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Badgers hope to get back on track

first_imgSenior guard Rae Lin D\’Alie\’s Badgers have lacked their trademark stingy defense and have shot a miserable 37.9 percent from the field in their past five games.[/media-credit]A lack of energy and intensity never seemed to be among the Wisconsin women’s basketball team’s faults.Through the sprints, scrimmages and drills, the Badgers consistently appear loud and energetic. However, having lost two of their last three after a four-game win streak in January, energy and intensity is exactly what the Badgers (17-7, 7-6) find themselves looking to improve as Indiana (13-10, 6-6) visits the Kohl Center Sunday evening.“I think that we need to crank it up a notch,” junior forward Tara Steinbauer said. “I think that our practices need to be more intense. I think that for games, the next five games are really huge for us, and I think we need to come out focused and mentally prepared for each and every one of those, and I think that starts in practice.”After falling to Purdue on a shot with two seconds remaining last Sunday, Wisconsin finds itself looking to refocus as postseason play approaches. After a successful January that saw the Badgers pick up wins over four quality Big Ten opponents, including a Jan. 14 road upset 48-45 of then-No. 20 Michigan State, Wisconsin has struggled.In its last five games, UW has allowed opponents to score an average of 60.2 points per game — much higher than the team’s Big Ten-leading average of 53.9. Additionally, Wisconsin has shot only 37.9 percent from the field in that span, compared to its season average of 42.7, which is good for third in the Big Ten. Together, these shortcomings on both sides of the ball have left Wisconsin searching for consistency, especially in the second half of games.“Our ability to finish the game,” head coach Lisa Stone noted as one of her team’s recent struggles. “[We need to] make free throws and do some of the details down the stretch, continue to defend as we’re defending and rebound… get more people involved offensively.”Fortunately for Stone’s squad, leading scorer Alyssa Karel survived a scare Sunday after awkwardly landing on her right knee while going for a steal. Averaging 14.1 points per game and consistently keying the Badgers’ offensive attack, the junior guard practiced Tuesday and is back at full strength, according to Stone.Riding a two-game win streak, Indiana will look to exploit Wisconsin’s recent defensive struggles with an up-tempo attack. Sophomore forward Danilsa Andujar is the Hoosiers’ tallest player at 6-foot-2, while the Badgers’ pair of junior forwards, Steinbauer and Lin Zastrow, stand at 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-4, respectively. As a result, Indiana relies on their transition game to trigger fastbreaks and provide easy buckets, as well as an aggressive matchup zone.“They’re a very good defensive team,” Stone said. “They rebound the ball hard. They penetrate really hard to the basket. …They’re good in transition, they’re good at getting to the basket, and, defensively, they play a matchup zone that tries to disrupt your flow. It’s important that we improve on our areas of turnovers and toughness with the ball and find ways to get good shots.”Leading the way for the Hoosiers’ offense are guards Jori Davis and Jamie Braun. Davis, a junior from Rochester, NY, is the Big Ten’s fourth-leading scorer with 17.7 points per game, while Braun, a Wisconsin native, contributes 11.6. Complementing the veteran guard duo in the starting lineup is 6-foot-1 junior forward Hope Elam, junior guard Whitney Lindsay, and Danilsa Andujar.“They’re going to play hard, they always play hard against us,” Wisconsin senior guard Rae Lin D’Alie said. “They’re going to come out with a lot of energy, we have to match that and have more. Our defense has definitely got to be on point. A lot of their guards can score; they have a post player [Elam] who can shoot the three, who can drive, who can make moves inside. So we’re going to have to be ready defensively, definitely.”For the Badgers, taking care of the ball will be at a premium. Despite ranking 56th in the nation in turnovers per game, Wisconsin has gave the ball away an average of 21.5 times over the last two games.“One of the biggest things for us is going to be taking care of the ball,” Steinbauer said. “I think we need to show some toughness with the ball up top.”Under her tenure, Stone’s teams have been known for stingy defense and safe offensive play, so the Badgers’ recent stretch is a reason for concern.“Stay focused on details, take one game a time, redeem ourselves at home,” Stone said of her expectations for Sunday. “It’s important that we come out with some energy and we play harder, longer.”last_img read more

Getting to know Bryant

first_img Published on May 10, 2013 at 12:52 am Five years ago, Bryant was wrapping up its 27th year as a Division-II competitor. In five years, the Bulldogs have risen to respectability on the national scene. Led by former Duke head coach Mike Pressler, the Bulldogs have a chance to play Cinderella on Sunday night at 7:30 in the Carrier Dome.Record: 8-10 (4-1 Northeast Conference)Season outline: Bryant started the season 0-7, losing nonconference games to Colgate, Fairfield, Bucknell, Vermont, Drexel, Albany and Harvard before squeaking out its first win of the season, 10-9, against Stony Brook on March 23. The Bulldogs then scored 47 goals in their first three NEC matchups, ultimately finishing 4-1 in conference play and claiming the top seed in the conference tournament. They beat Sacred Heart 11-9 in the semifinals before routing Robert Morris 14-7 in the final on Saturday to repeat as NEC champions. This year, though, the title came with an automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament.Players to watch:Colin Dunster: The junior midfielder is Bryant’s leading scorer with 31 goals and 14 assists. He tallied a game-high six points (two goals, four assists) in the NEC final.Shane Morell: The sophomore attack is the Bulldogs’ most accurate regular scorer. With 27 goals and 18 assists, he’s tied with Dunster for the team lead in points, but shoots 28.4 percent and finds the cage on 61.1 percent of his shots.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPeter McMahon: The senior attack is playing to continue his career, and with three straight hat tricks entering the NCAA tournament, it shows. He was the NEC tournament MVP.Kevin Massa: If there’s one player who can single-handedly hurt SU, it’s Massa, a quick-stick sophomore midfielder. The faceoff specialist is 293-for-411 (71.3 percent) at the X this year. Against Robert Morris in the NEC final, he won 21-of-25 faceoffs.Gunnar Waldt: The redshirt freshman netminder has been a steady presence between the pipes through the second half of Bryant’s season. He’s saved 57 percent of shots this year and averages nine goals allowed per game. Waldt made 11 saves while allowing seven goals in the NEC final.Head coach:Mike Pressler: Pressler spent 16 seasons at Duke before being asked to step down after three of his players were accused of rape in April 2006. The accusations ultimately proved false and the charges were dropped, but Pressler has moved on to reshape the Bryant program in only seven seasons. He led the Bulldogs to a 14-4 mark last year, an undefeated record at home and their first-ever Division-I national ranking, cracking the Nike/Inside Lacrosse media poll at No. 20 in early April 2012. Now Pressler looks to push the program one step further when it takes on the Orange on Sunday.– Compiled by The Daily Orange sports staff Comments Related Stories Out of the blue: Pressler leads Bryant into NCAA tournament matchup with Syracuse after rebuilding in wake of Duke rape scandalSyracuse preps for Bryant’s Massa at X, attack-minded Policenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Five things on Benjamin Mendy

first_img“My Monaco adventure lasted just a year, but brought me so much; a League title, my first France cap, a Cup final, an exceptional run in the Champions League. But above all it led me through a wonderful human adventure,” Mendy said before offering sincere and profuse thanks to just about everyone who worked with him over the last year in his farewell message to Monaco and their fans.El Loco, El Tactico and Sergeant PepAt Marseille, Mendy was pushed by ‘El Loco’ Marcelo Bielsa to take his life and his career seriously, losing weight, curtailing his sweet tooth and getting up to less high jinks off the pitch. At Monaco, he then came across Jardim whom he refers to as ‘El Tactico’, “the man who brought me on so much as a player and as a man”. ‘Sergeant Pep’ is the nickname given to Pep Guardiola by Oasis wildman singer Liam Gallagher, and few would doubt the Catalan’s ability to marshal Mendy’s talents to the next level.If you can’t beat them, buy themRaheem Sterling got behind Mendy to score City’s opener as the English side ran out 5-3 winners in February’s Champions League last-16 first leg, but the left-back was Monaco’s top-rated defender in the game. He was again the team’s standout performer at the back in the 3-1 return-leg win over City, making the assist for the second goal for Fabinho, and linking well with Falcao in a truly powerful performance that may have sown the seeds in Guardiola’s mind to sign the rampaging full-back. Paris, France | AFP |  Five things on Benjamin Mendy, who signed a five-year contract to join Manchester City from Monaco on Monday to make him the world’s most expensive defender:#BlueMendy – New OrderFans of Manchester band New Order will have been tickled to see the witty #BlueMendy hashtag the world’s most expensive defender posted on a video he tweeted Monday telling City fans he’d see them soon. New Order’s breakthrough hit back in 1983 of course was the classic dance-floor tune “Blue Monday”. The group are known to be City fans too. Mendy is a big music fan himself and was the semi-official dressing room DJ at Monaco.Left wing code with FalcaoPutting aside his muscular and clinical tackling, Mendy’s surging runs down the left flank bore rich fruit for Monaco’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao. The pair swiftly struck up a keen understanding last season. “He came to see me at the beginning of the season so we could invent a code to help me know where to place my crosses,” Mendy told French sports daily L’Equipe. ‘El Tigre’, as Falcao is known, scored 30 times from 43 games, his best haul since leaving Atletico Madrid in 2013.How to say goodbye – with charm Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more