State Basketball Roundup: Bucks get a big road win over DallasWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Bucks ended a three-game losing streak with a 95-90 victory at Dallas last night.
DALLAS - The Milwaukee Bucks ended a three-game losing streak with a 95-90 victory at Dallas last night.
The Bucks scored the game’s final five points. Mike Dunleavy put Milwaukee in front for good by hitting a jumper from 19-feet out with just over a minute to play. Ersan Ilyasova made three free throws in the final 17 seconds, as the Bucks were finally able to close out a game after dropping their previous three by a total of six points. Monta Ellis had 22 points, nine assists, and six steals. Larry Sanders had foul trouble early, but he recovered enough to have 13 points and 13 rebounds. Bucks’ forward Drew Gooden came off the bench for the first time in six games, and had eight points in 10 minutes. Gooden was given an opportunity after the Bucks suspended center Samuel Dalembert for a game. He missed the team’s shoot-around yesterday morning. Dallas center Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points and a season-high 20 boards. The Mavericks only made 1-of-17 from three-point range, as they’ve lost two straight after winning five-of-six. The Bucks picked up only their second victory in their last nine. And they expanded their lead for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot to five games over both Philadelphia and Toronto. Milwaukee plays at Houston tonight.
There were no big upsets last night in the first round of the Wisconsin girls’ high school basketball regionals. Once again, the big story was the weather. Thirteen of the 152 scheduled games were postponed until tonight, because of another snowstorm in the southern part of the Badger State. All five returning champions from a year ago had first-round byes, as did all the top-seeded schools except for Division-Five – where all eight of the Number-Ones that played were victorious. Top-seeded Clayton crushed New Auburn 80-2. And top-seed Wisconsin Rapids Assumption handily eliminated Granton 79-3. Two teams forfeited their games – Milwaukee Tenor in Division 3, and Milwaukee Young-Coggs Prep in D-4. Five games had No. 10 seeds upsetting the seventh seeds. And five No. 4 were the highest seeds to lose. Once the first round games end tonight, each division will have 64 teams remaining. The girls’ regionals are scheduled to continue to Friday and Saturday.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team has moved to within a game of first place in the Big Ten Conference, after crushing Nebraska at home last night, 77-46. The Badgers improved to 11-4 in the Big Ten, as conference leader Indiana lost at Minnesota. Wisconsin pulled away with a 27-4 run in the first half that included a barrage of three-pointers, including three from freshman Sam Dekker matched his season-high of 19 points. It was Dekker’s fifth straight game in double figures. Wisconsin led by 21 at the half and rolled from there. They shot almost 60-percent in the first half, and 51-percent for the night. Nebraska shot only 33-percent. Jared Berggren became Wisconsin’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 126. He had four against Nebraska. Dylan Talley had 21 points and eight rebounds for the Cornhuskers, who dropped to 4-and-11 in the Big Ten and 13-and-15 overall. 17th-ranked Wisconsin improved to 20-8 overall, and will host Purdue on Sunday.
Badgers’ senior forward Jared Berggren is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Award as the player-of-the-year in Division-One college basketball. Going into last night’s win over Nebraska, Berggren led the team with almost 12 points a game, with seven rebounds. Four finalists for the Naismith award will be announced in late March during the NCAA Tournament. The winner will be announced at the men’s Final Four on April seventh in Atlanta.
Alec Brown scored a career-high 28 points last night, as the UW-Green Bay men scored a home victory over UW-Milwaukee 78-61. The Panthers ended their season at 3-13 in the Horizon League, and 8-23 overall. Green Bay has one more contest on Saturday at Valparaiso, before playing in the Horizon League tournament. But the Phoenix were eliminated from the regular season crown when Valpo beat Youngstown State last night. The junior Brown made four three-pointers against Milwaukee, and he added eight rebounds as Green Bay improved to 10-5 in the conference and 16-13 overall. Paris Gulley led Milwaukee with 19 points. He hit a jumper which moved the Panthers to within five with six-and-a-half minutes left. But Green Bay responded with a 15-1 run to put the contest out of reach.
The Marquette University women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing string with an 81-70 victory at Providence. The Golden Eagles led by eight with 3:41 to play, and they made seven free-throws down the stretch to seal their victory. Marquette shot 50-percent, while out-rebounding the Friars 49-to-21. Katherine Plouffe had 20 points and 12 rebounds, as the Eagles improved to 5-9 in the Big East and 13-14 overall. Tori Rule scored a game-high 25 for Providence, which fell to 2-12 in the conference and 7-20 overall. Marquette plays at Georgetown on Saturday.
For the second time in a row, Sam Barber of UW-Stevens Point has been named the WIAC women’s basketball player-of-the-year. The senior guard is the third player in conference history to receive the league’s top honors in back-to-back seasons. The others are former Pointer Amanda Nechuta and Kelsey Duoss of Stout, both in the last decade. Barber leads the WIAC in scoring with almost 19 points a game. She also made the all-conference first team. Kaitlyn Thill and Cortney Kumerow, both of UW-Whitewater, are repeat first team selections from last season. Brad Fischer of Oshkosh was named the league’s coach-of-the-year, as the Titans improved from 1-15 in the conference last year to 12-4 this season. It was the largest year-to-year improvement in league history.