State Sports Briefs: Rogers says Packers win special to himGreen Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last night’s win over Minnesota was special for him – and not because Brett Favre was on the other side.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers said last night’s win over Minnesota was special for him – and not because Brett Favre was on the other side.
The two may be linked forever after the Favre retirement saga from two years ago. But now that the Packers have beaten their former star quarterback, Rodgers hopes some of the hype will die down. The two chatted after the game, but Rodgers would not say what they talked about. Rodgers said the win was more special than most because of the four-point victory margin – the way it ended on a tough defensive stand – and the fact it was against a division opponent and the Packers’ biggest rival. Like Favre, Rodgers did not have his best game. He threw two interceptions and had mis-reads on some other throws. The win moved Green Bay into a tie for the NFC North Division lead with the Chicago Bears, both at 4-3. Minnesota fell a game-and-a-half back at 2-4 and the Lions, which had a bye week, are at 1-5.
Meanwhile, Favre called the loss “devastating,” and his coach Brad Childress criticized his quarterback’s three interceptions – saying it was okay to take a punt every once in a while. Favre is considered questionable for his next game against New England, after he injured his surgically-repaired ankle on his first interception. Favre was sacked once last night, while the Viking defense failed to sack Rodgers.
We expect to find out more today about the Packers’ injuries from last night. Coach Mike McCarthy could not say after the four-point win over Minnesota how serious the injuries were. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins did not play, after he strained a calf during warm-ups. Defensive end Ryan Pickett left in the first quarter after he aggravated an injured ankle. And safety Nick Collins hurt a knee during the game. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers had to improvise, after getting down to just three healthy defensive linemen. We could also get updates on players who are out temporarily, like offensive right tackle Mark Tauscher. He missed his third straight game with a bad shoulder.
Steve Stricker of Madison is still at number-five in the new World Golf Rankings released this morning. But three other Wisconsin players moved down the list, despite finishing in the money at the PGA’s Justin Timberlake-Shriners Hospital tournament in Las Vegas. Jerry Kelly of Madison and Pewaukee native Mark Wilson both tied for 22nd during the weekend. But Kelly still went down six places to 126th in the new World Rankings. And Wilson fell four spots to 212th. Appleton native J.P. Hayes, who tied for 58th in Vegas, dropped eight spots in the new rankings to number-206. Tiger Woods is still number-one. Phil Mickelson dropped from second-place to fourth. And Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer each moved up one spot to second and third places.
UW-Whitewater has won its fourth straight WIAC women’s tennis tournament. The Warhawks won five singles’ titles and one doubles’ crown at the league tournament over the weekend in Madison. The standings were determined by a combination of the tournament results, and the teams’ dual meets during the season. Whitewater had 21 points – three more than second-place La Crosse. Eau Claire was third. Megan Born of Eau Claire won the top singles’ category. Kelly Stadum and Kelly Kuether of La Crosse won the number-one doubles’ title. Steve Francour of Oshkosh was chosen as the league’s coach-of-the-year. Allie Hinman of Stout received the sport’s scholar-athlete award.
Also in women’s tennis, Kelly Barry of Marquette won a consolation singles’ title yesterday at the ITA Midwest Regional at Ann Arbor Michigan. Barry defeated her Golden Eagles’ teammate Gillian Hush 6-4, 6-4 in their final match. Players from Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee also competed in the second-chance event.
UW-Whitewater got all but two of the 25 first-place votes in this week’s national small college poll from D3Football.com. The Warhawks have been ranked number-one all season long – and that continues in the wake of Whitewater’s 63-14 romp at UW-River Falls on Saturday. Whitewater is 7-0 along with second-place Mount Union, which picked up the other two first-place votes. No other Wisconsin school is in the Top-25. Stevens Point received votes. They’ll play at Whitewater next Saturday during the Warhawks’ homecoming.
Milwaukee Bucks guard John Salmons and forward Corey Maggette are both expected on play in Wednesday night's regular season opener at New Orleans. Both players had full contact yesterday in a practice that lasted over two hours. Salmons had his first full workout, after spraining his left knee during a pick-up game in September. Maggette is still getting over surgery on his left ankle during the off-season. He had 17 points in 14 minutes in Milwaukee's exhibition finale on Friday night against Minnesota. Third-year forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute remains out with a high-ankle sprain -- but he vows to do all he can to play at least a little in Wednesday's opener. Center Jon Brockman remains out with a sprained left ankle. And starting center Andrew Bogut continues to get over major injuries to his right hand, wrist, and elbow. He was a full participant in yesterday's practice, after playing 47 minutes in the Bucks' previous two exhibitions. Coach Scott Skiles said he would not have a playing limit for Bogut in Milwaukee's first three regular season games.
Keaton Nankivil scored 22 points yesterday, as the Wisconsin men's basketball team held its annual Red-and-White Scrimmage at the Kohl Center. Nankivil, a senior, led all scorers in the scrimmage for the third straight year. He played for the White team, which beat the Red squad 65-51. Senior Jon Leuer led the Red team with 15 points. The Badgers' next game is against UW-La Crosse at home on November 6th. It will be the first of their two exhibitions, before the regular season begins November 14th at home vs. Prairie View A&M.
The Milwaukee Admirals lost to the Wolves in Chicago 4-3 yesterday. The Wolves led 4-to-nothing after two periods, and Milwaukee almost rallied back. Andreas Thurreson scored the Admirals’ final goal with 3:58 left. Gabriel Bourque scored his first professional goal for Milwaukee, which fell to 3-2-1-1.
Shani Davis and Jilleanne Rookard won the men's-and-women's 1500-meters speed skating competition yesterday at a qualifying event in West Allis for the U.S. World Cup team. Davis, the Olympic silver medalist in the 1500 in the last two Olympics, won the event in one-minute, :45.59 seconds. Rookard won her race in 2:01:09. Davis also took first yesterday in the one-thousand meters, and was second in the 500 and 3000. Rookard also won the three-thousand meters at the U.S. Single Distance Long-Track Championships at the Pettit National Ice Center.
The Marquette women's soccer team has become the first in school history to complete its conference schedule unbeaten and untied. The Golden Eagles finished its Big East schedule at 11-0 yesterday, blanking Saint John's 2-0 in Milwaukee. Rachael Sloan and Lindsey Page scored for Marquette. Natalie Kulla became the Eagles' all-time shutout leader with the 30th of her career and the eighth this season. The Eagles earned the top seed for the second straight year in the American Division of the Big East tournament. They'll open tournament play next Sunday at home.
In other women's soccer, the University of Wisconsin beat Michigan 1-0 in overtime in Madison. Alev Kelter scored the game-winner in the 108th minute, as the Badgers improved to 6-1-2 in the Big Ten and 9-4-4 overall.
UW-Milwaukee lost its regular season finale at Wright State,1-0. Morgan Rice scored in the 41st minute as the Panthers went 6-2 in the Horizon League, tied for first place with Butler. Milwaukee will have the number-two seed in the conference, with byes until the semi-finals on November fifth. UW-Green Bay ended its season with a 1-1 home tie against Detroit. Lauren Somers scored the only goal for the Phoenix, which closed out at 1-5-2 in the Horizon League and 3-9-4 overall.
The Marquette volleyball team won its eighth straight match yesterday, three-games-to-two at Notre Dame. Ashley Beyer had 21 kills and 14 digs, as the Golden Eagles won their sixth consecutive road match. They're now 6-2 in the Big East and 15-7 overall. Andrea McHugh had 19 kills for Notre Dame.
Wisconsin ended a two-match winning streak with a four-set loss at No. 20 ranked Minnesota at the Sports Pavillion in Minneapolis. Allison Wack had 21 kills for the Badgers, who fell to 2-8 in the Big Ten and 13-8 overall.