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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: PdC's Antoine in fourth in Olympic skeleton event

SOCHI, Russia - Prairie du Chien native Matt Antoine is in fourth place going into tomorrow's finals of the Winter Olympic skeleton event on the sled track at Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.  

Antoine completed his first two runs today in a combined time of 1:53.84.  That's 26-hundredths of a second behind fellow American John Daly, and one-point-85 seconds behind first-place Aleksandr Treityakov of the host country Russia.  Two more runs will take place tomorrow before the medals are handed out.  

Also today, the U.S. men's curling squad lost to Russia 7-6.  Chris Brown of Madison again saw no action as the U.S. alternate.  Team USA is now 2-4 in the round robin part of the competition. The U.S. Olympic women's curling rink lost to Denmark 9-2 this morning.  Denmark became the final team to win a match in the Sochi Games.  Team USA dropped to 1-5.   The skip for the Americans, Erika Brown of Madison, had a 63-percent accuracy rate -- which brought her Olympic average down to 68-percent.  Debbie McCormick of Rio had 75-percent accuracy -- and that brought her average up to 72-percent for the Games.  UW-Oshkosh grad Allison Pottinger has not played yet, as the Americans' alternate.  Round-robin competition continues tomorrow, when the U.S. women take on Sweden.  


Former Green Bay Packers' safety Darren Sharper has been charged in Los Angeles with drugging two women, and then raping them.  Prosecutors say the 38-year-old Sharper was to be arraigned in court this afternoon on two counts of rape by using drugs, one count of possessing a controlled substance, and four charges of furnishing a controlled substance.  The felony case involves reported incidents in October and last month.  Authorities said Sharper met women at a nightclub in West Hollywood, invited them to a party, and then took him to a hotel room where the crimes reportedly occurred.  Sharper was arrested January 17th, and was freed on a 200-thousand dollar bond.  Now, prosecutors say they'll ask for a 10-million dollar bond because he faces similar allegations in New Orleans.  Sharper made the Super Bowl as a Packer in his rookie season of 1997.  He had 36 interceptions and five touchdowns in eight seasons in Green Bay.  After that, he went to Minnesota and New Orleans, where he won a Super Bowl with the Saints in the 2009 season.  Sharper retired in 2010 with six All-Pro nominations and five Pro Bowl bids.


Milwaukee Bucks' center Larry Sanders will be out for at least six weeks, after he underwent surgery to repair an eye fracture suffered in a game last Saturday.  The Bucks said the operation was performed at Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital.  Sanders fractured his right orbital bone, when he was accidentally elbowed in the eye by Houston Rockets' guard James Harden as they were going for a rebound.  That was about five minutes into the Bucks' home loss to the Rockets.  It was the second time this season that Sanders had surgery.  The first was in early November, when he tore a ligament in his right thumb during a nightclub brawl.  That kept him out for six weeks -- and he was just starting to get his rhythm when he got hurt again.  He had 25 points and 15 rebounds at Denver on February 5th.  Sanders has started 20 games for Milwaukee, averaging around eight points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots per game.


UW-Whitewater will go for its third straight WIAC wrestling championship, when the conference meet is held tomorrow in La Crosse.  The Warhawks are ranked second in the country by the coaches' association.  They earned the top seed in the league tournament, after going 5-0 in round-robin competition against the five other WIAC schools that have wrestling programs.  UW-La Crosse finished second in the conference meet a year ago, and they have the Number-two seed this year.  Oshkosh is seeded third followed by Stevens Point, Platteville, and Eau Claire.  Five Whitewater wrestlers have individual national rankings by the coaches' association.  Jimmy Nehls is fifth at 133 pounds, Matt Adcock seventh at 141, Elroy Perkin ninth at 149, Shane Siefert second at 197, and Anthony Edgren fifth at 285.


Grinnell College of Iowa is the heavy favorite to repeat as the Midwest Conference men's-and-women's swimming champions.  Grinnell is hosting the league meet today through Sunday, and they're returning almost all their individual champions from a year ago. The Grinnell men are going for their 12th straight conference crown.  The women have won 14-of-the-last-15 league titles.  Grinnell regained the women's crown a year ago, after Lake Forest won it in 2012.  


All of Wisconsin's major college basketball teams have the night off.  Only one Division-Three school is scheduled to play.  Northland College of Ashland is hosting a men's-and-women's double header against Minnesota-Morris.  The Lumberjack men are coming off a two-point win over Northland International on Tuesday night.  Northland is 4-17 overall, and 1-9 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.  The Lumberjill women have the identical conference and overall records.  They ended a nine-game losing streak on Tuesday night with a 64-44 victory over Northland International.


The Green Bay Packers have signed tight end Raymond Webber, who's been with two NFL teams and a CFL squad but has never made a regular season roster.  The Packers bolstered a position in which two players could leave as unrestricted free agents -- Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless.  Webber is 6-2 and 237, on the smaller side for a tight end in the pros.  As a wide receiver in college, he led the nation with 101 catches and 1,429 receiving yards for the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2010.  Webber signed as an undrafted free agent with Tampa Bay in 2011, but he spent the whole season on injured reserve.  In 2012, he went to Training Camp with the New York Jets, but did not make their roster.  The same was true last year for the Canadian league's Calgary Stampeders. 


The Milwaukee Admirals return from the American Hockey League All-Star break with three games this weekend.  The Admirals will host Iowa tonight, before playing at Chicago tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon.  Milwaukee is in third place in the Midwest Division, four points behind second-place Chicago.  Grand Rapids is the division leader.  The Admirals are 22-14-6-5.  The Iowa Wild are 20-17-5-4 -- and they're winless in five games against Milwaukee this season with a 0-3-1-1 record.


The Milwaukee Wave will try to stay in first-place in the Major Indoor Soccer League when they play at Pennsylvania on Sunday.  The Wave has clinched a playoff spot, and is a half-game up on Baltimore for the top seed.  Milwaukee is 13-2.  They'll play a Pennsylvania team that has just one victory in 14 matches.  Yesterday, Milwaukee held an intra-squad game for area school kids.  Ian Bennett scored three goals in the exhibition.  He's tied for the league scoring lead with 55 points -- including four three-point goals.