Badgers begin critical stretch

first_imgSenior forward Mike Bruesewitz will play his final games at the Kohl Center this week with fellow seniors Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren, J.D. Wise and Dan Fahey.[/media-credit]It may not start with the sexiest of opponents, but the Wisconsin men’s basketball team is about to embark on its most critical stretch of the season, one that will determine its positioning in the postseason.With a victory over Nebraska (13-14, 4-10 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center Tuesday night – a game that kicks off a four-game stretch to close out the regular season – the Badgers will move into a tie for second place with Michigan State. Though Indiana still has a firm two-game grasp on the conference title race, Wisconsin’s (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) distant chance at winning its first Big Ten crown since 2008 can only stay alive with a win against the Cornhuskers.Reflecting on the first matchup with Nebraska this season – an ugly 47-41 road win for UW in its second Big Ten game of the year – serves as a reminder of the growth this team has made to emerge with only four losses in conference play thus far. When rekindling memories of that narrow Jan. 6 victory in Lincoln, players and coaches agreed the offense had yet to find its groove.“Since our first game versus Nebraska we’ve made huge strides offensively,” fifth-year senior forward Ryan Evans said. “At that time we were kind of getting our defensive chemistry together. I think the first couple games in the Big Ten conference we won solely off of defense.”Nebraska, in its first year under head coach Tim Miles, sits 10th in the conference standings but has provided a genuine scare to the likes of Michigan State and Ohio State. After weathering a grueling Big Ten schedule littered with nationally-ranked opponents, the Huskers must now embrace their role as spoilers. The success they have found has come courtesy of the same principles that have defined Wisconsin basketball under head coach Bo Ryan – offensive efficiency and stingy defense.“They’re going to play almost identical defensively to how we do in terms of playing percentages, forcing in the tough looks, trying to take away your strikes,” UW associate head coach Greg Gard said. “We’ll be pretty efficient offensively where they waste possessions, those types of things. So you’re going to have to execute, beat them, they’re not going to hand you anything.”Although Nebraska averages just 59 points per game, the lowest in the Big Ten, Miles’ squad is not without its offensive threats. A pair of veteran guards, Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos, conducts the Huskers’ offense with 14 and 12.5 points per game, respectively. While each shoots less than 37 percent from the field, Gard said both are capable of gaining confidence and igniting Nebraska’s offense on any given day. But it is not as if the Husker offense is so one-dimensional that it is anemic if the shots aren’t falling for Talley and Gallegos. Nebraska has a rising star in 6-foot-6-inch swingman Shavon Shields, who ranks fourth on the team with 8.3 points per and also pulls down 5.1 rebounds per game.“Those guys shoot it, when they get hot, as well as anybody in the league,” Gard said. “They shoot it like Brandon Paul and [D.J.] Richardson at Illinois, you don’t want to get in a ‘horse’ contest with them.”Never was that potential clearer than in a four-point home win for Nebraska over Iowa Saturday, when Talley sunk a late three-pointer to cap a comeback in which the Huskers came back from a 16-point hole at halftime.Taking the Kohl Center floor for the second-to-last time this season will be a Wisconsin team that has buried its last two opponents – Northwestern and Ohio State – by a combined 51 points.After taking part in a series of low-scoring slugfests, the Badgers have displayed renewed offensive energy and netted at least 65 points in five of their last six games. The challenge for UW, then, lies in not reverting to its early Big Ten-season form, when defense compensated for lasting struggles shooting the ball.“That [first matchup with Nebraska] kind of showed what the league was going to be like – that wasn’t our only grinder of a game,” senior forward Mike Bruesewitz said, who sported a new hairstyle Sunday that drew comparisons to that of Kramer from “Seinfeld.” “We figured out we can win these types of games, we just got to make sure we stick to our rules defensively and make plays when we need to.”As the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments creep closer, Wisconsin takes the hardwood with much different stakes hanging in the balance than Nebraska has. And for a Cornhuskers team that Gard said has found ways to “muddy things up” all year, the motivation comes with the chance to bring an abrupt end to UW’s Big Ten title hopes.“We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good position right now, besides some losses that we wish we didn’t have,” freshman forward Sam Dekker said. “We got to take [Nebraska] out hopefully and that’ll drive us into the next game.”last_img read more

Cronk carried broken scapula in NRL Grand Final success

first_imgInspirational Queensland star Cronk incredibly featured for all but the final two minutes as Trent Robinson’s side set up the 21-6 win with a dominant first-half display.The victory came despite their half-back being forced to the fringes for much of contest, as he was nursed through at just “30 per cent” fitness according to Cordner.Cronk had been a major doubt leading into the match after seriously injuring his shoulder in the Preliminary Final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs eight days earlier.”We knew Coops was touch and go and he pulled through,” Cordner told the Nine Network.”We had to make up a game plan where we protected him as much as possible and we executed that. To put in a performance like that on the biggest stage is unbelievable.”We wanted [Cooper] on the field. He actually broke his scapula. That’s a big performance by him and will go down in history for sure.”Job done.#NRLGF#NRL— NRL (@NRL) September 30, 2018Luke Keary picked up the slack amid Cronk’s reduced role to guide the Roosters to their second premiership in six years, with the former’s performance against the Storm securing him the Clive Churchill Medal.The result ruined Billy Slater’s hopes of a fairytale farewell, but the retiring Melbourne full-back could not help admiring former team-mate Cronk’s courage.”He’s a really good mate of mine,” Slater said. “They hid [his fitness] really well from us.”I told him how proud I am. I’m shattered by our performance but I’m proud of him.”Cronk himself conceded he knew his role would be limited due to the injury but that he was desperate to play.”From the top down, everyone in this organisation sacrificed something for me to be here,” he said.”I don’t take that responsibility lightly, that was the motivation.”We didn’t know if I would be able to play. It was only a last-minute thing. The boys trained all week without me playing and the whole idea was to use me as a decoy.” Photo Getty Images. Caption: Cooper Cronk during the NRL Grand Final.last_img read more


first_imgA Judge has ordered the arrest of Donegal-based actor Gerard McSorley after he failed to turn up to court yesterday to face a breach of the peace charge.Actor Gerard McSorleyThe 63-year-old, who famously played the role of crime boss John Gilligan in the hit film ‘Veronica Guerin’,  lives in Bunbeg. He had been arrested earlier this month and was charged at a Dublin garda station.A separate carless driving case against McSorley is to be heard at Letterkenny District Court next June.The theatre, television and film actor was given station bail to appear at Dublin District Court yesterday.When his case was called a garda sergeant furnished Judge Hugh O’Donnell with a certificate with the details of Mr McSorley’s arrest, charge and cautioning.Judge O’Donnell noted that there was no appearance by the defendant and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.The charge before the court related to an alleged breach of the peace charge under Section Six of the Public Order Act.He is accused of engaging in threatening, abusive and insulting behaviour at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, on November 6.The offence on conviction can carry a possible three-month sentence and/or a fine.The actor has appeared in a string of hit films including ‘Omagh’, ‘War Horse’, ‘The Constant Gardener’, ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and played Father Todd Unctious in the sitcom ‘Father Ted’.JUDGE ORDERS THE ARREST OF DONEGAL-BASED ACTOR was last modified: November 30th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:breach of peaceBunbegGerard McSorleylast_img read more