Morning State Sports Briefs: Showdown in the WIAC between Whitewater and OshkoshWisconsin Sports
-- The UW-Oshkosh football team is 6-0 for the first time in 89 years – and the Titans hope to stay unbeaten tomorrow with what would be a signature victory at UW-Whitewater.
WHITEWATER - The UW-Oshkosh football team is 6-0 for the first time in 89 years – and the Titans hope to stay unbeaten tomorrow with what would be a signature victory at UW-Whitewater.
Both teams are 3-0 in conference play, and they lead third-place Eau Claire by one game in the WIAC. Whitewater is fifth and Oshkosh 10th in this week’s D3football.com. The Warhawks are 5-1 overall, after their Week 2 loss to Buffalo State. But Whitewater still has a 27-game conference winning streak which Oshkosh hopes to ruin. Warhawks’ coach Lance Leipold says his team will have to play its best football to win tomorrow. Oshkosh coach Pat Cerroni expects his team to quote, “get kicked in the mouth early” by Whitewater – and if they can keep the game closing, he says it could be interesting. Oshkosh quarterback Nate Wara leads the WIAC with 218-and-a-half passing yards a game, and total offense with 299 yards. In other conference games, Eau Claire is at Stevens Point tomorrow. 20th-ranked Platteville hosts River Falls. And Stout plays at La Crosse.
Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley has been limited at practice this week – and his playing time on Sunday could also be limited when Green Bay plays the Rams in Saint Louis. Finley injured a shoulder at Indianapolis 12 days ago, and he managed to be a part of over 20 plays last Sunday night at Houston. Coach Mike McCarthy said that at first, his medical staff did not believe Finley could return so quickly – but he did, and the coach calls it a “huge credit” to him. McCarthy said Finley wants to play some more against the Rams, but the team plans to be cautious because of what the doctors are seeing with his AC joint. Meanwhile, the Rams have three injured starters who did not practice yesterday or Wednesday. Receiver Danny Amendola has been out with an injured collarbone. Left tackle Rodgers Saffold might not play due to a knee injury. And his replacement Wayne Hunter has been out with a bad back. If Hunter can’t go, Joe Barksdale would most likely get the start. The Rams obtained him off waivers from Oakland in late September.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will play its first game in the new LaBahn Arena tonight in Madison. A sellout crowd of 2,273 is expected. The Badgers have been practicing there since the first of October, but they’re still feeling their way around the facility. Bemidji State will be the first opponent to play in LaBahn Arena, which is located right next to the Kohl Center on the UW-Madison campus. Game 2 of their series will be on Sunday. Badgers’ coach Mark Johnson said his players feel excitement over the new arena – and he says it will be fun to see how his team responds under actual game conditions. The ninth-ranked Badgers hope to recover from a pair of shutout losses last weekend at Minnesota-Duluth. Wisconsin is 1-2-1 in the WCHA, and 3-2-1 overall. Bemidji State comes in at 1-3. Tonight also marks the 500th game for the Wisconsin women’s hockey program. The Badgers have won 360 of those contests – including 283 under coach Johnson. Meanwhile, the Badger men’s hockey team is off this weekend, after dropping a pair to Northern Michigan last weekend in Green Bay.
The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 97-to-94 last night in an exhibition game at the La Crosse Center. The Bucks had a chance to send the game to overtime with three seconds left. But Beno Udrih missed a shot at the buzzer, forced by a tight Memphis zone defense. Milwaukee only had one lead in the second half for a brief time in the third quarter. Monta Ellis scored 20 points, and Brandon Jennings had 19 for the Bucks. Forward Ekpe Udoh played 21 minutes, after missing two games with a strained left knee. He had two points, three rebounds, and three blocked shots. Mike Conley and Rudy Gay each scored 20 for Memphis – and Gay made all 12 of his free throws. Just over 43-hundred fans saw Milwaukee’s first appearance in La Crosse in four pre-seasons. The Bucks fell to 2-2 in their exhibition schedule. They’re back at the Bradley Center tomorrow night to play Washington.
The Detroit Tigers will try to win their first World Series since 1984, after winning the American League pennant with a four-game sweep in the league title series. The Tigers crushed the New York Yankees 8-1 at home last night, to advance to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2006. Seven Tigers banged out two-or-more hits, including ex-Brewer Prince Fielder. He had two singles in five trips and scored a run. Fielder also made the game’s final put-out, catching a pop-up at first base. Jhonny Peralta homered twice. Max Scherzer did not give up a hit until the sixth inning, and he struck out 10. Delmon Young was the series’ MVP, as he became the first player in post-season history to drive home the game-winning run in four straight contests. It was the first time in 32 years that the Yankees were swept in a League Championship Series. The Yanks only scored six runs in their four games, with the lowest batting average ever in a post-season series at .157. C.C. Sabathia, who led the Brewers to the 2008 playoffs, took the loss for New York. He was shelled for six runs – five earned – in just three-and-two-thirds innings, giving up 11 hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. The Tigers will now play either Saint Louis or San Francisco in the World Series. The Cardinals took a three-games-to-one lead in the National League title series with a 3-to-1 home victory last night. The Redbirds could wrap up the series tonight in Game-Five at Busch Stadium.
Mequon Homestead will try to win its fifth straight girls’ state high school team tennis championship this weekend. The state tournament begins tonight in Madison. And Homestead will have a tough battle in its opening match, as it takes on Middleton – the only undefeated team in Division 1 at 22-0. Three other Division 1 quarter-finals are also on tonight’s schedule. Neenah will open against Nicolet. Eau Claire Memorial faces Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels. And Green Bay Southwest goes up against Lake Geneva Badger. The semi-finals will be played tomorrow, along with the semis in Division-Two. Title matches in both divisions are set for tomorrow afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
UW-Whitewater has clinched at least a share of its third straight WIAC women’s soccer regular season title. The Warhawks defeated Oshkosh 5-1 yesterday, to improve to 6-0 in league play. They claim win the season title outright by getting at least one point in their final two matches on Saturday against Stevens Point and October 27th at UW-River Falls. The top six teams in the final standings will compete in the WIAC Tournament starting October 30th.
Wisconsin has two teams in the Division III men’s basketball pre-season poll from D3hoops.com. Defending national champion UW-Whitewater is ranked third, and UW-Stevens Point is at No. 15. Whitewater has four of its five starters back from a year ago – but the Warhawks lost Chris Davis, who was the D3hoops national player-of-the-year in 2012. Whitewater went 29-4 a year ago, while the Pointers finished at 20-8. MIT is the preseason No. 1 with 12 first-place votes. They went 29-2 a year ago, and made the national Final Four. Virginia Wesleyan is second, with three first-place votes. Whitewater received 10 votes to be in the top spot. Last weekend, Warhawks coach Pat Miller received the Wisconsin Division III coach-of-the-year award at a banquet in Middleton put on by the coaches’ association. Saint Norbert and Carroll received votes outside of the Top-25 in the pre-season poll. Saint Norbert was only four spots away from being ranked.
Brittany McNett-Emmerich of UW-Stout has been named the women’s golfer-of-the-year in the WIAC. The sophomore from Madison won the individual conference title, and she led the league with an average score of 78-point-one per round. McNett-Emmerich is the first woman from Stout to be named the golfer-of-the-year. She was also named to a five-member All-Conference first team, along with Catherine Wagner and Kate Engler of Eau Claire, Gillian McDonald of River Falls, and Nicole Westcott of Whitewater. Sammie Leibham and Megan Ramp of Whitewater made the second squad, along with Kellsey Welter of Platteville, Becca Eggers of Stout, and McKenna Prestigiacomo of Stevens Point. Howie Samb of Stout was named the coach-of-the-year.
The Green Bay Gamblers of the U.S. junior hockey league are off to a slow 1-4-2 start. That’s after the Gamblers lost a 5-3 game to Indiana Wednesday night at home. The Ice led 4-2 after the first period and hung on from there. The Gamblers were without four players who were suspended by the league, after an 8-7 shootout at Cedar Rapids last Saturday in which 213 minutes of penalties were handed out on 45 calls. Ben Gallacher has nine games left on his suspension, Seth Blair four games, and Sheldon Dries two. Ryan Siroky completed his one-game penalty last night.