Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Stone fired as UW women's hoops coachWisconsin Sports
-- Just one NCAA tournament appearance in eight years wasn’t enough to keep Wisconsin women’s basketball coach Lisa Stone on the job. She was fired earlier today.
MADISON - Just one NCAA tournament appearance in eight years wasn’t enough to keep Wisconsin women’s basketball coach Lisa Stone on the job. She was fired earlier today.
Stone, the successful UW-Eau Claire head coach in 1990s, compiled a 128-119 record in those eight years, making the tournament in 2010 before losing in the first round. Wisconsin was 16-15 this season, losing to Illinois State in the second round of the women’s NIT. Athletics director Barry Alvarez offered kind words about the person Stone is, and the effort she gave, but the team simply didn’t progress enough during her time leading it.
Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema said today that receiver Nick Toon would miss all of the spring practices, after having foot surgery. Toon was bothered by a foot injury for much of last season. Also, the coach said quarterback Curt Phillips would have passing drills but no scrimmaging as he gets over a serious knee injury. And offensive lineman Josh Oglesby is expected to take part in individual drills this spring, as he recovers from an injured knee. Bielema also said today that sophomore-to-be Mannaseh Garner will move from the tight end spot to wide receiver. And the coach said his newest assistant, Demontie Cross, would handle the kickoff coverage and punt return units.
The University of Wisconsin men’s hockey season ended eight days ago – but hockey fans in the Badger State can watch other teams compete for a shot at a national title. Green Bay will host an NCAA Division-One men’s hockey regional this weekend at the Resch Center. North Dakota will open the proceedings against Renssealer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.. Denver will then play Western Michigan at four o’clock. Saturday’s winners will square off Sunday at 4:30 for a spot in the NCAA men’s Frozen Four in two weekends in Saint Paul.
The Marquette women will play at top-seeded Tennessee tonight in the second round of their NCAA basketball tournament. The eighth-seeded Golden Eagles hope to pull off a major upset. Pat Summitt’s Lady Vols are 37-0 in tournament games on their home floor, and they’re 22-0 in second-round contests. Tennessee is 32-2, after an easy first-round victory over Stetson 99-34. Shekinna Stricklen, the SEC’s Player-of-the-Year, led Tennessee with 15 points in that contest – and she’s one of four Lady Vols who average at least 10 points a game. Glory Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds against Stetson. Marquette is 24-8, after a three-point win over ninth-seeded Texas on Saturday. Tatiyiana McMorris hit the game-winning three-pointer with five-point-nine seconds left. Marquette had three players in double figures, led by Angel Robinson with 19. The winner of tonight’s game advances to the Sweet-16, and will play either Ohio State or Georgia Tech on Saturday. Meanwhile, UW-Green Bay is gearing up for its second-round game tomorrow night against Michigan State in Wichita, Kansas.
It’s business-as-usual for Green Bay Packer season ticket holders, despite the NFL lockout of the players. Payments for this year’s season tickets are still due on March 31st. The New York Giants have said they won’t make ticket holders pay their invoices until the lockout’s over. But Packers’ administrative vice president Jason Wied says it’s important for his organization to know who’s committed to keep their season tickets. And the only way to do it is to make ticket-holders pay for their seats. Wied says the Packers fully expect to be playing this season. If they don’t, Wied says the customers will get their money back, plus the interest the team makes on the ticket revenues.
The Green Bay Gamblers still lead the junior U.S. Hockey League by three points, despite losing five games in a row. The Gamblers have lost three straight at home, after dropping a 4-3 decision to Dubuque yesterday. Max Hartner, Alex Broadhurst, and Austin Czarnik all scored in the third period for Green Bay, which fell to 37-13-4. The Gamblers have 78 points as they go for their third straight Anderson Cup, which is given to the league’s regular season champion. Cedar Rapids is second with 75 points. Dubuque is third with 74.
The University of Wisconsin women’s rowing teams are off to a strong start this spring. The Badgers won three-of-four races yesterday at the Longhorn Invitational at Texas. In the lightweight category, the third varsity and first novice-eight squad defeated Louisville’s open-weight novices by 26 seconds with a winning time of 7:38-point-three. Wisconsin won two-of-three open-weight events, as the second varsity eight and the varsity four squads brought home victories. But the Badger varsity eight lost to Louisville by just a half-second.