Minnesota Sports Briefs: Lynx re-sign McWilliams-FranklinMinnesota Sports
-- A key player on last year's WNBA championship Minnesota Lynx will be back. Veteran center Taj McWilliams-Franklin has signed a one-year deal with the team.
MINNEAPOLIS - A key player on last year's WNBA championship Minnesota Lynx will be back. Veteran center Taj McWilliams-Franklin has signed a one-year deal with the team.
The veteran of 13 WNBA seasons was reportedly considering retirement, but has decided to play again. McWilliams-Franklin is a six-time WNBA all-star and averaged nearly 11-points and five rebounds per game last year. She says she is looking forward to trying to help defend the league championship.
The University of Minnesota men's basketball team has won three straight Big Ten games for the first time since early in last season's league slate. The Golden Gophers knocked out Northwestern 75-52 yesterday at Williams Arena. The team will leave for East Lansing, Michigan this afternoon, where it will play No. 11 Michigan State tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Golden Gopher women hosts Wisconsin on Thursday. The Gopher women's team lost at Nebraska 64-49 yesterday.
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has named its weekly award winners in men's and women's basketball. Bethel junior Taylor Hall of Blaine is the men's Player of the Week after averaging 19.5-points per game in a pair of big wins for the Royals. And, Macalester senior Holly Schiedermayer of Waupaca, Wisconsin is the women's honoree this week. She averaged 21-points and 11-rebounds per game in two wins.
Twins continue their Winter Caravan today with three separate celebrity groups making visits in Minnesota and South Dakota. A group including current players Ben Revere and Rene Tosoni, former player Tony Oliva, and broadcaster Dick Bremer will make three stops in Minnesota today. Those visits include Aitkin, Grand Rapids, and Bemidji. Another Twins group including current players Danny Valencia and Drew Butera, former player and current television analyst Bert Blyleven and radio announcer Cory Provus have four Minnesota visits. They will stop in Forest Lake, Minneapolis, Jordan, and Owatonna. A third group including current players Anthony Swarzak, Trevor Plouffe, and Chris Parmelee, along with former player and current broadcaster Dan Gladden will make three South Dakota stops. Their visits will be in Huron, Mitchell, and Sioux Falls. Twins Fest starts in Minneapolis this Friday.
The 2012 legislative session begins today at noon, and one of the major issues on state lawmakers' plate will be the Vikings' push for a new stadium. Lead Senate sponsor, Fairmont Republican Julie Rosen, says the team's lease at the Metrodome is up, they're free agents and "we can't keep putting it off." Rosen predicts they'll have a bill put together by March 1st, but adds it probably won't be up for a floor vote that soon. A site and a financing plan are still up in the air.
Prosecutors are providing more evidence they believe bolsters their criminal case against Amy Senser. The Edina woman is charged with driving the car that struck and killed an 18-year-old man on an interstate ramp last summer in Minneapolis. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says they have cell phone records showing that after the man was struck, Senser drove in a westerly direction - not east toward St. Paul where she was to have picked up her daughters. Amy Senser - wife of former Vikings star Joe Senser - is charged with criminal vehicular homicide operation and failure to notify police in a timely manner. Senser's attorney has said he intends to ask the court to throw out the case for lack of sufficient evidence. A tentative trial date is set for April.