Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Conference race heats up

After barely escaping with a 65-61 win at home against Illinois Saturday, No. 24 Indiana travels to West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend for what should be a bitterly contested game against in-state rival Purdue. Purdue (16-9, 5-6) hopes to get rid of the bad taste in its mouth after letting a win at Ohio State slip out of grasp in the closing moments and losing 63-56 Saturday.

In preparing for their matchup against the Boilermakers, the Hoosiers (17-6, 7-3) will aim to make sure that the momentum in the early going is on their side. Head coach Kelvin Sampson asserted that the Hoosiers' main focus will be on controlling David Teague and Carl Landry, who have been a potent one-two punch for Purdue all season. Landry recently became the newest member of the 1,000-point club, after a 13-point outing against Ohio State.

Sampson knows that points will be hard to come by in Mackey Arena, where Purdue is 13-1 in the year. In a victory over Michigan State last week, Purdue held the Spartans to just 38 points, 26 of which came before the half. Sampson was quick to praise Purdue's defensive efforts, which have yielded 7.68 steals per game, and knows what his players will be in for.


"Defensively, Purdue plays as tough and as hard-nosed as anybody in our league," Sampson said.

Ohio State trying not to look ahead

Although many in Columbus have marked their calendars and are counting the days until No. 2 Ohio State's showdown with No. 3 Wisconsin Feb. 25, head coach Thad Matta is making sure his players do not overlook their next three games, which happen to be against the two of the three worst teams in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes will hit the road to face Penn State on Wednesday and Minnesota this weekend, before returning home for round two against Penn State and the game with Wisconsin that should decide first place in the conference.

Leading the way for the Buckeyes (22-3, 10-1) are freshmen Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., the latter of whom, along with Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, was named Big Ten Player of the Week. Conley averaged 18.5 points and five assists, and made 75 percent of his 3-pointers the past week to earn the award.

"He has such a command for the game," Matta said of Conley. "He uses his speed and his quickness, and just has a great feel for what's going on. Since the first time I saw him, I thought he had a chance to be a great player."

Battle for the Great Lake State

In years past, a duel between Michigan (17-8, 5-5) and Michigan State (17-8, 4-6) might generate more anticipation than this year's contest is receiving, but for all those involved, state bragging rights are more than enough to elicit each team's best.

Michigan head coach Tommy Amaker is well aware of the hostile environment that can be expected from Michigan State's Breslin Center when he and his squad travel there Tuesday.

"Certainly we recognize how tough it's always been in East Lansing," Amaker said. "But nonetheless, I'm sure that our kids will be excited and enthusiastic for this challenge."

Michigan had lost its four previous games before knocking off Minnesota 82-80 last week and success the rest of the way will rest largely on the shoulders of seniors Dion Harris and Brent Petway. Petway, who Amaker referred to as the heart and soul of the Wolverines, chipped in 18 points in the victory over Minnesota, and Harris added 27.

The Spartans boast the top-ranked defense in the conference (56.8 ppg), but also are ranked near the bottom of the league in offense (66.1 ppg).

Iowa welcomes NU challenge

Iowa expects to rebound from a 74-62 loss at Wisconsin when they welcome Northwestern to Iowa City Wednesday. Big Ten scoring leader Adam Haluska (20.8 ppg) managed 16 points against the Badgers, but the Hawkeyes were unable to overpower the No. 4 team in the country.

"I thought we played some good basketball," said Iowa head coach Steve Alford. "We just had some lapses, and when you have lapses playing a team of that quality, it's hard to get that road win."

Freshman forward Kevin Coble anchors the Wildcats in the paint but is also smooth from beyond the arc, shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Coble leads the team in scoring at 12.8 per game.

Two Illini players involved in car accident

Illini freshman center Brian Carlwell and sophomore Jamar Smith were injured in a car crash Monday night, according to The Associated Press.

Smith was driving in heavy snow when his car crossed the centerline, slamming into a tree. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

Carlwell was in serious condition with a severe concussion while Smith also suffered a concussion, but was released.

It is still unclear when either player will be available to the team.

"The main concern here is the health of those guys and not playing status or any of that has been determined," sports information director said in a statement.

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