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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Minnesota wins NIT over SMU

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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Minnesota wins NIT over SMU
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

NEW YORK, NY -- Austin Hollins scored 19 points to pace the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a 65-63 win over the SMU Mustangs and to an NIT championship.  Andre Hollins added 14 points while Deandre Mathieu tallied 13 for Minnesota, which ends the season 25-and-13.  The Gophers were the runner up two seasons ago in the NIT.  Nic Moore totaled 17 points and seven assists for SMU, which closes the year 27-and-10.  Nick Russell had 15 points and six rebounds in defeat.

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Oswaldo Arcia tripled in the go-ahead run in a two-run ninth inning as the Twins outlasted the White Sox 10-9 at U.S. Cellular Field.  Trevor Plouffe tied the game at nine with an RBI single for Minnesota, which led 5-1 before Chicago scored seven times in the fifth and sixth innings to take an 8-5 lead.  Chris Colabello went 2-for-5 with six RBI for the Twins, who salvaged the finale of the three-game series.  Caleb Thielbar got the win and Glen Perkins his first save.  Matt Lindstrom took the loss for Chicago.  Alejando De Aza, Adam Dunn and Marcus Semien all homered for the White Sox.

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The Minnesota Twins announced that they have reinstated left-handed pitcher Brian Duensing from the Paternity List.  His wife, Lisa, gave birth to their son Boston Matthew on Tuesday morning in Omaha, Nebraska.  To make room for Duensing on the 25-man roster, the Twins optioned right-handed pitcher Michael Tonkin to Triple-A Rochester.  Tonkin tossed a scoreless 10th inning in yesterday’s loss to the White Sox.  

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Marian Hossa scored the lone goal in the shootout as the Blackhawks edged the Wild 3-2 at the United Center.  Ben Smith and Bryan Bickell both scored in regulation for the 'Hawks, who snapped a three-game losing streak.  Corey Crawford stopped 25 shots plus all three shootout attempts for the win.  Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula tallied a goal each for Minnesota, which had won its previous two.  Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves in defeat.

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Eric Staal, Justin Faulk and John-Michael Liles all scored less than five minutes apart in the second period as the Hurricanes cruised to a 4-1 win over the Stars at PNC Arena.  Liles also had two assists, while Riley Nash added a third period tally for the 'Canes, who have won two in-a-row.  Anton Khudobin kicked aside 33 of the 34 shots he faced in the victory.  Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal for Dallas, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.  The Stars remain tied with Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 85 points apiece, but have a game in hand.  Both trail the Wild by 5 points in the chase for the two Western Conference Wild Card spots.

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Former Golden Gopher Paul Martin and Brian Gibbons each scored a goal in the third period to lift the Penguins to a 4-2 win over the Jets at the MTS Centre.  Martin made his return to the ice after sitting out nearly two months with a broken hand suffered at the Olympics.  Pittsburgh fell behind 2-1 and then tied the game at two off the stick of Craig Adams with 1:13 left in the second period.  Marc-Andre Fleury turned away 13 of the 15 shots he faced for the Pens, who remain second in the East with 103 points.  Penguins face the Wild Saturday night in St. Paul at Xcel Energy Center.

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The Timberwolves are on the road in Miami tonight looking to build on the game they put together Wednesday night against Memphis.  In that one, Kevin Love had a triple-double as the Wolves spanked the Grizzlies 102-88.  The Heat however are playing some great basketball as they'll bring a four game winning streak into tonights contest.  The Heat have also won seven straight in this series and will try to hand the Timberwolves a fourth consecutive road defeat.  

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The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that the team has waived guard A.J. Price. The Wolves roster stands at 14.  During the 2013-14 NBA season, Price appeared in 28 games with the Timberwolves and averaged 1.6 points, 0.5 assists and 0.4 rebounds in 3.5 minutes per game. Playing in his fifth season out of Connecticut, Price has averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists in 15.3 minutes over a 235 game career.

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Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of domestic assault.  26-year-old Cunningham was booked into the Hennepin County jail shortly after 6:00 this morning and is being held without bail, pending charges.  The Timberwolves issued a statement saying “we are aware of the matter involving Dante Cunningham and are in the process of gathering more information.  The statement went on to say "the Minnesota Timberwolves organization takes the matter very seriously and does not condone the type of behavior that is associated with this situation.  However, we need to let the legal process run its course, and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

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The prize for the best rookie in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) is not going anywhere for at least another month. On Friday the league announced that Minnesota Swarm forward Logan Schuss was the recipient of Rookie of the Month honors for March, marking the second-straight occasion that Schuss was picked for the award.  The Ladner, British Columbia native followed up a February where he scored 23 points (11g, 12a) in five games with another 15 points (5g, 10a) in four games in the month of March. Schuss has continued to be a consistent contributor to the Swarm offense, tacking up four or more points in five of his last six outings  The 2013 No. 1 overall pick paces all first-year players in points (46), goals (21), power play goals (7), shots (141) and shots-on-goal (109), and is second in assists (25). His 55 loose balls also ranks fourth among all rookies. Schuss is additionally in the Top-20 of all NLL players in goals (19th), power play goals (8th), shots (15th) and shots on goal (9th).

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The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team was announced amongst a solid eight-team field that will take part in the second-annual Gulf Coast Showcase No. 28-30 at Ft. Myers’ Germain Arena. Host resort announcement and fan information are scheduled to be released at a later date.  Along with the Golden Gophers, the field will include Connecticut, Arizona State, College of Charleston, Green Bay, Villanova, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech. 

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Coming up April 11-13, the Schwan Super Rink at the National Sports Center will host the 16th annual Stick It to Cancer Women’s Hockey Tournament. The tournament’s mission is to raise funds to help combat breast cancer, with proceeds to be donated to the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.  In 2013, the tournament donated a total of $88,695 to the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota.  The tournament will feature a total of 75 girls’ and women’s hockey teams from around the Midwest. Most of the teams are from Minnesota, but out-of-state teams from California, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa will also be represented.  Tournament hours are Friday, April 11, from 5-10 p.m., Saturday, April 12, from 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, April 13, from 8:10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The tournament is open to the public, and admission is free. 

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The No. 14 Minnesota softball team’s 6 p.m. game Friday against Wisconsin has been canceled due to inclement weather. The teams are now scheduled to begin their series Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale still remains as scheduled.

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