WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Marquette pounds Ball State, improves to 7-4
Seven Marquette players scored in double figures last night, as the Golden Eagle men pounded Ball State 91-to-53 in Milwaukee. The Eagles were bulkier inside, and the numbers showed it. Marquette scored 56 points in the paint and out-rebounded the Cardinals 41-30. The Eagles were up by 18 at the half. Ball State got to within 13, but Marquette then had a 17-to-2 run to lead by 28 with 12:40 to play. Chris Otule had 14 points and four blocked shots, as Marquette had seven players score 10-or-more for the second time this season. The Golden Eagles shot 54-percent, while their defense forced a season-high 23 turnovers. Seventeen of those were steals, six by Juan Anderson. Zavier Turner committed six turnovers, while he led Ball State in scoring with 16 points. The Cardinals lost their fifth straight and fell to 2-and-6. Marquette improved to 7-and-4. They'll play New Mexico on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The U-W Green Bay men pulled away in the second half last night to beat Tennessee Tech at home, 76-to-49. The Phoenix were up by six at the break. They opened the second half with 27-to-2 run, to take a 31-point advantage with almost nine-and-a-half minutes remaining. Tennessee Tech scored only one field goal in the first 11 minutes of the second half -- and they committed 10 turnovers during that stretch. Keifer Sykes scored 17 points for Green Bay, which shot 52-percent from the floor. Anthony Morse scored nine for Tennessee Tech, which fell to 6-and-7. Green Bay improved to 7-and-3, and will host Fairfield on Saturday. Tonight, the Green Bay women will host Purdue. The Marquette women have a noon contest at home against Oral Roberts.
Germantown High School set a state record last night with its 63rd consecutive boys' basketball victory. The Warhawks defeated Milwaukee Lutheran 90-to-63 at home, on the strength of a 32-to-10 third quarter. Evan Wesenberg and Jake Showalter each scored 17 points for Germantown, which is ranked 10th in the nation by C-B-S-Max Preps and 27th by U-S-A Today. Germantown is 7-and-0 this season, after going 28-0 in each of the last two years -- winning a pair of state Division-One championships along the way. Germantown broke the previous record of 62 straight wins by Whitefish Bay Dominican from 1977-through-1980.
In the N-B-A, Milwaukee will host a New York Knicks team tonight that's struggling almost as much as the Bucks are. New York is 7-and-17, just two games better than Milwaukee's 5-and-19 start. Both teams are riddled with injuries -- although Knicks' forward Amare Stoudemire claims he does not have the knee swelling that coach Mike Woodson said he had. Stoudemire tweeted yesterday that he's perfectly healthy, and he'll sit out the Bucks' game only because his Knicks have been in the midst of six contests in nine days. New York did get yesterday off, after losing at home to Washington on Monday night 102-to-101. Pablo Prigioni broke a toe in that game, and he's expected to miss two weeks. However, the Knicks might get center Tyson Chandler back tonight. He's been out for six weeks with a broken leg. Meanwhile, the Bucks plan to have forwards Ersan Ilyasova and Khris Middleton available for tonight. Both were limited at practice yesterday due to ankle injuries.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hopes that the Green Bay Packers' improved playoff chances will make it more likely that he'll play on Sunday against Pittsburgh. On his E-S-P-N-Milwaukee radio show yesterday, Rodgers said there has to be a quote, "risk-reward conversation" at some level. The Packers will make the playoffs and take the N-F-C North Division if they can win their final two regular season games against the Steelers and the Chicago Bears. Rodgers said he expects to practice today and take things from there. He does not expect to have another medical scan on his broken collarbone this week -- but he said other factors would determine whether he can return after being out for more than six weeks. Rodgers said he did not throw very much since learning last Friday that he would not play in the Packers' come-from-behind win at Dallas last weekend. Since then, he said the collarbone has had more time to heal. Rodgers said he thought he could play last week, but he respected team doctor Patrick McKenzie's decision to make him rest. When he does return, Rodgers said rust should not be a problem.
In golf, River Falls native Neil Johnson tied for 56th place in the final stage of the Web-Dot-Com Tour's qualifying tournament. Johnson shot a 10-under-422 over six rounds, in a tournament that ended yesterday in La Quinta California. The 31-year-old Johnson earned a conditional status for next year's Web-Dot-Com Tour, which is the second tier circuit under the P-G-A Tour. The P-G-A used to have a similar Qualifying School, but it no longer does.
Milwaukee Admirals' goaltender Magnus Hellberg is returning to the N-H-L. The Nashville Predators brought him up yesterday for the second time this season. The 22-year-old Hellberg is in his second year with Milwaukee, which is the Predators' top minor league club. He's 4-10-and-1 with the Admirals this season with a .914 save percentage and a two-point-seven-eight goals-against average.