Minnesota Sports Briefs: T-Wolves top Celtics for first time since 2007
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic poured in a game-high 29 points as the Timberwolves downed the Celtics 110-100 at the Target Center last night.
Dante Cunningham chipped in with 19 points off the pine, while Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the T'wolves, who have alternated wins and losses over their last eight games and beat Boston for the first time since 2007. Derrick Williams and J.J. Barea both added 11 points in the victory. Avery Bradley netted 19 points to pace Boston, which has lost two in-a-row and seven-of-nine overall. Minnesota is at Milwaukee tomorrow.
Tubby Smith is headed to Texas Tech. Smith has agreed to a deal to become men's basketball coach for the Red Raiders. The school will make the official announcement at a press conference today. Smith will replace interim coach Chris Walker, who led the team to an 11-and-20 mark this season, including 3-and-15 in the Big 12. Smith was fired by Minnesota last week after six seasons. The Gophers, meanwhile, continue to search for Smith's replacement.
One of college basketball's hottest head coaching commodities is heading to Southern California. USC has announced it has hired Andy Enfield away from Florida Gulf Coast The 43-year-old Enfield made a name for himself over the last two weeks after coaching FGCU to the Sweet 16. The Eagles became the first 15-seed ever to advance that far in the NCAA Tournament. Florida Gulf Coast's season ended Friday with a loss to Florida. USC fired Kevin O'Neill during the season. Enfield's name had been brought up as a potential candidate to coach the Golden Gophers, who are searching for a coach since firing Tubby Smith last week.
The semifinals of the NIT will be played tonight at Madison Square Garden. Second-seeded Baylor plays third-seeded BYU in the first game at 7 p.m., while second-seeded Maryland goes up against third-seeded Iowa in the nightcap. Baylor beat BYU 79-64 at home back on December 21st. Tonight's winners meet for the NIT tile on Thursday. The Golden Gophers won an NIT semifinal game last year before losing in the title tilt.
The WNBA Minnesota Lynx signed guar Jacki Gemelos to a contract. She was originally drafted by the Lynx in the third round of the 2012 draft out of USC, where she averaged 11 points per game as a senior. Gemelos is trying to overcome her fifth knee surgery in six years.
The University of Minnesota will unveil its brand new on-campus baseball stadium today in a grand opening ceremony. Hall of Famer and former Golden Gopher star Paul Molitor will be on hand to help at the event today, which is set to begin at 12:15 p.m. Fans are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new Siebert Field will officially open on Friday with a Golden Gopher game against Ohio State at 3 p.m. The new stadium will seat 1,400 people during its first phase with expansion to a capacity of 2,000 planned for the future.
The University of Denver has fired hockey coach George Gwozdecky. The 59-year-old is out according to the Denver Post but will be paid the remaining year on his contract. It brings an end to a 19-year run as head coach that included two NCAA championships. The Pioneers lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this year while Gwozdecky was 443-267-64 in his tenure with Denver.
The MIAC and NSIC have named their weekly award winners in baseball. Minnesota-Duluth freshman infielder Alex Wojciechowski of Coon Rapids is this week's NSIC Player of the Week. He hit .667 for the week with two home runs. Bemidji State senior lefty Phil Bray of Chatfield is the league's Pitcher of the Week after tossing eight shutout innings in a Beaver win over Concordia-St. Paul. Carleton shortstop David Stillerman of Evanston, Illinois is the MIAC Player of the Week, while Macalester junior Nathan Kelleher-Crew of Cool, California is the conference's Pitcher of the Week.
The NSIC and MIAC players of the week in softball have been announced St. Mary's freshman Nat Boissiere of Plymouth is the MIAC Player of the Week after hitting .778 in two wins last week. Saint Benedict junior Rachel Nelson of Lindstrom is the MIAC Pitcher of the Week after going 2-1 with a save last week. Concordia-St. Paul sophomore Stephanie Kappes of Circle Pines is this week's NSIC Pitcher of the Week, while Minot State junior Jen Dixon of Brandon, Manitoba is the league's Player of the Week.