Gopher forward Joey King say there’s nothing like a Gopher-Wisconsin game. “Just the opportunity to play Wisconsin, it’s something that people from Minnesota really look forward to,” King said. The win the first time may have changed the Gopher’s season. It also changed the way teams see Mo Walker, a key down the stretch, according to Coach Richard Pitino.
The University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has set up a fund in memory of former Bulldog softball player Mandy Matula. The UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund was established in partnership with Matula’s family. The fund will provide financial support for the Bulldog softball program. Matula was a starting pitcher and utility player with the Bulldogs from the 2007 through 2010 seasons.
DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak. Maurice Walker pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Hollins added 10 points for the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten), who lost to Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue over the last two weeks by a total of eight points. This time, they came through in the closing minutes.
The University of Minnesota were named Division 1A winners in two separate categories at the College Cheer and Dance Team National Championships over the weekend. The ‘U’ was named tops in both the jazz and pom categories.
The cold didn’t stop thousands of hockey fans from filling TCF Bank Stadium for the Hockey City Classic. Friday afternoon’s match-up marks the first time that hockey has been played outside at the University of Minnesota in more than 80 years. The Gopher women took on the Mavericks of Minnesota State University – Mankato in the early evening, while the Gopher men will face off against Ohio State University at 8 p.m.
TCF Bank Stadium will hold an outdoor doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Hockey City Classic, featuring the Minnesota Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team took to the ice late Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s game. It was also a chance to see the ice at nightfall, checking out the sight lines under the lights. Coach Dan Lucia says there will be one other element in play that’s a bit more distracting than the waning sunlight.
Derrick Williams walked off the bus and strolled into Target Center toward the entrance to the visiting locker room. As he put his hand on the door knob and started to open it, he did a double-take to make sure he was headed to the right place. It’s hard to blame Williams for his tentativeness since he had spent the first two years of his career walking into the home locker room in this building. Williams made his return to Minnesota on Wednesday night, a month and a half after the Timberwolves traded the former No. 2 overall pick to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute.
On Friday night, “The Bank” will turn into “The Rink.” TCF Bank stadium, typically home to Gopher football, has been taken over by the state of hockey. It’s called the Hockey City Classic, and WCCO wanted to know what it took to create the rink, plus who gets to skate on it.
Keith Appling scored 24 points to help No. 5 Michigan State beat Minnesota 87-75 in overtime Saturday after overcoming a double-digit deficit in the second half and blowing a lead late in regulation. The Spartans (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten) scored 15 straight points while holding the Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2) scoreless for nearly 8 minutes after trailing 53-43 with 15:57 left. Michigan State missed an opportunity to win in regulation for the second straight game, losing a five-point lead in the last 13 seconds.
For middle-of-the-pack programs like Minnesota, the Big Ten schedule is always daunting. Well, the Gophers have rarely seen a stretch like the one they’re about to begin. Four Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 20, including three in the top five, of the Associated Press poll. Those four teams also happen to be Minnesota’s next four opponents. The Gophers play at No. 5 Michigan State on Saturday. They host No. 3 Ohio State next Thursday. They travel to No. 20 Iowa for a game on Jan. 19. They have No. 4 Wisconsin visiting on Jan. 22.
Five members or former members of the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team will be heading to Sochi in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Among those who were named to the team was forward Amanda Kessel, who was named NCAA player of the year.
The Gopher basketball team opens the Big 10 Thursday against Michigan. One of the bright spots thus far has been point guard Deandre Mathieu. He came with Coach Richard Pitino from Florida International University. So far, he’s been better than most expected.
To Andre Hollins, every game is a matchup against a top-tier opponent. Andre Hollins scored 18 points and Austin Hollins added 13 as Minnesota finished non-conference play with a 65-44 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday night. Even though it was a ragged win over an obscure smaller school, Andre Hollins said it was another step in preparation for the spotlight of Big Ten play. “I come out every day like Texas Corpus Christi is Michigan St. That’s the mentality you need,” he said.
Southern Illinois defensive coordinator Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert has been named new head football coach at the University of North Dakota. Schweigert is returning to Grand Forks after a decade away from the program. He was the defensive coordinator that helped UND win the 2001 NCAA Division II national title.
Minnesota senior Austin Hollins has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for men’s basketball. The award was announced by the conference on Monday. Hollins crossed the 1,000-point mark for his career last week in leading the Gophers to a 75-59 victory over South Dakota State. He posted his third double-double, with 20 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes. The small forward is averaging 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds over 11 games. He’s seventh in the Big Ten in rebounds.