Minnesota Sports Roundup: Michigan beats Gophers men's hoopsMinnesota Sports
-- The fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines showed why they are ranked as high as they are with a dominating 83-75 win over No. 9 Minnesota at Williams Arena last night.
MINNEAPOLIS - The fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines showed why they are ranked as high as they are with a dominating 83-75 win over No. 9 Minnesota at Williams Arena last night. Michigan's Tim Hardaway, Junior scored 18 of his game-high 21 in the first half to push the Wolverines to a six-point halftime lead. The advantage grew to 19 at one point the second half before the Gophers closed to within seven points a handful of times late in the game. Austin Hollins led Minnesota with a career-high 21 points. The Golden Gophers are now 15-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan improved to 16-1 overall and 4-1 in the league. Minnesota plays at Northwestern on Wednesday night.
The University of Minnesota women's basketball dropped a road Big Ten game 75-67 at No. 12 Purdue last night. Sophomore Rachel Banham and senior Leah Cotton each scored 17 points in the losing cause. Minnesota trailed by five at halftime and Purdue controlled the second half. Minnesota is now 13-5 overall and 2-2 in the league.
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford scored a game-high 22 points as Los Angeles continued to roll without star guard Chris Paul, knocking off Minnesota 90-77 last night in Minneapolis. Paul, who on Thursday was named a starter for the Western Conference in the upcoming All-Star Game, missed the last three games with a bruised knee. Los Angeles has not missed a beat, winning all three contests in his absence. Blake Griffin added 20 points last night. Luke Ridnour paced Minnesota with 21 points and Andrei Kirilenko followed with 15 in the Timberwolves' fifth straight loss. Ricky Rubio made his first start of the season while still recovering from a pair of torn ligaments in his left knee and recorded four points and six assists. The Wolves host Houston tomorrow night.
The WCHA will add Alabama-Huntsville as a new member of the conference beginning next season. Alabama-Huntsville admission to the league will make it a ten-team conference. Minnesota and Wisconsin are dropping out of the league to join the Big Ten starting next season. Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Denver, and Colorado College are leaving the WCHA to form a new league next year. So, the new-look WCHA next season will have Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, and Alabama-Huntsville.
The No. 1 University of Minnesota men's hockey team hosts sixth-ranked North Dakota for a WCHA series this weekend. Both teams are near the top of the league standings The weekend pairing of long-time WCHA rivals has been especially hyped because it will be the final regular season conference series these two storied programs will ever play. The Gophers are leaving the WCHA for the Big Ten after this season, while UND is leaving the WCHA for the newly-formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Officials from both schools have suggested they'd like to schedule occasional non-conference regular season games in the future. Games are set for tonight and tomorrow night at Mariucci Arena.
The Minnesota Wild activated Pierre-Marc Bouchard from the Injured Reserve list and reassigned defenseman Steven Kampfer to the AHL Houston Aeros. The Wild training camp roster now stands at 25 players. Minnesota opens the NHL regular season tomorrow night with a home game against Colorado.
Four Minnesota Twins have been selected to the provisional roster of the World Baseball Classic, which will be played in March. Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins were chosen as preliminary roster members for the United States, while Justin Morneau is on the Canada roster. Catcher Drew Butera is on the provisional roster for Italy. Each player will miss a portion of spring training while taking part in the international tournament. Games will be played in Phoenix and San Francisco.