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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Lynx eliminated from playoffs

PHOENIX, AZ --  The Minnesota Lynx run in the WNBA playoffs is over.  Seimone Augustus scored a team-best 21 points as the Lynx fell 96-78 to the Mercury in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals last night in Phoenix.  The home team broke open a close game with a 16-0 run in the fourth quarter.  The span was sparked by a half-court shot made by Phoenix star Diana Taurasi. Taurasi racked up 31 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Hutchinson native Lindsay Whalen added 20 points and Maya Moore had 16 in the season-ending loss for Minnesota.  Phoenix advances to the WNBA Finals, marking the first time since 2010 that a team other than Minnesota will represent the West in the league finals.


One of the largest corporate donations ever made to the University of Minnesota athletics department was announced yesterday and will help the school build a $15 million student-athlete center on campus.  Arden Hills-based Land O'Lakes will contribute $25 million to the university and will have naming rights to the student-athlete center.  The student-athlete center will be located within the planned Athletics Village, which is part of an overall $190 million project.  The student-athlete center will be a facility where Gopher student-athletes will have academic, nutritional and leadership development programs.  That center is expected to open in 2016.  Some of the $25 million donation will also go to the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, the Carlson School of Management, and the College of Science Engineering  Part of the agreement also calls for Land O'Lakes to provide a minimum number of internship programs for students from all parts of the university.


 The Golden Gophers continue to gear up for Saturday's home game with Middle Tennessee at TCF Bank Stadium.  Minnesota opened the year with a 42-20 victory over Eastern Illinois last Thursday night.  Middle Tennessee crushed Savannah State 61-7 on Saturday to start the season.  Saturday's game is set for 2:30 p.m. and there are tickets still remaining.  The Gophers will practice today on campus.


The Minnesota Vikings will be back on the practice field today at team headquarters in Eden Prairie after having yesterday off.  The club made a pair of practice squad moves yesterday as well as released a regular season depth chart.  The team waived defensive back Kendall James and signed guard Austin Wentworth to the practice squad.  The team released a depth chart that shows middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley listed at No. 1 at that position.  The Vikings continue to gear up for Sunday's regular season opener against the Rams in St. Louis at noon.


The Kansas City Chiefs are adding veteran help for their secondary.  They have signed former Philadelphia Eagles safety Kurt Coleman.  The 26-year-old was just released by the Minnesota Vikings during final roster cuts.  To make room on the 53-man roster, the Chiefs placed linebacker Joe Mays on short-term injured reserve.


Chicago's Dayan Viciedo hit a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 10th and Tyler Flowers added a two-run shot later in the inning, as the White Sox topped the Minnesota Twins 6-3 at Target Field last night.  Flowers also had a two-run blast in the third, while Carlos Sanchez went 3-for-4 with an RBI-double for Chicago, which has won three of four.  Daniel Webb earned the win and Jake Petricka picked up his 11th save.  Kennys Vargas hit a two-run homer and Danny Santana doubled in the other run for the Twins, who have dropped eight of ten.  Lester Oliveros suffered his first career loss.  The same two teams wrap up their two-game series tonight in the Twin Cities.