Minnesota Sports Roundup: Hawks extend Wolves' losing streakMinnesota Sports
-- Atlanta's Al Horford racked up 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Hawks took down the Timberwolves 104-96 in Atlanta yesterday.
ATLANTA - Atlanta's Al Horford racked up 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Hawks took down the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-96 in Atlanta yesterday.
Minnesota led by as many as 18 points in the first half and had an eight-point fourth quarter lead. But, Atlanta rallied on its home floor and came away with the win. Derrick Williams netted 17 points and J.J. Barea had 14 points and seven assists for Minnesota, which has lost six-of-seven. Andrei Kirilenko added 13 points, six boards and five assists in the setback. Minnesota hosts Brooklyn tomorrow. The Nets beat the Knicks last night 88-85.
The University of Minnesota's men's basketball team fell a few notches in both the national media and national coaches poll, which were released yesterday. Minnesota is ranked No. 12 in the writers poll. That's down three spots. The Gophers fell two spots in the coaches survey from 12th to 14th. The 15-3 Gophers play at Northwestern tomorrow night. Head coach Tubby Smith will put his team through a practice this afternoon before the team flies to Chicago tonight for tomorrow's game.
The third-ranked University of Minnesota wrestling team rallied for an 18-14 dual win over No. 5 Illinois last night at the U of M Sports Pavilion. Illinois jumped out to an 11-3 lead after winning three of the night's first four matches. But, the Gophers responded with wins in five of the final six bouts to claim the dual meet victory Minnesota is now 11-1 overall on the season and 5-0 in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers will host fourth-ranked Iowa on Saturday at Williams Arena at 3 p.m.
St. Cloud State senior wrestler Shamus O'Grady of Coon Rapids is again the NSIC Wrestler of the Week. The 184-pounder was 4-0 over the weekend. O'Grady has been honored three times this season as the wrestler of the week. He is 26-1 on the season, while his Huskies are ranked No. 1 in the nation and 15-0 overall. St. Cloud State has a big meet on Friday night taking on No. 19 Augustana in Sioux Falls.
The Minnesota Wild look to remain perfect on the young season when they host the Nashville Predators tonight at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota is 2-0 following home wins over Colorado and Dallas. After tonight's game, the Wild will head to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Friday before battling the Blues Sunday in St. Louis.
Warroad's T.J. Oshie scored in a shootout to help send the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Predators last night. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists in regulation for St. Louis while Andy McDonald added a goal and an assist of his own. Nashville comes to Minnesota for a game tonight.
University of Minnesota star women's hockey player Amanda Kessel of Madison, Wisconsin hit a major career benchmark over the weekend. The junior forward became the 24th player in the NCAA women's hockey history to hit the 200 career point mark. She is having a dominant season, with 34 goals and 37 assists in only 23 games this year. Top-ranked Minnesota is 24-0 on the year, 18-0 in the WCHA, and just tied the NCAA record with its 31st straight game without a loss. The Gophers are at Wisconsin on Friday and Sunday of this weekend
Officials are one step closer to breaking ground on a new $975 million dollar Minnesota Vikings Stadium. Today three contractors will be submitting hard copies of their bids to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Firms competing for the contract are Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction, Hunt Construction of Scottsdale, Arizona and Skanska, A-B, an international firm based in Sweden. Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, says they hope to decide on a contractor by the first week in February -- so the process will move very quickly. Kelm-Helgen says the Vikings plan to break ground on the stadium in October and open it time for the 2016 NFL season.
Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer says with the Twins Caravan underway and TwinsFest set for this weekend, the start of the season must be around the corner. Mauer, who spends most of his offseason in Florida these days, says when he returns to the Twin Cities for the marquee offseason events, he knows that means spring training is just around the corner. Mauer and the rest of the pitchers and catchers will report to Fort Myers, Florida for spring training in the middle of next month.