Green Bay, which improved to 4-and-2 in the Horizon League and 11-and-7 overall. Bethany Watterworth scored 28 for Oakland, which dropped to 3-and-4 in the Horizon League and 8-and-12 overall. The Phoenix will play at Detroit tomorrow.
The Milwaukee Bucks will not have guard O-J Mayo and forward Epke Udoh when they play at Orlando tonight. Mayo has missed the last two games with an illness. Udoh has a sprained left ankle. Neither made the trip to Florida with the team. Forward Ersan Ilyasova sat out of yesterday's practice, after he was kicked in a leg during Wednesday night's home loss to Phoenix. The Bucks and Magic have the N-B-A's two worst records. Orlando is 12-and-35 with a three-game losing streak. The Bucks are 8-and-37, after losing four straight.
Former Wisconsin guard John Moffitt turned down a chance to play in Sunday's Super Bowl -- and it was a topic of discussion yesterday on the both the Seattle and Denver sides. Moffitt played for two years with the Seahawks before being traded to Denver last August. After being active in just two-of-eight games with the Broncos, he announced his retirement from the N-F-L last November. Moffitt started nine games during his rookie year in Seattle, before ending his 2011 season with a knee injury. The following year, started six-of-eight games and was hurt again. Last August, Seahawks' assistant Pat Ruel said Moffitt was not sure what he wanted -- and he was a back-up at the time he was traded to Denver. Broncos' left guard Zane Beadles said Moffitt was not happy and did not seem to be committed -- even though he had the skills and size to be a good lineman. Denver offensive line coach Dave Magazu said he liked Moffitt as a person, and he respected the player's decision to quit. Seahawks' guard Paul McQuistan said Moffitt has returned to Seattle, and he's doing some work in the electronic media. Ruel said it was clear that Moffitt wasn't happy -- and he went to go find something that made him happy.
The Wisconsin men's hockey team will play at Michigan tonight and tomorrow night. The Badgers swept the Wolverines two weeks ago in a pair of games in Madison. Ninth-ranked Wisconsin comes in at 5-and-3 in the Big Ten and 14-7-and-1 overall. They're coming off a home split of Ohio State last weekend. Michigan, which is ranked 12th, is 4-and-2 in the conference and 12-6-and-2 overall. The Wolverines swept a pair from Michigan State last weekend. Badgers' coach Mike Eaves says there's a chance that sophomore center Nic Kerdiles will play this weekend. He's been out since January fourth, when he separated a right shoulder against Alaska-Anchorage. Senior right winger Tyler Barnes will miss the Michigan series, after he injured a shoulder in a hard collision on the boards last Saturday night. Meanwhile, the second-ranked Badger women's hockey team is off this weekend. They'll host Ohio State next Friday and Saturday.
In golf, Pewaukee native Mark Wilson shot a three-over-par 74 in his first round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Y-E Yang and Bubba Watson are the leaders at seven-under-64. A number of players did not complete their opening rounds, as play was suspended by darkness.