Winning streak revives men’s hoops

first_imgIn the midst of a five-game winning streak, Wisconsin guard Josh Gasser has given the Badgers excellent all-around play. He had eight points, two rebounds and an assist against Indiana.[/media-credit]Halfway through the Big Ten season, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has found its groove.After losing three of their first four conference games, including three straight at one point, the Badgers have now won their last five in a stretch of contests that wasn’t consistently pretty, but rewarding nonetheless.Thursday night against Indiana, Wisconsin shot barely less than 40 percent (39.6) from the field and connected on just four of 17 three-point attempts. A 3-for-7 mark from the free throw line in the first half was perhaps the clearest sign the Badgers were not about to have a sparkling night shooting the basketball.Ten second-half points from Ben Brust and stingier team defense sufficed to carry Wisconsin to a 57-50 victory, and afterward, head coach Bo Ryan praised his team’s “grit” and “fight” in pulling out the win. Whether it was those factors at play or simply better luck putting the ball in the hoop, the effort was emblematic of the confidence the Badgers have fostered in their five-game streak.“Especially when we get a couple of close wins and grit out a couple wins, it makes everything feel a little bit better,” forward/center Jared Berggren said. “Guys have their confidence back; maybe we lost it a bit during our rough stretch there.”The first game of that skid was a home loss to Iowa on New Year’s Eve, and three days later, Wisconsin lost again in the Kohl Center to Michigan State. For a team that was a perfect 16-0 on its own court last season and also fell to Marquette in Madison back in early December, the Badgers appeared to be thrown off-kilter by their three home losses less than a week into the new year.Several pitiful shooting efforts – the three-game skid saw the Badgers shoot below 40 percent in each game, and Wisconsin also hit just 31 percent against Nebraska – ensued and the Badgers’ woes stuck around until a tough 67-62 road win at Purdue Jan. 12.“We’ve been playing better overall, we’ve been winning,” assistant coach Lamont Paris said. “A lot of times, we’re just really structured. You feel like, hey, we’ve got some good shots, we just haven’t made them. We’re right there where we need to be, and we’re going to win it one way or the other – whether that means a defensive stop, or somebody’s going to make a shot, whatever it takes.”This week, with a trip to Penn State looming Tuesday night and then a battle with No. 3 Ohio State slated for Saturday afternoon, the longevity of that confidence will surely be tested. Wisconsin also has five road games remaining in Big Ten play, including trips to Ohio State and Michigan State – both of which could be top-10 opponents by the time they meet the Badgers.“I feel pretty much all of our games have been close lately, so that’s definitely going to help us moving on throughout the year,” guard Josh Gasser said. “We’ve got a lot of tough guys on our team that don’t like to lose. That’s a good thing to have.”The Badgers also have their top-ranked defense, which is almost always a saving grace in Madison. Wisconsin allows just 49.6 points per game and holds opponents on average to 36.3 percent shooting from the field, both the best marks in the country.Against Indiana Thursday night, Berggren was critical in shutting down the Hoosiers’ leading scorer, 6-foot-11 forward Cody Zeller. Averaging 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, Zeller had just seven and three, respectively, against the Badgers. Saddled with four fouls, he took the floor for just 10 minutes in the second half.Berggren also blocked five shots in that game, fueling much of the talk of grit and fight permeating Wisconsin’s post-game press conferences.“I think we’re showing a little more of it now this little winning streak we’re on here,” Berggren said. “It’s not something that you can really turn on or off sometimes; it’s just something you’ve got to have. It’s something that we have. The guys in our locker room are all tough kids, and they’re all going to play hard.”last_img read more

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Nigeria’s D’Tigress Beats Senegal, Wins Afrobasket Title

first_imgNigeria’s D’Tigress defeated Senegal 60-55 to retain the 2019 women’s Afrobasket title at the Dakar Arena in the Senegalese capital.Details shortly….Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img

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Storm Gareth puts day two of Cheltenham Festival under threat

first_imgShare on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Read more Horse dies and three jockeys suspended in Cheltenham Festival drama Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. 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Horse racing “Strong gusting winds are forecast but their precise strength and location are not possible to predict” Ian Renton, the track’s managing director, said on Tuesday. “We are looking at forecasts of gusts in excess of 45mph, which may present challenges on the track and around the site, dependent on their direction.“We remain optimistic and we will assess the situation in the morning, working with our team, forecasters, the British Horseracing Authority and our Safety Advisory Group, in order to make a decision about whether racing goes ahead.”The second day at the Festival was cancelled owing to high winds in 2008 but the meeting still concluded as planned on Friday with none of the races on the programme lost. The cards on the Thursday and Friday both started at 12.30pm, rather than the current start time of 1.30, with 10 and nine races respectively.There were 19 races scheduled for the final three races of the meeting 11 years ago, while this year’s Festival has 21, following the addition of the Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Hurdle and the JLT Novice Chase to the programme.As a result, it would be necessary to start racing before midday to complete a full programme of races before dark. The course is also understood to have been mindful of possible welfare concerns if it decided to stage so many races over two days, for instance in ensuring that all horses are thoroughly checked by a vet before competing as is mandatory for the first time this year. Since you’re here… Espoir D’Allen shock winner of Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Cheltenham has drawn up plans to move the second day of the Festival to Saturday amid fears Storm Gareth, which was expected to arrive in the area overnight, would force the abandonment of the Champion Chase card for the second time in 11 years.A precautionary inspection to assess the conditions has been called for 8am on Wednesday, with wind speeds as high as 50mph forecast for much of the day. Moving an entire card back by three days is without precedent and would present a huge logistical problems, for example in finding sufficient casual staff for bars and restaurants. A significant number are believed to be engaged to work at Twickenham on Saturday during England’s final Six Nations’ match against Scotland. The move would also require the full approval and cooperation of emergency services.A benefit of a wholesale switch would be that all of Wednesday’s races would take place as advertised on the Old course, which is used for the first two days of the meeting with the action switching to the New course on Thursday and Friday.“While our focus is to race is to race tomorrow, should the weather conditions not allow this we would stage the whole of Wednesday’s card on Saturday,” Renton said. “This would allow for all seven scheduled races to be restaged to provide participants with their opportunity to race at the Festival and with originally advertised conditions, which would not be possible in the two remaining days.”If Wednesday’s card is abandoned, all ticket-holders will receive automatic refunds, while tickets for Saturday’s meeting will be available on Cheltenham’s website. There will be only two enclosures if the card is moved, with Club and Tattersalls combined to form a single enclosure and the Best Mate enclosure also open on the other side of the track. news Cheltenham Festival Read more Share on Twitter Cheltenham Festival 2019 Share via Email Topics Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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