Minnesota Sports Roundup: Pekovic records double-double as T-Wolves beat DenverMinnesota Sports
-- Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Timberwolves edged the Nuggets 108-105 at the Target Center.
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic recorded 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Timberwolves edged the Nuggets 108-105 at the Target Center.
The 108 points was a season high for the Wolves. Ty Lawson missed a three-pointer as time expired that would have tied the game for Denver. Andrei Kirilenko scored 18 points and J.J. Barea added 17 points, eight assists and five boards off the bench for the T'wolves, who have won four of their last five games. Kenneth Faried racked up game-high's with 26 points and 14 boards for Denver, which has alternated wins and losses over its last seven games. Minnesota is at New Orleans tomorrow night. They will practice in Minneapolis today before leaving for Louisiana.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. Peterson ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns in Minnesota's 21-14 win over Chicago Sunday at the Dome. He rushed for a franchise-record 104 yards in the first quarter. Peterson was also honored in Week 7 after running for 153 yards and a TD against the Cardinals. A.P. leads the league with 16-hundred yards rushing this season. The 7-6 Vikings play at the 6-6-1 Rams Sunday afternoon.
Linebacker James Laurinaitis of Wayzata and cornerback Cortland Finnegan did not practice yesterday for the St. Louis Rams. Laurinaitis has a back injury and Finnegan an ankle problem. Running back Steven Jackson received a normal day of rest. Wide receiver Danny Amendola was limited in practice with a foot injury. The Rams host the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.
A small fire broke out at legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Wednesday. The minor fire broke out on the construction site for the Lambeau Field expansion. The Packers said nobody was injured and the damage was limited and is not expected to affect the project. The Packers have played at Lambeau Field since 1957. Green Bay, at 9-4, battles the 8-5 Bears this Sunday in Chicago.
The No. 16 ranked University of Minnesota men's basketball team will not have a game again until December 22nd when it hosts Lafayette at Williams Arena. The layoff is planned so players can work on final exams and term papers. Minnesota beat North Dakota State 70-57 on Tuesday night at the Barn, propelling itself to an 11-and-1 record. The University of Minnesota women's basketball team is 9-3 on the season and off until a December 21st home game against Northern Iowa.
The University of Minnesota football team returned to the practice field yesterday for the fourth planned practice of the bowl preparation period. The NCAA allows teams to practice 15 times leading up to bowl games. The Gophers will have today off and return to practice tomorrow on campus. The Golden Gophers take on Texas Tech in the December 28th Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.
Texas Tech has named Texas A&M offensive coordinator and former Red Raider quarterback Kliff Kingsbury to be its next head football coach. Kingsbury takes over for Tommy Tuberville, who left last week after just one season to take over head coaching duties at Cincinnati. Kingsbury was offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Texas A&M this season after holding the same role at Houston from 2010-11. The 33-year-old played at Texas Tech from 1998-2002, throwing for 12,429 yards with 95 touchdowns in 43 career games. He went on to play for five teams in the NFL and also played in the Canadian and All-American Football Leagues. The Red Raiders finished 7-5 this season to earn a trip to the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Minnesota on December 28th in Houston.
University of Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt of Vadnais Heights has been named the WCHA women's hockey Rookie of the Week for the fifth time this season. She had three point last weekend as the top-ranked Gophers swept Bemidji State. Brandt is the top scoring freshman in the nation with 48 points in 20 games St. Cloud State senior Haylea Schmid of Oak Grove is the league's Offensive Player of the Week. Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby is the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week.
The NHL and the Players' Association met with federal mediators for a little over six hours on Wednesday without making any progress in the ongoing labor dispute. The session was overseen by federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh and was held at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services in Iselin, New Jersey. NHL owners were not present, but several players were on hand for the meetings. The two sides also met with mediators on November 28th and 29th but those talks broke off without any progress. A total of 526 regular season games, the Winter Classic and the All-Star Game have been cancelled due to the lockout, which is in its 89th day. The Minnesota Wild were supposed to have played at St. Louis last night and home against Edmonton tomorrow night. Instead, the Xcel Energy Center continues to sit idle with no NHL hockey.
NASCAR held the second of two days of testing it's new Sprint Cup Series car Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sixteen teams representing all three auto manufacturers in the series are participated in the two-day session to familiarize themselves with the sixth generation car.
Tom Watson has been selected to be captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2014. The five-time British Open champion will lead the Americans in Gleneagles, Scotland. The 63-year-old Watson previously captained the Ryder Cup team that won in England in 1993. Incidentally, the 2016 Ryder Cup will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska.