As far as heart-breaking losses go, Wednesday’s game for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team against No. 22 Nebraska might be the hardest one to swallow this season.The Badgers (10-12, 3-7 Big Ten) hung tough with the Cornhuskers (16-5, 6-3 Big Ten) throughout the first and second halves before the two teams would eventually need overtime to settle the contest. But after clutch baskets by Nebraska All-American Jordan Hooper and guard Tear’a Laudermill in the overtime period, the Cornhuskers emerged victorious, knocking off Wisconsin, 71-70.During the first 20 minutes of action, baskets were hard to come by as both teams combined to make just 19 field goals. Wisconsin, however, was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and took a 26-21 lead at the break. Nebraska’s 21 points were a season low for any half this season, and the Badgers held Hooper to two points.Fifth-year senior Taylor Wurtz paced the Badgers with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in the first half. She finished the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.The story of the second half was redshirt junior Michala Johnson, who scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the second frame. Despite Johnson’s efforts, the Cornhuskers kept knocking down three-pointers to keep the game close throughout the half. The largest lead of the second half was just six, held by Wisconsin, and the two teams found themselves tied at 58 with just 1 minute, 18 seconds to go.Following a Hooper basket to tie the game at 60 with 36 seconds to go, Wisconsin took a timeout to set up a final play. Coming out of the timeout, senior Morgan Paige drove to the basket but slipped and fell forcing a turnover to give Nebraska the ball with three seconds left. In the last three seconds Nebraska couldn’t get a shot off, and Wisconsin was heading for its third overtime game of the season.In the overtime period, Johnson scored the first six points for the Badgers, but Nebraska continued to answer with three-pointers by Hooper and Laudermill that would give them a 70-66 lead. After a Johnson basket and Wurtz lay-in, the game was tied at 70 with a minute remaining.A Nebraska free throw gave them a 71-70 lead, and after missed shots by Wurtz and Hooper, Wisconsin had the ball coming out of a timeout with 8.8 seconds to go still down by one. Junior Jacki Gulczynski inbounded the ball and eventually tried to find Johnson in the post, but her pass was batted away by Nebraska’s Emily Cady that sealed the game for the Cornhuskers.“It came down to one play and we didn’t get it,” Badger head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “[The last play] was to just get [Johnson] the ball. We had it right where we wanted it, but it didn’t go our way. She was scoring all night so we were going to get her the ball and let her see what she could do.”Nebraska was well prepared for the final play. They knew where the ball was likely going to go, according to head coach Connie Yori.“We thought the ball could go to Johnson, but we also thought they could run a ball-screen in that situation,” Yori said. “But we worked on that cross-screen in practice …You have to think that they’re either going to Johnson or run a ball-screen.”It’s a another tough loss for the Badgers who recently ended a four-game losing streak by beating Ohio State this past Sunday.In the end, Laudermill and Hooper were just too much for the Badgers. Laudermill, who was playing through illness, finished with 21 points on 5-of-10 three-point shooting, while Hooper ended up with 15 points and four rebounds.Despite the close game against a ranked team, Wurtz said there are no moral victories, but they can take away valuable information from this game. She added they’re going to use what happened tonight to come back even stronger later in the season.The Badgers will hit the road to face Indiana on Saturday before returning home next Wednesday for a battle with cross-state rival, Minnesota.“We played tough … but we don’t like moral victories,” Wurtz said. “We just have to get back into the gym, watch the film and correct the little mistakes. Now we know that we can play with anybody in this league and we’re going to make a statement towards the end of the season.”
Bumgarner’s home run, initially estimated at 415 feet, will be the lasting image from the Giants’ 4-0 win over the Dodgers at AT&T Park. Yet the long shot wasn’t the Dodgers’ biggest problem Thursday. Not by a longshot.In losing all three games in San Francisco, the Dodgers failed to score a single run against starters Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum and Bumgarner, who has now pitched the Giants to victory three times in three starts against Kershaw this season.“They threw strikes,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “All three of them did a great job pounding the zone, keeping us on the defensive. They wiggled out of trouble. The few chances we had to put anything on the board, they made great pitches, really executed in those situations when they needed to.”The results weren’t pretty.The Dodgers extended their streak of innings without a run to 31. They extended their road losing streak against their rivals to six — the longest it’s been since 1972 — and were swept in consecutive series in San Francisco for the first time since 1961. “You saw 27 pretty good innings of baseball,” Ellis said of the series. “Unfortunately, we didn’t score any runs.”The Dodgers will try to right the ship Friday, when they begin a three-game series at home against the San Diego Padres.Kershaw, who pitched a season-best 7 1/3 innings despite not having “a whole lot in the tank.” When he left the game in the eighth inning, having thrown 99 pitches, it was close and there were two runners on base.The Giants then jumped on relievers Chris Hatcher and Paco Rodriguez for two quick runs, extending their lead to 4-0. Kershaw was charged with all four runs and saw his ERA jump to 4.32.The reigning National League MVP has a 2-3 record and four no-decisions in his nine starts. He admitted the season to this point has left him frustrated.The Dodgers’ 0-6 record in San Francisco hasn’t helped.“I don’t know about mystified, but there’s a reason — they have good pitching and this is a tough place to hit,” Kershaw said. “I think those things combined can make it tough sometimes, but we’ve won here before. Just going through a little slump, I guess.”San Francisco (23-18) is now just 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers (24-16) in the National League West standings after starting the season slowly.The Dodgers got off to a hot start, thanks mostly to their offense. They had only been shut out once prior to this week and were averaging five runs per game.Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he isn’t worried about his offense but, as Kershaw said, “you never want to say you’re worried.”“We want to get everybody going at the same time,” the pitcher said. “Me included. I want to get going on a roll too. Once we get everybody clicking at the same time, we should be pretty good.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error SAN FRANCISCO >> Four hundred ten times before Thursday, a pitcher stood in the batter’s box against Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Four hundred ten times, the ball stayed in the ballpark.Just when it seemed as if San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner had done everything in his power to upstage Kershaw recently — pitch the Giants to a championship, claim the World Series MVP award, then beat Kershaw twice in the regular season — he did something no pitcher had ever done. He hit a home run against Clayton Kershaw.• Video: See Bumgarner hit HR off of Kershaw“Fastball right down the middle,” Kershaw said. “Should’ve had a little more respect for him, I guess.”
Lisbon, Portugal | AFP | UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is aiming to finish this year’s Champions League by the end of August as football in Europe slowly starts to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.“Our plan is to finish it between now and the end of August,” Ceferin said in an interview with Portuguese sports daily Record, published on Wednesday.“I think that will work. You never know what’s going to happen but things seem to be calming down.“Eighty percent of European leagues are going to restart, I don’t see why the Champions League and Europa League shouldn’t take place.”That end date for UEFA’s European tournaments was widely reported but never officially confirmed by the continent’s football governing body.Ceferin’s desired deadline gives clubs a chance to finish their domestic competitions — halted across Europe in mid-March — before the Champions League restarts in early August.In an interview with British daily The Guardian, Ceferin added that he would be prepared to bet a million dollars on Euro 2020 being played next year following its postponement to 2021.“Yes, I would,” he told the newspaper “I don’t know why it (the tournament) wouldn’t be (played). UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin Share on: WhatsApp “I don’t think that this virus will last forever. I think it will (change) sooner than many think.“I don’t like this apocalyptic view that we have to wait for the second and third waves or even a fifth wave.”Ceferin said football would follow the recommendations of the authorities but he was optimistic that fans would return to the stands quicker than many observers think.“I’m absolutely sure, personally, that good old football with fans will come back very soon,” he said.And Ceferin said he did not expect the game to be profoundly changed by the coronavirus.“Football didn’t change after the Second World War, or First World War, and it will not change because of a virus either,” he said.
Young and old will be able to do their bit for the Irish language when RITH 2016 kicks off in Kildare on March 4th – and comes all the way to Donegal.Coinciding with Seachtain na Gaeilge, the eleven-day All-Ireland relay run will promote the language in an athletic in a lively fun-filled manner.A message of hope to the people of Ireland, signed by President Michael D Higgins, will be carried by a baton-holder at the front of the run as it winds through every county. The baton will be opened when the run reaches its closure at Trinity College on March 14th and the President’s message about the language read out.One man is unlikely to be phased by the challenge. For Lucan man Dáithí Ó Murchú, no race in Ireland can be too daunting.When you have run from the eagle plains in the Yukon through the Arctic Circle and over to Tuktuk in the Arctic Ocean in average temperatures of around -30 degrees, the Irish language promotional event is just another step.Gael Linn festivals and Gaeltacht football tournaments were always an opportunity to bring the Irish language community together and he sees RITH as further opportunity. “Events such as RITH 2016 give the Irish language community an opportunity to come together for the good of the language. Between young and old, there is an opportunity to take part in a national event and this year, and as we commemorate 1916, everyone has a chance to take part in something historical for the language during Irish language week,” he said.For Dáithí, this will be a more relaxed occasion after the gruelling efforts he ran in such freezing conditions last year. When he talks about the incredible challenge he faced, he talks about the spiritual, physical and psychological aspects of a challenge, only ever completed by eleven others.“It’s very hard to say what inspires someone to do this but sometimes you feel inside that you have to do something. But it was the right time, the right place and the right ultra (marathon) to do and that what’s happened …. every decision you make is life and death.“When it goes to minus 30 or minus 45 and minus 50, the freezing ice comes in, the snow starts to fall and you really are trying to keep the mind going but the hallucinations are something else.“When you start to hallucinate, you can’t tell the difference between reality, surreality, what is and what is not. They are the dangerous times. Then you are walking on frozen oceans…. the challenges are on every single level,” he says. When he participates in RITH 2016, he will be combining his passion for running with his another love, the Irish language.His family was, he says, “always sympathetic” to Irish and he received post-primary education through the native language.A Limerickman, he also helped establish two Gaelscoils, Gaelscoil Ó Doghair and after that Gaelcholáiste Uí Chonba in his native county.You only need to write into google or youtube the words “running and health” to see the enormous effects which athletics can have on people’s health. Quoting the Irish proverb, Is fear rith maith ná drochsheasamh, Dáithí explains in simple terms the benefits of running. At “every level”, he says, sport is important. “It adds much to the spirit of the soul and your body. There is no doubt that sport helps a person on every level. I am always running and absorbing the beauty of the world on the roads, on mountains, on hills and in isolated places all over the world. “There is no doubt that running adds to the health of a person, not only in the body but also in the soul and in the head. If something is annoying you, put on your runners and go out walking or running in the air.” As a retired school principal, he freely admits that he doesn’t mind being away from the stress involved in teaching. The creativity of the children of the country is something he occasionally misses but now he has more time for running. And sometimes he now trains twice a day.Daithí Ó Murchú will be taking part in RITH 2016. Thousands are expected to take part in the relay-fun-run that will go through every county in Ireland from March 4th-14th as part of the national 1916 centenary commemorations.For more information on RITH 2016, see www.rith.ie.THOUSANDS OF RUNNERS SET FOR RITH 2016 was last modified: February 17th, 2016 by John2Share 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)