WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Xavier beats Marquette, drops them to 1-2 in the Big East
CINCINNATI -- The Marquette men's basketball team gave up 80 points for the first time this season, as Xavier beat the Golden Eagles 86-to-79 last night in Cincinnati. The Musketeers never trailed in the second half, as they improved to 11-and-0 at home. Marquette came back from 12 points down to tie the game with just under eight minutes left, but Semaj Christon hit a pair of three-pointers to put the Musketeers in front for good. Xavier capped off its victory by making seven free throws in the final 44 seconds. Christon scored a career-high 28 points, as Xavier improved to 3-and-0 in the Big East and 13-and-3 overall. The Musketeers controlled the boards 39-to-20. They made 32-of-41 from the free-throw line -- and they didn't look tired, after six players were forced out of their dorm rooms early yesterday morning due to a broken water pipe. Marquette hit a season-high 11 shots from beyond-the-arc. Davante Gardner led the Eagles with 19, as they dropped to 1-and-2 in conference play and 9-and-7 overall. They'll host Seton Hall tomorrow.
The Wisconsin women lost at Michigan last night, 70-to-62. The Wolverines closed the first half with a 19-to-7 run, and then opened the second half with another run of 20-to-4. That put Michigan up by 28. The Badgers cut the lead to six with 1:40 left, but they couldn't get any closer. Nicole Elmblad led the Wolverines in scoring with 15 points. Cyesha Goree had 15 rebounds and 10 points for Michigan, which improved to 2-and-0 in the Big Ten and 11-and-4 overall. Morgan Paige scored 18 for Wisconsin, which dropped to 1-and-1 in the conference and 8-and-6 overall. They'll host Iowa on Sunday.
The Milwaukee Bucks will host the Chicago Bulls tonight. It's expected to be a de-facto road game for the Bucks, as thousands of Bulls fans have returned to the B-M-O Harris Bradley Center this season after Derrick Rose became healthy. He's now out for the season again with a knee injury. Bucks' coach Larry Drew said he coached a lot of games with Atlanta over the past three seasons in which the road teams drew louder fans than the Hawks. Drew says he'll remind his team to quote, "play through the crowd." The Bucks are 7-and-27 after losing to Golden State on Tuesday. Milwaukee is 1-and-1 against Chicago, with a four-point victory in the Windy City on December 10th and a one-point loss three nights later at home. Bucks' power forward Ersan Ilyasova missed practice yesterday with a swollen right hand. He's listed as day-to-day. Center-and-forward John Henson returned to practice, but is not cleared to play due to a bad ankle. He's listed as questionable for tonight.
The Wisconsin men's hockey team returns to Big Ten play with a pair of home games against Michigan tonight and tomorrow night. The 14th-ranked Badgers will try to go above .500 in conference play. They're 2-and-2 for now -- and they're 11-6-and-1 overall. The Badgers split a pair of home games last weekend against former W-C-H-A opponent Alaska-Anchorage. Still, Wisconsin is 10-1-and-1 at the Kohl Center, where they're in the middle of a school-record 12-game home-stand. Badgers' center Mark Zengerle and forward Tyler Barnes have each scored in their last six contests. Michigan comes in at 2-and-0 in the Big Ten, and 10-4-and-2 overall. The Wolverines are ranked eighth, but they're winless in their last four games. Tonight will be their first game since December 28th, when they were shut out by Michigan State 3-nothing in an outdoor affair at Comerica Park in Detroit. On the women's side, a pair of Top-Five teams will square off when the second-ranked Badgers host Number-four North Dakota tomorrow and Sunday afternoons. The Badgers have the nation's longest unbeaten streak at 16 games. They've won 14 straight at home -- and a win tomorrow would give Wisconsin a new school record in that department. The Badgers are 16-2-and-2 overall. North Dakota is 12-4-and-2.
In golf, Jerry Kelly of Madison is tied for 12th after the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, the P-G-A's first full-field tournament of 2014. Kelly shot a three-under-par 67 yesterday at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. He's four shots behind the leader, Sang Moon-Bae. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is tied for 25th at two-under-68.