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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Gopher hoops win, Wolves, Wild lose

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 The University of Minnesota men's basketball team remained unbeaten with an 82-72 win over Coastal Carolina at Williams Arena last night. Junior guard Andre Hollins paced the Golden Gophers with 19 points. Hollins eclipsed the 900-point mark in his career with the effort. DeAndre Mathieu scored a career high 17 points, while Austin Hollins added 15 points. Minnesota is now 4-and-0 on the season, while Coastal Carolina drops to 1-and-3. The Gophers now host Wofford tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Barn.

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The Wizards stormed back from a 16-point deficit to notch a 104-100 win over the Timberwolves at the Verizon Center. John Wall scored 14 points and dished out 16 assists while Bradley Beal posted 25 points for Washington. Martell Webster added 17 points and nine rebounds as the Wiz stopped a four-game slide. Kevin Love had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota while Corey Brewer notched 16 points in defeat. Nikola Pekovic had 13 points and six boards for the Wolves, who have lost three out of five. Minnesota returns home for a game tonight against the Clippers at 7 p.m.

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 Montreal's Max Pacioretty netted a hat trick to lead the Canadiens over the Wild 6-2 at the Bell Centre. Pacioretty scored all his goals over an 11-minute span in the second period. David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban added two assists each. Carey Price stopped 25 shots for the Habs and Josh Harding made 16 for Minnesota until he was lifted for Darcy Kuemper. Both goalies gave up three goals each. Montreal improved to 11-9-and-2. The Wild fell to 13-5-and-4 with its first loss in five games. The Wild play at Ottawa tonight at 6:30 p.m.

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 The NSIC has named its season-ending award winners. Minnesota State-Mankato senior quarterback Jon Wolf of Oak forest, Illinois is the Offensive Player of the Year. His senior teammate Chris Schaudt of Slater, Iowa is the league's Defensive Player of the Year, sharing the honor with U-Mary linebacker Grant Singer of Turtle Lake, North Dakota. Winona State quarterback Jack Nelson of Byron is the Offensive Newcomer of the Year, while Sioux Falls linebacker John Batinich of Sunnyvale, California is the NSIC Defensive Newcomer of the Year Minnesota State-Mankato coach Aaron Keen is the conference's Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

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The leading receiver for the Golden Gopher football team is a question for this weekend's big game against Wisconsin. Senior Derrick Engel of Chaska leads Minnesota with 25 receptions for 401 yards and a team high five touchdowns. He suffered a knee injury in practice over the weekend and head coach Jerry Kill says they are waiting on test results. Kill would not speculate on the severity of the injury. The No. 23 Golden Gophers entertain 17th-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium. There are a select few tickets remaining for the ballgame.

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 The Vikings will be back on the practice field later today at Winter Park, getting ready for the Green Bay Packers. The Vikes and Pack hook up in Green Bay on Sunday. Minnesota is 2-and-8 on the season, while Green Bay has sunk to 5-and-5 in the wake of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' injury. Kickoff is noon.

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 The Minnesota Twins traded right-handed pitcher Duke Welker to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for left-handed pitcher Kris Johnson. Both hurlers spent most of last year at the Class AAA level for their respective organizations. Ironically, the Twins acquired Welker from Pittsburgh as part of the Justin Morneau trade. He is now being shipped back to the Pirates for a different minor league pitcher. Johnson was 0-and-2 in four games with the Pirates last season, but was more impressive in the minors. he was 10-and-4 with a 2.39 earned run average for Class AAA Indianapolis. Welker was 3-and-4 with a 3.57 ERA when he was in the Pirates organization.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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