Evening State Sports Briefs: Bucks look for first win in Orlando in six yearsWisconsin Sports
-- It’s been over six years since the Milwaukee Bucks won a game in Orlando – and they’ll try again tonight. The Bucks have lost nine straight at the home of Disney World since December 29th of 2004. And they’re just 5-and-12 on the road this season, after falling by 12 at Miami last night.
ORLANDO - It’s been over six years since the Milwaukee Bucks won a game in Orlando – and they’ll try again tonight. The Bucks have lost nine straight at the home of Disney World since December 29th of 2004. And they’re just 5-12 on the road this season, after falling by 12 at Miami last night.
Orlando has won six straight. And they’re 6-2 since acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, Earl Clark, and Jason Richardson on December 18th. Turkoglu is coming off a triple-double on Monday night, when the Magic whipped Golden State by 20. He had 10 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. Dwight Howard had 22 points and 17 rebounds in that game. He missed Orlando’s last game against the Bucks – a 96-85 Milwaukee victory on December fourth at the Bradley Center. Howard had a stomach virus that night. But when he has played, Orlando has won seven straight over the Bucks. Milwaukee is 13-19, after losing three-of-its-last-four. The Magic are 22-12.
The Marquette University men’s basketball team will play at Rutgers tonight. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 in the Big East and 10-4 overall – and they’re looking for their second road victory in three tries. Rutgers is 0-1 in the conference and 9-4 overall. They’re 7-0 at home. The Scarlet Knights are coached by Mike Rice, who spent three years as a “restricted earnings assistant” at Marquette in the mid-1990’s. The position paid just $12,000 a year, with the same amount of work as an assistant with a full salary. The courts have since struck down the “restricted earnings” jobs – which Marquette coach Buzz Williams also used to hold when he was at Texas-Arlington. Rice said he would taken a-thousand-dollars to coach at Marquette, and he loved the time he was there. He helped the team make it to the NCAA Tournament in 1996-and-’97 before moving on. Rice said former coach Tom Crean raised the level of Marquette’s program – and he grew it from a regional school for recruits to a national program.
Conference play resumes tonight for most of Wisconsin’s small college basketball teams. The WIAC has four men’s-and-women’s double-headers on tap. Stevens Point hosts Oshkosh, River Falls entertains Stout, Eau Claire is at Platteville, and Superior plays at La Crosse. The Stevens Point men are ranked eighth in Division-Three this week, and the Pointer women are 10th. The River Falls men are 15th. Also, the No. 15 Whitewater women are at home against Madison Edgewood. The Midwest Conference has three men’s-and-women’s double-headers on its schedule. Ripon hosts Illinois College. Lawrence is at home against Monmouth. And Beloit plays at Grinnell. Also, the Saint Norbert women entertain Lake Forest. In the CCIW, Carthage has a double-header at Wheaton. The Carthage women are ranked 16th. In the Northern Athletics Conference, the Alverno women play at Dominican. And in non-conference men’s play, Silver Lake of Manitowoc is at Aurora.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team is back at number-one in this week’s poll from U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers held the top spot for a few weeks before losing its first game. Now, they’ve won six straight after beating Northeastern and fifth-ranked Mercyhurst at a New Year’s event in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Wisconsin is 18-2. Last week’s top team, Cornell, has dropped to second.
The Badger men’s hockey team rose two spots to 13th in this week’s College On-line poll. They’re 12-7-3 after sweeping a pair from Massachusetts.
In Division-Three, the Saint Norbert men took the top spot this week. The Green Knights are 11-2. Oswego, which held the number-one spot for most of the season, dropped to second. Milwaukee Engineering fell two places to 11th in the new poll. UW-Superior, Stout, and Eau Claire also received votes. In the D-Three women's poll, River Falls is still second, and Stevens Point remains at number-10. Superior also received votes. The Rochester Institute of Technology is still at number-one.
Three Wisconsin women’s hockey players have received weekly honors from the WCHA. Junior forward Hilary Knight was named the offensive player-of-the-week. Senior defenseman Anne Dronen was named the top defensive player. And freshman forward Madison Packer was honored as the league’s rookie-of-the-week. Knight had four goals and four assists against Mercyhurst and Northeastern last weekend – and she led the Badgers with 22 shots on goal in those two contests. Dronen had a goal and two assists, including the game-winning assist against Northeastern – and she had a plus-six mark in that contest. Packer had one goal and two assists in the two games, extending her current point streak to five games. The Badger women moved back into the number-one spot this week in the U-S College On-line poll. They’ll play at Ohio State Friday night and Saturday afternoon.
The Marquette University women’s basketball team will try to even its Big East record at 1-and-1 tonight, when it hosts Notre Dame. The Golden Eagles are 12-2 overall, after beating Louisiana Tech by eight points last Thursday to win the Sun-and-Fun Classic in Miami. 13th-ranked Notre Dame is 1-0 in the conference, and 12-3 overall. The Fighting Irish have won seven straight with the league’s top scoring offense, averaging 85 points a game. Natalie Novosel leads Notre Dame with 15 points per contest.
The Milwaukee Brewers announced the signing of 40-year-old reliever Takashi Saito this afternoon. He reached an agreement last week on a one-year contract – but the Brewer offices were closed for the holidays, so there was no official announcement until now. Saito pitched in Japan for 14 years until he came to America and started pitching in the big leagues in 2006. He has a career record of 17-and-13 with 84 saves and a two-point-one-nine ERA. Saito pitched for Atlanta last season, and held opponents to a .203 batting average while going 2-3 with a two-point-eight-three ERA.
UW-La Crosse graduate Dan Laurent has been named one of eight winners of the NCAA “Today’s Top-Eight Award.” It recognizes students for their success in athletics, academics, and their communities. Laurent won three national Division-Three championships in his 285-pound weight class. And he was received the Academic All-American-of-the-Year award for the college division in 2010. Laurent is only the fourth wrestler to receive the NCAA Top Award since its inception in 1973. Stevens Point native Suzy Favor Hamilton is a past winner of the honor – along with Drew Brees, Eli-and-Peyton Manning, Steve Young, Tim Tebow, and John Elway, and Cheryl Miller.