Minnesota Sports Briefs: U women's hoops down Ohio StateMinnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota women's basketball team dominated Ohio State in an 83-74 win at Williams Arena last night.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota women's basketball team dominated Ohio State in an 83-74 win at Williams Arena last night.
Minnesota raced to a 19-point halftime lead, pushed the margin to 25-points at one point in the second half, then melted the game away. Lakeville native Rachel Banham netted a game-high 24 points to lead the Gophers. Micaella Riche added 20 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota. Minneapolis native Tayler Hill scored 24 points for the Buckeyes. Minnesota is now 13-4 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, while Ohio State fell to 10-6 overall and 0-3 in the league.
University of Minnesota men's basketball point guard Andre Hollins of Memphis, Tennessee, is one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which is awarded to the nation's top college point guard. The sophomore is averaging 13.7-points per game and 3.7-assists per contest. Both of those stats are team-leading. He is coming off of a 22-point, eight-rebound effort in Wednesday's win over Illinois. The Gophers are ranked eighth in the nation and will play at Indiana tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. The Hoosiers are ranked fifth.
Long-time University of Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson will miss both of his team's dual meets this weekend because of a severe infection in his knee. The No. 4 Minnesota team will take on fifth-ranked Ohio State tonight in Columbus, Ohio before traveling to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Sunday. Robinson is in his 27th season as Golden Gopher head coach.
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway is headed to his second straight Pro Bowl later this month in Hawaii. Minnesota's leading tackler will replace injured Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware Greenway has led the Vikings in tackles from 2008-2012. He becomes the first Vikings linebacker named to back-to-back Pro Bowls since Scott Studwell in the late 1980s. Greenway will join teammates Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Jerome Felton and Blair Walsh on the NFC team.
Teams that opened the season against one another face off again as the Packers play the 49ers in an NFC Divisional Playoff game Saturday in San Francisco. After missing out on a first-round bye by losing at Minnesota in Week 17, the Packers bounced back to beat the Vikings 24-10 at home in the NFC Wild Card round. The 49ers had a bye after claiming the NFC's second seed at 11-4-1.
The Atlanta Falcons host the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional round of the NFC postseason Sunday afternoon. The top-seeded Falcons had a bye last weekend. The Seahawks rallied for a 24-14 win over the Redskins in the first round. The winner moves on to the NFC Championship Game.
The Denver Broncos are making final preparations for tomorrow's divisional playoff matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Denver is riding an 11-game winning streak and would host the winner of the Patriots-Texans game in the AFC Championship with a win. Baltimore is looking to extend the career of future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, who is retiring after this season.
The Houston Texans travel to Foxboro to face the Patriots in the Divisional round of the AFC postseason Sunday afternoon. Houston got by Cincinnati 19-13 in the first round. The Texans were stomped 42-14 by New England in Week 14.
It's one and done for Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey. The Jags have fired Mularkey after just one season at the helm. Jacksonville was a franchise-worst 2-14, tying Kansas City for the worst record in the NFL this season. The Jags' will have the number-two pick in the April draft. Mularkey is the eighth head coach to be fired since the end of the regular season. Mularkey played tight end for the Minnesota Vikings from 1983-88.
Major League Baseball is strengthening drug testing for players this year. MLB and the Players Association have announced they will start random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for human growth hormone this season. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig says the testing will begin this season. Players were previously subject to unannounced blood testing only during spring training and the offseason. MLB has been randomly testing minor league players for HGH since July 2010 and is now the only major North American sport to blood test unionized players.
Thirty-four Sprint Cup Series teams have begun a three-day test session of the new "G6" car at Daytona International Speedway. Teams are familiarizing themselves with the new car ahead of the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 24th. Testing will continue Friday and Saturday at Daytona.