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MINNESOTA STATE SPORTS BRIEFS: Lynx to take on Mercury tonight at Target Center

PHOENIX - Less than two weeks ago the Minnesota Lynx handed the Phoenix Mercury a 99-79 loss at the Target Center.  Tonight, this time in Phoenix, the Lynx will try and do it again in a match up featuring two of the highest scoring teams in the WNBA. 

In the first match up on June 6th, Maya Moore scored 22 points in the Lynx win.  However, the Mercury haven't lost since and tonight will be looking for their fourth straight win.


University of Minnesota women's basketball coach Pam Borton announced on Tuesday that junior captain Rachel Banham underwent successful surgery for patellar tendonitis earlier this week. Banham was named WBCA All-America Honorable Mention, WBCA All-Region 6 and First Team Big Ten last season as a sophomore.


The University of Minnesota's athletic department is on the  final stretch of its "Gopher Road Trip Chalk Talk 2013" this week.  U of M athletic director Norwood Teague and various Gopher coaches will make stops across the state.  Here's the schedule:

Wednesday, June 19:        Duluth, Hibbing

Thursday, June 20:        Coleraine, Walker


The University of Minnesota men's basketball program announced that forward Joey King has officially signed a tender to play for the Gophers.  Kings joins previously signed players Deandre Mathieu, Daquein McNeil and Malik Smith as part of head coach Richard Pitino's inaugural recruiting class at Minnesota.  King is a native of Eagan, MN and played his freshman season last year at Drake University.  He graduated from Eastview High School and lead the Lightning to a 28-2 record in 2011-12 and a berth in the Minnesota state AAAA basketball tournament.


The University of Minnesota men's hockey program held its annual year-end banquet on Tuesday night at TCF Bank Stadium with several members of last seasons squad earning recognition.  Defenseman Nate Schmidt was named the John Mariucci Most Valuable Player for the 2012-13 season.  Goaltender Adam Wilcox took home the Frank Pond Rookie of the Year Award as well as the Tom Mohr Playoff MVP Award and the Donald M. Clark Community Service Award.  Redshirt junior Zach Budish was named this year's Elwin "Doc" Romnes Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner while the Mike Crupi Most Determined Player went to Kyle Rau.  Nate Condon took home the John Mayasich Outstanding Student-Athlete Award.


The Milwaukee Brewers announced that they have signed Minnesota State senior righthanded pitcher Harvey Martin to a free agent contract.  Martin finished his two year Minnesota State career with a 19-1 overall record and a 2.49 ERA while striking out 144 batters in 155.0 innings of work.  The 2013 NSIC Pitcher of the Year was one of eight finalists for the Tino Martinez Award as the top player in the NCAA.


The WCHA will bring the 2014 WCHA Final Face-Off to the Sanford Center in Bemidji March 7-8 for the women's postseason hockey tournament.  Four of the last five years the event has been held at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.  Bemidji will be the seventh city to host the event in its 15-year history of the WCHA playoff championships.


A pair of Olympians from last year's Summer Games in London head the list of Americans set to race in Saturday's USA Half Marathon Championships.  Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman, both members of the 2012 Team USA marathon squad, will be among those competing for national titles and a share of an $82,000 prize purse.

Here's the schedule for Saturday:

6:15 a.m.        USA Men's Half Marathon Championship

6:25 a.m.        USA Women's Half Marathon Championship

6:45 a.m.        Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon

7:45 a.m.        Grandma's Marathon