WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Packers keep playoff hopes alive with a 23-point halftime comeback against Dallas
The Green Bay Packers overcame a 26-to-3 halftime deficit yesterday, to beat the Cowboys at Dallas 37-to-36. Eddie Lacy scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:31 left from one yard out, behind blocking from Packers' giant defensive linemen B-J Raji and Mike Daniels. It matched the biggest comeback in Packers' history, as the 1982 Pack clawed back from 23-down to beat the former Los Angeles Rams. Also, it was Green Bay's first road victory against the Cowboys in seven tries, dating back to 1989. And the Packers remain in the playoff hunt, a half-game behind first-place Chicago in the N-F-C North with two to play. Lacy rushed for 141 yards, as he went over a-thousand for his rookie year -- and he had four catches for 30 yards. Matt Flynn threw four second-half touchdown passes. He had one yard short of 300 in his second come-from-behind win in as many weeks in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers.
Burlington native Tony Romo threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns for Dallas. His final two drives ended in interceptions to Sam Shields and Tramon Williams -- the latter of which sealed Green Bay's victory after a long replay review. DeMarco Murray ran for 134 yards and a score, but Romo didn't use him down the stretch when the Cowboys could have run off valuable time on the ground to keep Green Bay's charging offense off the field. Dallas coach Jason Garrett admitted that the interception to Shields was supposed to be a running play -- and Romo changed it at the line of scrimmage, thus resulting in Lacy's winning score. Dez Bryant caught 11 passes for 153 yards, as Dallas had the edge in total yards 466-to-433.
Flynn threw his scoring passes to Jordy Nelson, Andrew Quarless, James Starks, and James Jones. Jarrett Boykin was the Packers' leading receiver with six catches for 83 yards. Tight end Brandon Bostick left the game with a foot injury, and defensive end Johnny Jolly left with a shoulder injury. The Packers improved to 7-6-and-1, and will host Pittsburgh next Sunday.
ESPN says Packers' coach Mike McCarthy is on a list of candidates that the University of Texas will consider, as the Longhorns replace football coach Mack Brown. Texas athletic director Steve Patterson is said to be considering a number of NFL coaches. Jim Harbaugh of San Francisco, Chip Kelly of Philadelphia, and Pete Carroll of Seattle were also mentioned as possible Texas candidates, along with McCarthy. On its "Sunday N-F-L Countdown" show yesterday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen said none of the pro coaches have taken the bait yet -- but if somebody does, that person will have a healthy allotment of recruits already on board. Kelly, Carroll, and Harbaugh all have long college coaching resumes in recent years but McCarthy does not. ESPN said McCarthy was once a college assistant for six years, but had not been in the college game since 1993.
The Marquette women's basketball team easily beat U-W Milwaukee 71-to-52 yesterday on the Panthers' home floor. The Golden Eagles led the entire game. Marquette led by 13 midway through the first half. U-W-M got within four later on, but the Eagles pulled away. They led by 21 with 16 minutes left, and were never challenged after that. Apiew Ojulu led Marquette with 18 points, as the Eagles' leading scorers -- Katherine Plouffe and Katie Young -- were each held in single digits. Angela Rodriguez led Milwaukee with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. The Panthers shot a season-low 27-percent and were out-rebounded 54-to-36, as they dropped to 2-and-8 on the year. Marquette improved to 7-and-2, as it played its crosstown Division-One counterpart for the first time in four years.
The U-W Green Bay women have lost back-to-back games for the first time in four seasons, after falling at home to Wichita State 63-to-58 yesterday. The lead changed hands seven times in the first half, as Green Bay went into the locker room with a one-point deficit. Wichita State threatened to pull away several times in the second half, but Green Bay responded with short runs each time. The Phoenix were down one with 2:03 left, but Jamillah Bonner hit a jumper that sealed the Shockers' sixth straight victory. Bonner and Alex Harden both had 15 points for Wichita State, which improved to 7-and-2. Tesha Buck had 17 points and seven rebounds for U-W Green Bay, which fell to 6-and-3 and lost two straight home games for the first time since the 2008-'09 season.