Afternoon State Sports Briefs: UWGB's Bollant named Regional Coach of the YearWisconsin Sports
-- Matt Bollant of UW-Green Bay has been named the regional women’s basketball coach-of-the-year by his colleagues from around the country.
GREEN BAY - Matt Bollant of UW-Green Bay has been named the regional women’s basketball coach-of-the-year by his colleagues from around the country.
Bollant led the Phoenix to their first-ever NCAA Sweet-16 appearance last weekend. And his team set new school records with 34 wins, a .944 winning percentage, 2,666 points scored, 539 free throws made, 721 assists, 442 steals, a plus-21 scoring margin, and a plus-eight turnover margin. Bollant also led Green Bay to the Horizon League regular season and tournament crowns with an 18-0 mark in conference play. The 38-year-old Bollant has spent four seasons at UWGB.
It’s been seven years since the Milwaukee Bucks have defeated the Toronto Raptors three straight times. But that’s what they hope to do tonight at the Air Canada Centre, and keep their fledgling playoff hopes alive. The Bucks are three games behind Indiana for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with nine contests left. And one thing Coach Scott Skiles hopes to do is to stop blowing late leads. Milwaukee led in the fourth quarter in each of its last four losses, including Monday night when they fell at Charlotte by one point. The Bucks missed their last 11 shots in that game, and they’ve only shot 40-percent from the floor in their last two contests. But they have averaged 51-percent in two victories over Toronto this season. The Raptors have given up 106 points a game this season, while letting opponents shoot 48-percent. Toronto is 20-53, and will face a Bucks team that’s 29-44.
Marquette University senior forward Jimmy Butler will play in the Reese’s College All-Star Game on Friday at the NCAA’s Final Four site in Houston. Butler will play on the East All-Stars against a West team that includes Michigan State guard Kalin Lucas. TruTV will broadcast the game starting at 4:30 Friday afternoon. It’s the second straight Marquette will have a play in the Reese’s All-Star event. Lazar Hayward scored a game-high 23 points in that contest last year in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Butler has also been invited to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament on April 6-9th. The event is considered an audition for the pro game, and a number of scouts will be on hand.
The Milwaukee Admirals can clinch an American Hockey League playoff spot tonight with a win over the San Antonio Rampage at the Bradley Center. The Admirals are tied with Houston for first place in an extremely tight West Division. San Antonio is seventh in the West, two points back for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Milwaukee is coming off a 2-to-1 home victory over the Rampage last Sunday. That dropped San Antonio’s road record to 17-21. The Rampage is 38-30-3-2 overall. The Admirals are 40-19-6-8. Milwaukee goal-tender Mark Dekanich and leading scorer Linus Klasen are both out with injuries, and coach Lane Lambert does not expect them back for the remainder of the regular season. Lambert hopes to get back center Steve Begin back this evening. He’s been out since January 22nd.
The University of Wisconsin softball team will have to wait one more day to play its home opener. A game against Illinois-Chicago was called off yesterday due to poor field conditions at Goodman Diamond in Madison. A make-up date was not announced. The Badgers will try again to take the field tomorrow, when they’re scheduled to host a double-header against Loyola of Chicago. Wisconsin is 15-11 overall and they’re 0-2 in the Big Ten after dropping a pair at Penn State last weekend. Wisconsin was off to its best start in several years, but has lost four-of-its-last-five.
The UW-Green Bay men’s golf team finished third among 10 schools at the weather-shortened Beu-Massato Invitational in Macomb, Illinois. The Phoenix shot a combined 25-over-par-601 for 36 holes before yesterday’s final round was canceled. Western Illinois, the host school, won the tournament at 17-over. South Dakota State was second at plus-20. Senior Austin Ehlenfeldt was Green Bay’s top individual. He shot a four-over-par 148.
UW-La Crosse freshman Christa Booman has earned a place at the NCAA Division-One women’s gymnastics championships. She’ll be in the All-Around competition at the Denver Regional on Saturday. Booman won the All-Around title at the national small college meet last weekend in Eau Claire with a total score of 38.650.
UW-Stevens Point is ninth, and Whitewater is 10th in this week’s national small college baseball poll from D3baseball.com. Both teams dropped two places from the previous poll. Stevens Point is off to a 6-3 start, while Whitewater is 5-2. Oshkosh made its first appearance in the poll this week at No.17. Carthage rose two spots to 21st. Shenandoah of Virginia is still at No. 1
Mukwonago native Wally Bradford of Valparaiso has been named the Horizon League’s outdoor track-and-field athlete-of-the-week. Bradford, a sophomore, won the 15-hundred meters at the Polar Bear Invitational last weekend – and he placed fifth in the 800-meters.