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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Gophers men's hoops beats UNO

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MINNEAPOLIS - DeAndre Mathieu scored 27 points, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor, as the University of Minnesota men's basketball team posted a 92-79 win over the Mavericks of Nebraska Omaha in a non-conference bout at Williams Arena Friday evening.

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Also scoring in double figures for the Golden Gophers (10-2) was Malik Smith with 19 points off the bench as he converted 5-of-8 behind the 3-point line. Andre Hollins logged a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Austin Hollins and Elliott Eliason with 10 points apiece, the latter also clearing nine boards and making four steals. The Mavericks (8-4) were paced by Devin Patterson, C.J. Carter and Alex Phillips with 15 points apiece, followed by Marcus Tyus with 11 as the team had a five- game win streak snapped.

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Pau Gasol netted nine of his 21 points during a critical run to close the game and the Lakers topped the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-91 on Friday night. Kobe Bryant hyperextended his left knee in the third quarter of Los Angeles' last game Tuesday, but finished the tilt in the Lakers' 96-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant was diagnosed with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee and is likely out six weeks. Bryant made his season debut on Dec. 8 after missing nearly eight months while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon. The Lakers went 2-4 with Bryant in the lineup. Gasol added 13 rebounds and eight assists, while Nick Young netted a team-high 25 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which ended the contest on a 14-2 run. Xavier Henry, who started at point guard, tallied 21 points and four assists in the triumph. Bryant was handling the point guard duties because Steve Nash (back), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Steve Blake (elbow) are all shelved. Kevin Love had 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Nikola Pekovic finished with 22 points and 13 boards for the Timberwolves, who have alternated wins and losses over their last six games.

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Former University of Minnesota-Duluth Athletic Director Bruce McLeod has announced he will be retiring from his current post as commissioner of the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) at the end of the 2013-14 season. McLeod has led the WCHA for the last 20 years, taking over for former University of Wisconsin associate athletic director Otto Breitenbach. McLeod's tenure saw the expansion of the league but its ultimate splintering due to the creation of the Big Ten hockey conference and the abandonment of the league by mainstays like North Dakota, Denver, Colordo College, St. Cloud State and even McLeod's own UMD for the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). But McLeod kept the league in tact unlike the CCHA (Central Collegiate Hockey Association) which folded due to realignment in college hockey. The WCHA added the remaining members of the CCHA (Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan, Bowling Green) plus the Alaska schools and Alabama-Hunstville to go with Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Michigan Tech. The popular Final Five postseason playoff tournament was also created during McLeod's tenure and saw record crowds sometimes jam into the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The tournament became a great source of revenue for the league, drawing total crowds of 82,000 in some seasons. The WCHA will have new leadership not just at the top. WCHA women's commissioner Sara Martin will also retire at the end of the season as well.

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