Saturday State Sports Briefs: Packers to have 16 on IR before Lions gameWisconsin Sports
-- So far, the Green Bay Packers have been able to overcome a long list of injured players. When they play at Detroit against the division-rival Lions Sunday there will be 16 players on the injury report.
DETROIT - So far, the Green Bay Packers have been able to overcome a long list of injured players. When they play at Detroit against the division-rival Lions Sunday there will be 16 players on the injury report.
Linebacker Clay Matthews, safety Charles Woodson and wide receiver Greg Jennings will not be playing. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson and fullback John Kuhn are expected to suit up and they are listed as probable. Running back Alex Green is probable, though he didn’t practice yesterday. Running back Cedric Benson, who has been out since week-five, says he is optimistic he will play again this season. He will be eligible to practice next week.
It appears that James Starks has won back the starting spot as the Green Bay Packers’ top rusher. Running backs’ coach Alex Van Pelt says Starks has earned the job, saying he was productive during his last two games considering the limited numbers of carries he had. The third-year pro started the Packers’ last game against Arizona. Starks averaged just over three-and-a-half yards on 17 carries in that game, but he appeared to show more power and instincts than the previous started, second-year pro Alex Green. Van Pelt says Starks has the most experience among the Packers’ active running backs – and he deserves to carry the ball some more on Sunday when the Pack takes on the Lions in Detroit. Starks missed the first part of the season with a turf-toe injury, and the Packers brought in free agent veteran Cedric Benson. Benson’s on the NFL’s new injured reserve-return list with a sprained foot – and the earliest he can come back is the December ninth home game against the Lions. Meanwhile, the Green Bay backfield will get an additional boost on Sunday when fullback John Kuhn returns. He’s missed the last two games with a bad hamstring.
Two short-handed goals helped the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team double up Ohio State yesterday afternoon, 4-2 at the Schottenstein Center. Four different Badgers scored as UW improved its record to 8-3-2. Alev Kelter broke a scoreless tie on the penalty kill in the second period, then the Buckeyes scored twice to go ahead. Karley Sylvester tied it up at 2-2 on a penalty shot, then goals by Blayre Turnbull and Madison Packer iced the win. Alex Rigsby had 31 saves in goal. Wisconsin outshot Ohio State 35-33. When the Buckeyes scored at the 4:51 mark in the second period, it ended Rigsby’s shutout streak at a little over 214 minutes. The two teams wrap up the series this afternoon in Columbus at 1 p.m.
The road to a national championship begins tomorrow for the UW-Oshkosh and Saint Norbert football teams. Both are part of the Field-of-32 for the NCAA Division III playoffs. Undefeated Oshkosh earned the No. 2 position in the Linfield bracket of eight, and will host Saint Scholastica of Duluth. The Titans went 10-0. One of their victories was over UW-Whitewater, which failed to make the post-season after winning the last three national titles. Saint Scholastica comes in at 8-2. Saint Norbert, meanwhile, plays at Saint Thomas of Saint Paul. Saint Thomas has the top seed in its bracket at 10-0, while Saint Norbert comes in at 8-2 after winning a share of the Midwest Conference title at week ago.
A renewed emphasis on defense has paid off for the Milwaukee Bucks. So far, the Bucks ranked third among NBA teams in steals with just over nine-and-a-half per game. Point guard Brandon Jennings leads the league with just over three-point-one steals per game. He had a streak of seven games with two-or-more steals, dating back to last season – but it was broken on Wednesday night when Jennings had just one steal in Milwaukee’s 14-point home win over Indiana. Jennings says he’s been trying to be more aggressive on the defensive end. He says if he plays hard on defense, his offensive performance will take care of itself. Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles says Jennings is a smarter defender than he’s been in the past – and if he gets near the ball, he’ll flick it from the dribbler. The Bucks are off to a 5-2 start, and will host New Orleans tomorrow night.
The Milwaukee Brewers have signed two pitchers to minor league contracts. Right-hander Frankie De La Cruz and left-hander Zach Kroenke will both be given a chance to make the Brewers at Spring Training. De La Cruz pitched in 11 games for Milwaukee in 2011 before the Chicago Cubs took him off waivers this past spring. The Cubs released him in August. Kroenke was a minor league free agent from the Arizona organization. He went 6-and-5 for Triple-“A” Reno this season with a 5.67 ERA in 32 games – including 17 starts. Kroenke pitched in seven games for the Diamondbacks in 2010-and-’11.
Three Marquette University volleyball players have been named to the All-Big East Conference first team. They are seniors Danielle Carlson and Holly Mertens, and junior Elizabeth Koberstein. Carlson received the same honor a year ago. She leads the league with a .385 hitting percentage in the middle. Last weekend, Carlson became only the 12th player in Marquette history to get a-thousand kills for her career. Mertens leads Marquette with just over three-and-a-third kills per set. Koberstein leads the conference with 11-and-two-thirds assists per set.
--Division I Men
UW-Green Bay 66, Southern Utah 54
--Division I Women
Gonzaga 62, Wisconsin 53
--Division III Men
Carroll 78, Concordia-Mequon 74
Carthage 63, Buena Vista 56
Lakeland 113, Lake Forest 112 (3OT)
Macalester 62, Wisconsin Lutheran 51
Ripon 66, UW-Oshkosh 53
UW-Eau Claire 76, Emmaus 40
UW-La Crosse 67, Edgewood 54
UW-Platteville 82, Goshen 53
UW-River Falls 89, North Central 69
UW-Stout 82, St. Scholastica 51
Viterbo 65, Martin Luther 53
William Penn 95, Marian 64
--Division III Women
Carthage 57, UW-River Falls 50
DePauw 88, UW-Stout 48
Dubuque 74, Edgewood 51
Loras 54, UW-Platteville 44
North Park 69, Milwaukee School of Engineering 37
St. Norbert 58, Lakeland 42
Simpson 71, UW-La Crosse 60
UW-Eau Claire 69, Northland 41
UW-Stevens Point 65, Millikin 50
UW-Superior 69, Ripon 60
Viterbo 91, North Central (Minn.) 20
Wisconsin Lutheran 58, Hamline 53
--NCAA Division II Women's Tournament
Grand Valley 2, UW-Parkside 0
--NCAA Division III Men's Tournament
Loras 2, UW-Platteville 1
Wisconsin 3, Iowa 0
(Big East Tournament)
Marquette 3, Pittsburgh 1
AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE
Oklahoma City 2, Milwaukee 1 (OT)
MAJOR INDOOR SOCCER LEAGUE
Milwaukee 0, Baltimore 0 (tie)