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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Gopher pucksters top Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 1 ranked University of Minnesota men's hockey team came away in its road Big Ten series at Michigan State with three points after beating the Spartans 3-2 at the Munn Ice Arena Saturday evening.

The U led 3-0 early in the second period and held on for the win as goalie Adam Wilcox made 19 saves. MSU had just 21 shots on goal compared to the Golden Gophers' 38. Christian Isaacson scored his first-ever collegiate goal for the Gophers along with Seth Ambroz and MIke Reilly. Minnesota leads the BIg Ten with a 3-0-1 record, 12-2-2 overall.


The No. 1 ranked University of Minnesota women's hockey team annihilated Ohio State 9-2 in Columbus, Ohio Saturday. Rachel Bona had a hat trick and her U teammates Dani Cameranesi and Maryanne Menefee both scored twiced. Hannah Brandt had a goal and two assists.  Sarah Davis led the Gophers with three assists. Winning goalie Amada Leveille made 21 saves. The series concludes this afternoon at 2:07 p.m. Minnesota leads the WCHA with an 12-1 record, 18-1 overall.


LeBron James recorded his third double- double of the season and finished two assists shy of a triple-double in the Miami Heat's 103-82 rout of the shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves. James finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists for Miami, which got a scare in the first quarter when Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade suffered injuries. Bosh went to the locker room for most of the period to get his eye looked at before returning to start the second. Wade banged knees with Kevin Martin, but stayed in the game and scored 19 points. Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis added 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the Heat bounced back from consecutive losses to Detroit and Chicago. Minnesota was without star forward Kevin Love, who was away from the team following the death of his grandmother. Love is expected to rejoin the Wolves on Sunday. 


The University of Minnesota men's basketball team improved to 7-2 overall with an 80-65 win over the University of New Orleans Saturday at Willams Arena. The Golden Gophers had six players in double figures led by Andre Hollins's 18 points. Austin Hollins scored 13 points, Mo Walker and Deandre Mathieu each had 11 points and Oto Osenienks and Joey King both scored 10 points. Walker led the team in rebounds with eight.


Matt Cassel will be under center for Minnesota on Sunday as the Vikings try to play spoiler against the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The veteran signal caller confirmed the news on Wednesday after his coach Leslie Frazier hedged a bit, saying Cassel would "likely" start because Christian Ponder had not been cleared yet after suffering a concussion in the team's 23-20 overtime win over Chicago in Week 13. Frazier has stubbornly stuck by Ponder this season despite egregiously poor play from the third-year signal caller. Cassel replaced the concussed former first-round pick late in the first half last week and finished the game 20- for-33 for 243 yards with one touchdown and an interception for the Vikings, who were coming off a tie with Green Bay. Ponder, on the other hand, was just 3-of-8 for 40 yards and flashed his now-patented awful pocket presence again and again. Cassel has had a hand in all three of Minnesota's wins this season and has outperformed Ponder when given the opportunity. Against the Bears he moved the Vikings consistently and it finally paid off when Blair Walsh hit a 34-yard field goal with 1:43 left in the extra frame. Adrian Peterson totaled 211 rushing yards on 35 carries and became the third fastest player to eclipse 10,000 career yards. His final three runs totaled 26 yards to set up Walsh's game-winner. However, Peterson is listed as questionable for Sunday's game due to a groin injury.