The Badger women’s basketball team lost another heartbreaker — this time to Purdue — at the Kohl Center.All four Wisconsin seniors, including Kjersten Bakke, Ashley Josephson, Annie Nelson and Jordan Wilson, got to start the game, but they came up just short in the end against the No. 11-ranked Boilermakers 66-63 during Senior Night.The Badgers held the lead for much of the second half, but Purdue was the team that made the big shots and defensive stands late in the game to come away with the win.”It’s about making plays down the stretch. One word — it’s just resiliency down the stretch by us, and I’m really proud of them,” Purdue head coach Kristy Curry said.Purdue had nothing to play for but a boost in their confidence after they lost their showdown for the conference title against Ohio State last Thursday. But it was the Boilermakers who looked like they wanted it more, as junior guard Katie Gearlds hit a long jumper to break a 61-61 tie with just more than a minute to play. Gearlds led the Boilermakers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, and was one of four Purdue players in double figures.Wisconsin’s Janese Banks tried to answer, but was blocked; Purdue guard Sharika Webb then made a lay-up and was fouled for a three-point play, which put Purdue up five.After a basket by Banks, Purdue had a chance to seal the game, but missed two free throws with eight seconds to go. However, Banks missed a 3-point try that would have sent the game to overtime as time expired.”[It was a] good effort by our team once again, a valiant defensive effort. [We were] great on the glass, which was something that was stressed,” said UW head coach Lisa Stone, whose Badgers lost both contests to Purdue on the year. “But we just came up short, and I thought we had a good look at it at the end to put it into overtime. Had that happened, I think the crowd would have gone nuts, and it would have been a whole different game.”They’re solid and they have people that can score. I thought that Katie Gearlds’ jumper over some tight defense … that was a big shot and a back-breaker for us.”Leading scorer Jolene Anderson had an excellent shooting day for Wisconsin, hitting 9-of-17 shots en route to a game-high 26 points. Anderson fell just one rebound short of a double-double and finished the season in double figures in every game this season.”We tried to keep the ball out of her hands and force her left because she likes to drive right,” Webb said. “We were trying to limit her touches, but she’s really good.”But once again, it was the Badgers falling just short, as they have struggled to come away with victories in the close games.”It is unfortunate for our seniors that we couldn’t pull this one off, but, again, a great effort,” Stone said. “We just had some trouble scoring inside. If points in the paint were even, then we would have been OK, but that is a great credit to Purdue.”I thought we had some good looks inside, and I thought Caitlin Gibson did a nice job for us, but we needed a little more balance offensively,” Stone continued. “Their defense is long, and our defense matched with them. It’s just tough that we came up short.”For the seniors, it is a disappointing end to the season, but there is still a chance for them to end on a happy note if they can muster a run in postseason conference play.”We’re not done yet. We have some damage to do in the Big Ten tournament, and those four are going to lead the way,” Stone said, referring to her seniors.Purdue finishes its conference season 13-3 and will now be the No. 2 seed in the tournament, which will take place in Indianapolis starting this Thursday.Wisconsin, meanwhile, will settle for the No. 9 seed in the Big Ten and faces the eight-seeded Penn State team that they defeated at the Kohl Center Feb. 16.
Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan has been congratulated by his alma mater, Seven Great Princes Academy, for scoring his first goal in the ongoing AFCON 2013 when Ghana recorded a 3-0 defeat against Niger.Gyan opened the match by scoring against Niger in the sixth minute, and although Niger had a goal disallowed for an infringement four minutes later they were not a threat for most of the game.The Stars doubled their lead with a goal from Christian Atsu after 23 minutes and put the game beyond Niger’s grasp when John Boye pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda to make it 3-0. Ghana will meet Cape Verde in the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations after qualifying for the last eight.Meanwhile, Seven Great Princes Academy will embark on an honoring game from Wednesday to Saturday at the Kaneshie Sports Complex as well as the school’s Dansoman Campus.The sporting activities will include table tennis, basketball, football, athletics, fill in the bottle, sack race, musical chairs, and tug of peace, all for both boys and girls.In an interview with JOY Sports, school proprietor Raphael Brown congratulated Gyan and expressed confidence that his academy would produce more sporting greats to serve mother Ghana as the striker has.
Head coach of the Nigeria national team, Stephen Keshi has called up 24 players for the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against the Ivory Coast.Seven members of the Nigeria squad to the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup were selected.The squad is comprised of two goalkeepers, eight defenders, five midfielders and nine strikers.Enugu Rangers defender, Chibuzor Okonkwo who was part of the Nigeria Under-23 side that finished in second place at the football event of the 2008 Olympic games was also called up to the squad.Bayelsa United winger, Gomo Onduku who was also called up and he voiced his delight at the development.“I am very happy at this news and I will always give my best to defend the colours of my country. I thank the coach for showing faith in me,” Onduku told supersport.com on Tuesday. Keshi had earlier hinted that the Eagles will be approaching the game with seriously while he fielded questions in Fortaleza, Brazil following Nigeria’s ouster from the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup.“We would go back home take a few days rest and prepare for our CHAN qualifiers against Ivory Coast in the coming days and hopefully we should be able to make it through,” he said.The game against the Ivory Coast will be played on Saturday, July 6 in Kaduna.The African Nations Championship is a football tournament which was first announced on September 11, 2007.It is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, may not qualify to take part in the competition.The squadGoalkeepers: Chigozie Agbim (Enugu Rangers); Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland)Defenders: Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars); Benjamin Francis (Heartland); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars); Ezekiel Bassey (Lobi Stars); Umar Zango (Kano Pillars); Solomon Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Chibuzor Okonkwo (Enugu Rangers)Midfielders: Sunday Mba (Rangers); Ayo Saka (Enyimba); Olufemi Oladapo (3SC); Emeka Eze (Enugu Rangers); Mohammed Ajia (Bayelsa United) Forwards: Muhammad Gambo (Kano Pillars); Obinna Nwachukwu (Heartland); Gomo Onduku (Bayelsa United); Ifeanyi Ede (Enyimba); Anthony Okputu (Lobi); Pius Samson (Ranch Bees); Festus Ajah (Union Bank); Oghenekaro Etebo (Warri Wolves); Dele Olorundare (Sunshine Stars)© supersport.com
Arsene Wenger defended his management of Arsenal after some fans called for his resignation during and after Saturday’s 1-0 win over West Brom.Danny Welbeck’s second-half header was enough to secure the points at The Hawthorns and launch Arsenal back into the fight for a top-four spot in the Premier League.However, a banner was unfurled at full-time reading: ‘Arsene, thanks for the memories but it’s time to say goodbye’.The Frenchman, though, remains confident he is the man for the job.”I try to do my best for this club that I love and we are very united with the players and the staff around the team and that’s all you can do,” he told BT Sport.The visitors should have seen off West Brom by a more comfortable scoreline, but Wenger was simply relieved to take three points for the first time in three league outings, hot on the heels of a 2-0 Champions League triumph over Borussia Dortmund. “I think we played well but we couldn’t take our chances sometimes because of the final ball sometimes because of the finishing,” he said.”Then when we were 1-0 up having given a lot on Wednesday night we finished the game with solidarity because the legs were a bit jaded but we kept it together.”