Thursday State Sports Briefs: UWGB women look to beat Butler againWisconsin Sports
-- The UW-Green Bay women's basketball team will try to beat Butler tonight for the 32nd straight time.
GREEN BAY - The UW-Green Bay women's basketball team will try to beat Butler tonight for the 32nd straight time.
It's the Phoenix's longest winning streak over any opponent. 12th-ranked Green Bay has won 33 straight regular season games over Horizon League opponents. They're 7-0 in the league this year, and 17-0 overall. Even if they don't win another game, the Phoenix has clinched its 35th consecutive winning season. That's the third-longest in the country Louisiana Tech and Tennessee, both of which have 38 straight winning campaigns. Butler comes in at 3-4 in the Horizon League and 7-11 overall. The Bulldogs are just 2-20 against nationally-ranked teams.
Also in the Horizon League tonight, the UW-Milwaukee women play at Valparaiso. Both teams are 1-6 in the conference. The Panthers are 5-12 overall, while Valpo is at 5-13. The Crusaders are just 14 in January.
A log-jam could be broken tonight at the top of the Horizon League men's basketball standings. Five teams are within one game of each other. UW-Milwaukee will host Butler -- both of which are tied for third in the conference along with Youngstown State at 6-3. They're all one game behind co-leaders Valparaiso and Cleveland State. Valpo plays at UW-Green Bay this evening. Milwaukee is 13-8 overall, after dropping a pair of games at Cleveland State and Youngstown State last weekend. Butler, the defending NCAA runner-ups from a year ago, is 12-9 this year. The Bulldogs have won three straight and seven-of-their-last-nine. Meanwhile, Green Bay will try to upset a Valparaiso team that's 7-2 in the conference and 14-7 overall. The Phoenix are struggling at 3-6 in the Horizon League and 7-12 overall. But Green Bay is 7-1 at home this season. And Phoenix center Alec Brown needs just three more blocked shots to break the school's season record of 132 set by Terry Evans from 2005-through-'09. Valpo has won four straight and six-of-its-last-seven. Also tonight, the Wisconsin men will try to win their fifth straight game when they host Indiana.
The University of Wisconsin women will try to win their sixth straight game over Minnesota, when they play each other tonight in Minneapolis. The Badgers are 2-5 in the Big Ten and 6-13 overall, but they're coming off a 20-point home romp of Northwestern last Sunday. Wisconsin has outshot its opponents 45-to-22 percent from three-point range in its last three games. Minnesota is 3-and-4 in conference play. They're looking to return to .500 after falling by 15 at Nebraska last weekend.
University of Wisconsin graduate assistant Ben Strickland was promoted yesterday to a full-time football assistant coach. He'll replace DeMontie Cross, who left for Kansas -- and he'll be the secondary coach and help out with the special teams. Strickland played his college football with the Badgers, where he rose from a walk-on defensive back to a team captain in his senior year of 2007. Coach Bret Bielema said he's been impressed with Strickland's development, first as a player and then as a coach. He coached at Minnetonka High School in Minnesota in 2008 before returning to Madison in '09. Strickland is the fifth new assistant hired by Bielema since the Rose Bowl. The Badgers still need a tight ends' coach.
The Milwaukee Wave indoor soccer team will play at Wichita tonight. The two teams have played each other twice in the last six days. The Wings edged the Wave 18-16 last Friday night, and Milwaukee won 9-6 last Saturday. Wave forward Ian Bennett is the league's player-of-the-week after scoring 15 points in three contests including four goals. Bennett has at least one point in his last 11 games, and he leads Milwaukee with 38 points. The Wave is 12-2. Wichita is 6-9.
All of Wisconsin's PGA golfers are taking the weekend off. Nobody from the Badger State is competing in the PGA Tour event that's starting today, the Farmers' Insurance Open at San Diego. And the Champions' Tour is off until February 10th, after Rhinelander native Dan Forsman won the Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii last weekend.
In the Northern Athletics Conference, the Wisconsin Lutheran women can extend their North Division lead tonight with a victory at Alverno. Lutheran is the only undefeated team in league play at 11-0. They're a game-and-a-half up on second-place Concordia-Mequon. Also tonight, the Edgewood women play in Watertown against Maranatha Baptist. And in NAC men's action, Maranatha travels to Sheboygan to take on Lakeland.
In men's college basketball...
UW-Stevens Point 71, UW-Whitewater 60
UW-River Falls 72, UW-Stout 50
UW-Eau Claire 69, UW-Superior 55
UW-Platteville 74, UW-Oshkosh 69 in overtime
Concordia-Mequon 90, Wisconsin Lutheran 64
Marian 70, Edgewood 69
Benedictine 60, Milwaukee School of Engineering 38
Saint Norbert 74, Lawrence 65
Ripon 70, Beloit 67
In women's college basketball...
UW-Stevens Point 80, UW-Whitewater 58
UW-River Falls 73, UW-Stout 47
UW-Eau Claire 61, UW-Superior 56
UW-Platteville 68, UW-Oshkosh 63
Saint Norbert 89, Lawrence 45
Ripon 64, Beloit 31
Carthage 72, Elmhurst 53
In boys' high school basketball...
Somers Shoreland Lutheran 56, Burlington Catholic Central 40
In girls' high school basketball...
Deerfield 57, Fall River 55
Living Word Christian 59, Beaver Dam Wayland Academy 47
Milwaukee Messmer 49, Milwaukee University 38
Milwaukee Washington 59, Milwaukee Bay View 35