Morning State Sports Briefs: UWM men's hoops downs Niagara 90-73Wisconsin Sports
-- The UW-Milwaukee men's basketball team pulled away in the second half last night to win at Niagara 90-73
NIAGARA FALLS - The UW-Milwaukee men's basketball team pulled away in the second half last night to win at Niagara 90-73.
The Panthers were up by three at the break, and they opened the second half with a 12-to-3 run to take a healthy lead the rest of the way. Senior Tone Boyle scored a career-high 27 points and made 5-of-8 from three-point range. Kashief Edwards scored 22 for Niagara, which eventually wore down against a Milwaukee team that coach Rob Jeter said was built on conditioning. The Panthers had a reason to be tired, after playing three games in Portland, Oregon last weekend and traveling almost coast-to-coast to play at Niagara Falls. But they never faltered, and they improved to 2-and-2. Niagara lost its season opener. UWM returns home to play Northern Iowa on Saturday.
The Milwaukee Bucks don’t know when forward Carlos Delfino will return from a neck injury. He missed the last four games, but he hopes to be back soon. Coach Scott Skiles said Delfino originally hurt the neck when he took a hit against Minnesota in the second game of the season – and he aggravated it on November sixth against New Orleans. The coach says Delfino won’t be out much longer. Meanwhile, Bucks’ center Andrew Bogut says he’s okay after he fell and hit his right elbow on the floor in Tuesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the same elbow he injured in April, keeping him out of the playoffs. Bogut said he was a little sore yesterday, but those things couldn’t be helped. He was hurt when he collided with Bucks’ forward Corey Maggette while trying to stop Kobe Bryant from catching a pass.
The Green Bay Packers will practice indoors the next two days – and they’ll pipe in loud crowd noise to prepare for what they’ll face in Minneapolis on Sunday. Coach Mike McCarthy says the playing the Vikings in the Metrodome is hearing a “bad stereo” system. In his words, “You just take a couple extra Advil and go play.” Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he normally loses his voice because he has to yell the signals out. Rodgers says the sound bounces off the roof, and the loud Vikings’ crowd just makes it worse. Minnesota coach Brad Childress says it’s a great home field advantage, and the Field-Turf helps his defensive line take off a little quicker than the offense. Those advantages have helped give Minnesota a 155-and-80 record since the Metrodome opened in 1982. And the Vikings gain almost 100 more total yards than their opponents at home. But Minnesota is struggling this year at 3-6 – and the 6-3 Packers want to keep them on the mat.
A two-way player from Cincinnati says he’ll play his college football at Wisconsin. Receiver-and-defensive back Darius Hilary is the 20th known player to give his verbal commitment to the Badgers for next season. He’s a senior at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati. Hilary received offers from over a dozen colleges including Connecticut, Illinois, Stanford, and Boston College. Meanwhile, the current Badgers are getting ready to play at Michigan on Saturday.
The State Building Commission has approved a new hockey-and-swimming facility at UW-Madison. The $28-million Le Bahn Arena will start being built next spring next to the Kohl Center. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2012. The facility is named in honor of 1940’s UW swimmer Charles La Bahn and his wife Mary Ann. They were the major donors for the facility. It will include an ice-sheet for men’s-and-women’s hockey practice, and 2,400-hundred seats for women’s hockey games. Both hockey teams currently play at the Kohl Center, and there will be an underground connection between that arena and the new building where both hockey teams will have new locker rooms. There will also be new swimming practice and competition facilities which are now at the UW Natatorium.