After dropping two straight, the schedule certainly isn’t lightening up for the Wisconsin women’s basketball team as it travels to State College, Pa., Thursday night to face the No. 18/21 Penn State Nittany Lions.Monday saw Wisconsin fall to No. 10/11 Ohio State in Columbus, in a game that remained competitive for much of the second half, largely due to the Badgers’ hot shooting from beyond the arc. Although UW emerged with another loss, the performance against one of the conference’s most talented squads left the Badgers with a renewed confidence in their shot.Despite their impressive shooting – including sinking a school record 12 three-pointers – turnovers mauled any chance at a comeback.“Our shooting is good; we just have to shore up some other areas – don’t turn the ball over, and understand our defensive assignments,” Wisconsin head coach Bobbie Kelsey said. “That’s what’s hurting us right now, people just not recognizing who’s doing what on who; that takes a lot of concentration.”Handing the ball over to the Buckeyes 22 times was UW’s highest turnover total since Dec. 23, and players and coaches alike said the turnovers were of a different variety than those that plagued the team earlier this year. At the start of the season, the adjustment to Kelsey’s fast-paced offensive system led to mistakes that offered the opponent extra possessions, but the turnovers at the Value City Arena came as a result of sloppy ball-handling and miscommunication.When Wisconsin last shared the court with Penn State, the Nittany Lions routed the Badgers by 33 points as they shot better than 52 percent from the field and knocked in 36.4 percent of their shots from three-point land. As UW looks for redemption on the road, it understands victory can’t come without slowing down PSU’s talented backcourt.“Last time we played them, they really got a lot of whatever they wanted off the dribble and they were able to create shots for each other as a guard group,” sophomore guard Morgan Paige said. “We have improved in the one-on-one containment a little bit, so hopefully that comes through in play.”A trio of guards power the Nittany Lions’ attack, with young sophomore Maggie Lucas leading the team with 19.6 points per game. A sharpshooter who sinks 45.2 percent of her shots from the floor and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc, Lucas is the foundation of Penn State’s dangerous offense.The Nittany Lions proved in their first game against Wisconsin that if their offense can push the ball down the floor, it can quickly take over the game.“We got to stop them in transition first of all. They run, they get that ball out quick, and they are gone,” Kelsey said. “If you’re not back and matched up, they’re going to score. The three-point line, they’ll spot up, or they’ll run the post right to the block … so that’s half the battle right there.”Although PSU’s guards often grab the headlines, the Nittany Lions also boast a serious post presence in junior forward Nikki Greene. Grabbing a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game and also scoring 9.7 points per, Greene poses a serious challenge for a Badger squad that is still without its top post player, Anya Covington.Covington, who has missed two straight games due to an illness, has put the pressure on fellow forwards Ashley Thomas and Cassie Rochel to prove they can help fill the senior’s strong defensive presence and consistent scoring. In its recent loss to Ohio State, Wisconsin’s shooting kept the Cardinal and White in the game, but an inside-out game will be essential to picking up a victory against the No. 3 squad in the Big Ten.As the Badgers continue to play through a stretch that includes matchups with three ranked teams in four games, all on the road, players point out the schedule would be even more difficult earlier in the year. While pleased with the progress it has made, Wisconsin understands it needs the ‘W’ to regain momentum.“I’m glad we face these teams at the end, because I think we’ve come a long way from where we have been in the beginning of the season,” Rochel said. “Anything that we faced in the beginning, I think we’ve really come a long way since then. We’re a different team now and we continue to get better and better.”
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC):West Indies defied opener Azhar Ali’s 14th Test century and Pakistan’s attritional batting with sheer perseverance, to leave the decisive third Test at Windsor Park well poised on yesterday’s second day.The Caribbean side were forced to toil on a lifeless pitch but did so manfully to dismiss Pakistan in their first innings for 376, an hour before the close.Azhar, starting the day unbeaten on 85, carved out 127 – his second successive hundred following his 105 in the first innings of the Barbados Test last week.Captain Misbah-ul-Haq struck 59 playing in his final Test while wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed produced a breezy 51 down the order.Part-time off-spinner Roston Chase was the best bowler with four for 103 while captain and seamer Jason Holder claimed three for 71 and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, two for 61.Left to navigate eleven tricky overs at the end, West Indies openers Kieran Powell (9 not out) and Kraigg Brathwaite (5 not out) endured little horrors to reach the close unscathed on 14 without loss.The Caribbean side trail Pakistan by 362 runs heading into the pivotal day three of the match.INCHED WAY THROUGHResuming the day on 169 for two, the visitors inched their way painfully through an extended opening session, adding a mere 58 runs from 30 overs sent down.The lone casualty of the morning was veteran outstanding right-hander Younis Khan, like Misbah in his final Test of a glittering career, fell leg before wicket to Holder 45 minutes into the day after adding just eight to his overnight 10.Azhar, however, reached his century an hour before lunch when he turned Holder to fine leg for a couple of and was unbeaten on 122 at the interval with Pakistan crawling to 227 for three.
John Aronno, former managing editor for Alaska Commons (Photo courtesy of Alaska Commons)An influential web-site in Alaska lost its driving force earlier this week. For several years, Alaska Commons has brought news and commentary with a left-leaning perspective to tens of thousands of readers. With the departure of its managing editor, the group’s future remains unclear.Listen nowJohn Aronno started writing online about Anchorage politics more than a decade ago. After a stint working for a member of the city’s Assembly, he founded Alaska Commons in its current iteration along with a group of friends just over five years ago.“I guess we were just annoyed with the fact that a lot of stories that we saw that we thought mattered, we didn’t see getting covered,” Aronno said.Aronno, who’s earlier career included a stint as a touring rock musician, threw himself into the role of managing editor.The site has won plenty of journalism awards over the years, covering a mix of Anchorage and state politics, as well as original reporting on progressive issues, commentary and a whimsical weekly roundup of Internet memes. Sort of like a cross between an alt-weekly and a wonky politics blog, it kept growing, and Aronno said drew a monthly readership of 20 to 30 thousand people.“We’ve had some articles that had over a million views,” Aronno said.But maintaining a steady flow of content wasn’t easy, particularly with a small group of volunteer contributors.Aronno said the Commons never figured out a good revenue model, and the site typically only took in two or three hundred dollars a month from Google Ads. The pace and lack of income weren’t sustainable.“Literally for five years I did not have a day off for a vacation,” Aronno said. “Even if we went off for a trip somewhere, I was still running back to the motel getting articles set up for the next night.”But deciding to resign was a drawn-out process. Aronno said even the morning he woke up earlier this week and wrote a Facebook post announcing he’d step down, he was still 50-50 about the decision.The departure is a big deal for close-watchers of state and city politics because of the unique role the site filled. While Alaska Commons would sometimes break news, Aronno is quick to point out it is not a news site, and even pieces with original reporting departed from traditional journalistic standards for neutrality. Stories would frequently criticize conservative targets, and often wound up enmeshed at the center of disputes on controversial issues. Some commentators and politicians complained of being unfairly attacked on the site, notably during the 2015 mayoral election and a recent disagreement over whether an Assembly member inappropriately suggested there could be a terrorist training camp in the Mat-Su Valley.Aronno didn’t mind getting criticized for stories, but he hated when people would dismiss the site as just a “liberal blog.”“That’s what really would get under my skin, because I have spent five years fighting the charge that I’m not legitimate, that I’m not worth listening to, that I’m easily discredit-able,” Arrono said.Aronno said he isn’t sure what his next step will be. As for Alaska Commons, a crowd-funding page was set up before news of Aronno’s departure. A board member [Tonei Glavinic] said there’ll be a meeting this weekend to discuss options for the site.