Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Bucks hope to limp into playoffsThe Milwaukee Bucks are 1-0 in March – and they hope to build on that record and limp into the NBA Playoffs.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks are 1-0 in March – and they hope to build on that record and limp into the NBA Playoffs.
Milwaukee went just 3-9 in February, and they’re 13 games under .500. But the Bucks are only three-and-a-half games behind Indiana for the eighth-and-final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 23 games left. And the Bucks hope to make some hay in March, with 10-of-their-16 games at the Bradley Center. Milwaukee is 15-and-14 at home, as they continue to work around injuries to various players like they’ve done all season. The Bucks have had 20 different starting lineups. Center Andrew Bogut is expected to remain out until the middle of next week with an injured left rib-cage, and forward Ersan Ilyasova remains out with a concussion. As a result, rookie Larry Sanders has been starting on the front line after being demoted briefly last week when he was sent down to the NBA’s Developmental League. The Bucks have two home games against Phoenix tomorrow night and Boston on Sunday night.
The UW-Milwaukee women’s basketball team will play at Detroit tonight. The Panthers are coming off home wins over Butler and Valparaiso last weekend. Because of that, they still have a chance to clinch the Number-four seed for next week’s Horizon League Tournament and a home game for the quarter-finals. Milwaukee is now 8-and-8 in the conference and 11-16 overall. Detroit comes in with a 6-0 league mark, and an overall record of 12-15. UWM lost to Detroit in January. But since then Titans have only won four-of-its-last-13 contests. Dominique Dixon leads Detroit in scoring with almost 13 points a game. Her teammate Yar Shayok is the only Horizon League player who’s averaging a double-double with 10 points and almost 11 rebounds per contest. Milwaukee has the league’s current player-of-the-week, Lindsay Laur. The senior averaged 16-and-a-half points and nine boards in her two games last weekend, and she made the game-winning lay-up against Valparaiso.
University of Wisconsin senior Meghan Duggan and junior Hilary Knight were among 10 finalists named today for the Patty Kazmeier Award as the nation’s top women’s hockey player. They were among three Badgers nominated earlier, when 26 candidates were announced. The other one was sophomore Brianna Decker. The list will be narrowed to three next week. The award will be presented on March 19th. The last Badger to win the Kazmeier award was goal-tender Jessie Vetter in 2009. Sara Bauer is Wisconsin’s only other recipient. She won it in 2006.
Carroll University of Waukesha has given its interim football coach the job permanently. Mike Krzykowski was among 125 applicants considered over the last two months. He had been the interim coach since December. Krzykowski has been Carroll’s defensive coordinator since 2006, and he was named an assistant head coach in 2008. He graduated from Carroll in 1994, and has also been a high school football coach and an assistant at Elmhurst College.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team has had trouble making baskets on the road. And the 10th-ranked Badgers hope to shake out of that trend tonight at Indiana. Bo Ryan’s team shot just 38-percent from the floor in its last four road games. And they’ve allowed their last three opponents to shoot a combined 52-percent from three-point range. The Badgers are 12-4 in the Big Ten as they get ready for their second-to-last regular season game, and they’re 22-6 overall. Indiana is 3-13 in the conference and 12-17 overall. Tom Crean’s Hoosiers have a six-game losing streak, but Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close says they’ve been competitive in all those games – and they’ve had some big wins at home. Close says the Badgers will be going into a “hornet’s nest” in Bloomington, and they’ll have to play well to get the victory.
The UW-Green Bay women will go for their 19th straight victory tonight, when they play at Wright State. The 15th-ranked Phoenix are 16-0 in the Horizon League, and 27-1 overall. Green Bay scored a season-high 93 points in its last game, a home victory over Butler last weekend. They’ll play a Wright State team that’s 10-6 in the conference and 17-10 overall. The Raiders will be without Molly Fox, who’s out with a sprained ankle. She’s averaging 15 points and almost 10 rebounds a game. Wright State is coming off a 17-point loss at Illinois-Chicago last Saturday. Elsewhere in the Horizon League tonight, the UW-Milwaukee women are at Detroit. And the Wisconsin women are playing Illinois this afternoon in the first round of their Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
The Ripon College baseball team is the coaches’ pre-season favorite to win the North Division title in the Midwest Conference this spring. Ripon is the defending league champion from a year ago, with a record of 12-4 in conference play. Nick Beaman of the Red Hawks was named a pre-season All-American by D3baseball.com, after he hit .439 a year ago with 53 RBI’s. Saint Norbert was picked to finish second in the North Division with Beloit third, Carroll, and Lawrence fifth. Illinois College is the favorite to win the South Division crown.
In softball, Saint Norbert is the favorite to repeat as the Midwest Conference North Division champion, while Lake Forest was picked to win another South Division crown. Saint Norbert went 33-8 a year ago and made the NCAA Tournament. Ripon is picked is to finish second in the north with Lawrence third, Carroll fourth, and Beloit fifth.