Minnesota Sports Briefs: U women's hoops team loses to Northwestern
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota women's basketball lost a home game to Northwestern yesterday, 70-63.
Minnesota led at halftime, but could not overcome some foul difficulty for star player Rachel Banham. Banham picked up her fourth foul when the game was tied in the second half and Northwestern was able to grab the lead for good. Banham finished with a team-high 19 points, while Micaella Riche chipped in with 17. The Gophers are now 15-11 overall and 4-8 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is at Ohio State on Thursday night.
Chris Paul posted 20 points, 15 assists and four steals to lead the Western Conference over the Eastern Conference 143-138 at the NBA All-Star Game in Houston last night. Paul was named the game's MVP. Kevin Durant scored 30 points with six rebounds for the West, which has won three straight over the East. Blake Griffin added 19 points for the winning side. Carmelo Anthony tallied 26 points and 12 boards for the East. Dwyane Wade added 21 points and seven assists in defeat. LeBron James totaled 19 points and five assists in the loss. There were no Minnesota Timberwolves involved in the game.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have a couple of more off days as part of the NBA All-Star Break and will host Philadelphia on Wednesday night at the Target Center. The Wolves had no representatives in the All-Star Game itself over the weekend, but did have Alexei Shved and Ricky Rubio in the Rising Stars Challenge game on Friday night. Shved had 12 points and four assists while Rubio scored five points with 10 assists to help their team win the game 163-135.
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says he enjoys spring training and is looking forward to seeing how this year's training camp works out. He says with starting jobs up for grabs in at least four positions, this could be the most interesting spring training he's had in awhile. He says the final 12 roster spots will likely be determined based on how players perform at spring training, and he says that might be the most since he's been the team's boss. The Twins open the spring training game schedule on Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota.
The University of Minnesota baseball team lost to No. 2 UCLA 14-1 yesterday in Los Angeles. The Bruins ended up taking two of three from Minnesota, after the Gophers captured the series opener on Friday night 6-2. UCLA won Saturday's game 14-2. The 1-3 Gophers host Western Michigan at the Metrodome on Friday.
One sled dog was killed and two others were hurt early Sunday when a Minnesota musher's sled dog team collided with a truck while competing in a race in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Frank Moe of Hovland was not injured in the crash during the annual U.P. 200 race from Marquette to Grand Marais, Michigan and back. Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association President Pat Torreano says a volunteer tried to halt Moe's dog team before the road crossing but the dogs were barking and the musher couldn't hear. The injured pair of dogs is listed in "serious but stable condition" at a Michigan veterinary clinic. Torreano says the accident is the first vehicle-sled team collision in the race's 27-year history. Moe, a former DFL state representative from Bemidji, was vying for the race's lead when the accident took place.
Danica Patrick is the first female in NASCAR history to win the pole for the Daytona 500. One day after recording the fastest lap in practice, Patrick made her qualifying lap around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway at 196.434 mph to grab the top starting position for the February 24th season-opener in the Sprint Cup Series. Jeff Gordon will share the front row with Patrick in the Daytona 500. The three-time winner of NASCAR's most prestigious race of the season turned a lap at 196.292 mph. The rest of the 43-car field will be set following Thursday's twin-qualifying races at Daytona.