BEN CLASSON/Herald file photoAfter 13 straight days off, the No. 9 Wisconsin football team (3-0) travels to Ann Arbor tomorrow to take on the Michigan Wolverines (1-2). The two-week hiatus allowed UW to heal some of its wounds and prepare for the grueling part of the season: Big Ten play.“We try to keep things rolling; we didn’t get too much rest,” offensive guard Kraig Urbik said. “We had some things to work on on offense, things we needed to get better at. We definitely got a lot of work in, got a lot accomplished, but we’ve got to keep rolling.”The Badgers are coming off a thrilling 13-10 road victory over the Fresno State Bulldogs Sept. 13, a game UW hopes to feed off of to continue its winning ways.“It definitely gave us some confidence, knowing that we can go on the road and beat a very quality opponent like Fresno State,” Urbik continued. “It gave us confidence, but it makes us hungry for more. We want to be perfect on the road.”Under new head coach Rich Rodriguez, Michigan is only 1-2. But to Wisconsin, the Wolverines’ record makes no difference.“It’s not about Michigan at all,” fullback Chris Pressley said. “It’s not about Coach Rodriguez or their 1-2 record; it’s about us going in and playing in their home, taking the lessons we learned from Fresno, come out, start faster, start better. It’s about the things that we can do, how we can better our performance in an away arena. It’s about Wisconsin.”With home night games against Ohio State and Penn State on the horizon, could this be a trap game for the Badgers?“Forget Ohio State, forget Penn State,” wide receiver Kyle Jefferson said. “We can’t go anywhere before we beat Michigan, so Ohio State will have to wait. After the game Saturday, then we can think about those teams coming into our house. “They’re Michigan,” he added. “Last year they started off bad but ended up really well. The record doesn’t mean anything to us. We got to play the game and get a victory.”Although the Michigan offense has experienced some growing pains in its opening non-conference affairs, the UM defense — especially its run defense — is still among the best and most experienced in the Big Ten.“They’re a very good Michigan football defense,” Urbik said. “They return five of the starting front seven, and they’ve got very quality players up front.”The Wolverine defense has held its first three opponents to just 65.3 rushing yards per game and a meager 1.8 yards per carry.“It’s going to be one of those football games where you’ve got to just grind it out,” Urbik continued. “We’ll stick to our game plan, run the ball, pass the ball when we have to. It should be a grind-it-out game.”Although hard-fought, hard-nosed contests may play into Wisconsin’s strengths, the Badgers are anticipating a tough battle from the hosts.“I’m expecting them to play hard, for everybody to be on,” Pressley said. “They’re a 1-2 team, they’re going to come out fighting. We should expect them to play better than we see on film, just like they should expect us to play better than they see us on film. We’ve played some games, but none of them were Big Ten games.”“This is what we’re fighting for. It starts with Michigan.”Two seasons ago — the Badgers’ last trip to the Big House — the teams were deadlocked at 10 going into halftime. But it was the Wolverines who dominated the second half, finishing the Badgers off 27-13.“We just came out in the second half, and we were flat,” Urbik said. “They kicked our butts up and down the field because we weren’t playing our game, we weren’t playing physical, we weren’t on our targets.”This time, Wisconsin is looking to complete the mission and remain undefeated.“I’m looking forward to it, the first Big Ten game against Michigan, a good opponent,” Jefferson said. “We haven’t beaten them in a few years in their house, so we’re ready.”Jefferson, a sophomore, wasn’t on the UW roster two years ago but says his experience in big stadiums last season will help him in tomorrow’s showdown.“I’ve had my fair share of big houses,” he explained. “Last year I played at Penn State and Ohio State. You’ve got to treat it like home and go out there and play.”Jefferson has only caught five balls for 93 yards in the Badgers’ first three games. But being the deep threat that he is, he says tomorrow might be his day.“If we know Michigan, they’ll have seven people in the box to stop the three-headed (running back) monster that we have,” Jefferson said. “So by them doing that, it opens up the passing game for everybody, opens up the play action. I can’t wait — it’s our time to shine.”
Lionel Messi has become just the second Argentina player in history to score 50 international goals after netting against Bolivia on Wednesday.Messi, 28, struck in the 30th minute of the 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes to reach the half-century for the Albiceleste — a feat only ever achieved before by Gabriel Batistuta.The Barcelona star, who has helped Argentina to World Cup and Copa America finals over the past two years, found his 50th goal in his 107th appearance for his national side.Former Fiorentina and Roma man Batistuta finished up his international career with 54 goals in 78 games, meaning Messi is closing in on the all-time record — he now sits a clear fourth on the all-time caps list with 107 after overtaking Diego Simeone on Wednesday.”I am happy with the six points, which was the objective at start of these two games,” Messi told reporters after the match. “We tried to play more football, and this will help us to keep improving.”The match was played in Cordoba meant some extra travelling for the squad while the poor condition of the pitch had been a talking point in the build-up to the match. However, Messi insisted that the conditions were the same for both sides, and was grateful for the welcome from the crowd at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes. “The pitch was not great, we knew this was not going to be an excuse,” he said. “At times we played well, [but others] we were tired and our rhythm dropped. But the game was won.”We got a nice reception, the people showed us a lot of affection. It is not up to us if we play in Buenos Aires or in the interior. The important thing is we won. Then we go out to play wherever we are told to.”Messi now needs to find the back of the net just once more to reach 500 career goals for club and country, having scored 449 for Barca and 50 Argentina. He has made a total of 627 appearances to date — 520 of those coming in a Barca shirt and 107 in an Argentina jersey.Messi’s next opportunity to score his 500th career goal after the Bolivia clash comes on Saturday in La Liga when the Blaugrana host rivals Real Madrid in the Clasico. The club’s record goal scorer said he feels in top condition heading into that clash. He added: “I had not physical issues, and now is time to return to Barcelona to think about the Clasico, which will be a very big test.”It would be a nice way to reach that number, against Real Madrid. The really nice thing would be to win the game and stretch the lead in the standings.” –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySports
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with a game-high 31 points.San Antonio will likely make some adjustments to prevent a late game surge in Game 3 at home.Elsewhere, Portland put Oklahoma City in a deeper hole with its 114-94 victory in Game 2.The Trail Blazers had lost 10 straight playoff games entering the series, but have now won two straight and have a 2-0 lead over the Thunder.Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were crazy efficient and combined for 62 points on 22-of-43 shooting. Leonard exploded for a game-high 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting and was relentless in his pursuit of the hoop.UNSTOPPABLE pic.twitter.com/lDqB1mIwPa— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) April 17, 2019Aaron Gordon led the overwhelmed Magic in scoring, totaling 20 points while most of his teammates struggled from the field. Related News Clippers’ Patrick Beverley on his defense: ‘I can’t help that people get irritated by me’ Paul George led the Thunder with 27 points, but they still struggled shooting from deep.Studs of the NightKyle Lowry bounced back from a scoreless Game 1 outing with 22 points and seven assists for Toronto.LaMarcus Aldridge totaled 24 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs.Duds of the NightJonathan Isaac scored five points on 1-of-8 shooting for the Magic.Rudy Gay scored five points on 2-of-9 shooting in San Antonio’s loss.Russell Westbrook flirted with a triple-double, but made just five of his 20 shot attempts.HighlightsMcCollum blew by the Thunder and finished with a scoop shot off the glass.Through-the-legs. Hesi. Cross. #ThunderUp 29#RipCity 24CJ up to 11 PTS EARLY on @NBAonTNT. #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/oiK4JAVPeG— NBA (@NBA) April 17, 2019Murray scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and hit seven straight shots to help the Nuggets win. Now the series is knotted up at 1-1 as the two squads head to Orlando for Game 3.Meanwhile, the Nuggets were upset by the Spurs in Game 1, but also found their footing in Game 2.Although Denver trailed by seven entering the final frame, it outscored San Antonio by 16 to secure a 114-105 victory.Four of the Nuggets’ five starters scored at least 20 points, and they were led by Jamal Murray, who had a team-high 24. The Raptors responded to their Game 1 loss with a 111-82 victory over the Magic on Tuesday.Second-seeded Toronto improved considerably, and Kawhi Leonard was simply unstoppable against Orlando. Their scoring helped push Portland ahead after it was tied with Oklahoma City at the break. JAMAL. MURRAY.🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/KWxz0OM6u7— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) April 17, 2019Lillard shook off Raymond Felton for a buzzer beater 3-pointer to end the third.🚨 “Long ball by Dame coming up…” 🚨Damian Lillard (27 PTS) steps back at the 3rd Q buzzer on @NBAonTNT! #RipCity pic.twitter.com/SY1NFoQ9xG— NBA (@NBA) April 17, 2019What’s Next?Jazz at Rockets 9:30 p.m. ET — Utah was blown away by Houston in Game 1. Its defensive strategy to contain James Harden was full of holes. The Jazz will have to showcase some serious adjustments to stop the Rockets from running away with the series.
…says negotiation more effective in recovering state assetsReports suggested that the State Asset Recovery Agency (SARA) has taken steps to recover assets through negotiation. According to one political analyst, this is something that should have been done a long time ago.In an interview with Guyana Times, Political Analyst and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Henry Jeffrey noted that this is something done around the world when countries try to recover state assets.He noted that investigators may have put the proverbial cart before the horse by arresting persons and approaching the courts without putting effort into negotiation and reaching a settlement.The political analyst pointed to the benefits of going to persons with a figure and negotiating payments to recover the value of the asset, versus going to the courts and possibly getting nothing.“(Only) when the people say no, they’re not paying. But that was political grandstanding. Now they gone back to the very thing they should have done in the first (place). Why you (have to) carry people in front of station, drag them here, drag them there, for something you have now gone back to the very same thing you should have done.”Dr Jeffrey noted that such prosecutions can take years in order to build credible cases. He noted that many countries go the route of reaching out of court settlements, in a way that ensures the state is still reimbursed.“There are examples and precedents all around the world, showing it takes years. Plus you have to get the best people… (SARA) is there to try to get back the nation’s funds. Well that’s what they should do in the first place.”“That should have been the first move, instead of dragging people around and in the end, return to the same (approach) to tell them to pay. Now if they don’t want pay that’s a different matter. But it was political grandstanding.”SARA Director Professor Clive Thomas was quoted saying in sections of the media on Sunday that some persons who were sold land at the Pradoville Two Housing Scheme had chosen to settle with the agency.He had noted that the State Assets Recovery Bill provides for them to negotiate settlements. In addition, Jeffrey revealed that the Police Legal Advisor, retired Justice Claudette Singh had recommended this approach.Recently, audit firm Ram and McRae called for SARA to be scrapped altogether, in its ‘budget focus’ published review of budget 2019. The firm had listed some qualms with SARA, including the agency’s failure to have its annual plan and Code of Practise tabled in the National Assembly.Pointing out that the $285 million the agency is set to receive in 2019 is an increase from last year’s amount, Ram and McRae was critical of this lapse. Also, the firm had been of the view that SARA has failed to live up to its expectations of recovering assets.SARA Deputy Director Aubrey Heath-Retmeyer has previously defended his agency’s performance by noting that 2018 will make the agency’s first full budgetary year. He had said the agency is still in its infancy stages.