The Latest – November 22, 2011 22 Nov 11

Gophers Smoke Mount St. Mary’s
(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota men’s basketball cruised to a 4-and-oh record with a dominating 85-56 victory over Mount St. Mary’s at Williams Arena last night. The Golden Gophers used 12 first half points from junior wingman Rodney Williams to build a 33-point halftime lead and never look back. All five of Williams’ first half field goals were slam dunks. He also scored two free throws. Minnesota’s biggest lead was 39-points in the second half before the Mountaineers got the deficit under 30 by game’s end. Six Gophers scored their career high in the win, including Austin Hollins with 14, Andre Hollins with 13, Joe Coleman with 10, Andre Ingram with five, Elliott Eliason (eh-LYE-uh-son) with four, and Chris Halverson with one point. Minnesota is in Orlando, Florida later this week for the opening of the Old Spice Classic tournament. The Gophers first round opponent on Thanksgiving is DePaul at 1 p.m.

Gopher Men’s Basketball Schedule
(Minneapolis, MN) — Here is the University of Minnesota 2011-12 men’s basketball schedule and results (home games at Williams Arena):

Tuesday, November 1st – Minnesota 71, Bemidji State 58 (exhibition) Monday, November 7th – Minnesota 73, Augustana 69 (exhibition) Friday, November 11th – Minnesota 70, Bucknell 58 (final) Monday, November 15th – Minnesota 71, South Dakota State 55 (final) Thursday, November 17th – Minnesota 67, Fairfield 57 (final) Monday, November 21st – Minnesota 85, Mt. St. Mary’s 56 (final) Thursday, November 24th – vs. DePaul (Old Spice Classic, Orlando, FL), 1pm Friday, November 25th – opponent/time TBD (Old Spice Classic, Orlando, FL) Sunday, November 27th – opponent/time TBD (Old Spice Classic, Orlando, FL) Wednesday, November 30th – vs. Virginia Tech, 8:15pm Saturday, December 3rd – vs. Southern California, 1:15pm Tuesday, December 6th – vs. Appalachian State, 7pm Saturday, December 10th – vs. St. Peters, noon Tuesday, December 13th – vs. Central Michigan, 8pm Thursday, December 22nd – vs. North Dakota State, 7pm Tuesday, December 27th – at Illinois, 6:30pm Sunday, January 1st – at Michigan, 3pm Wednesday, January 4th – vs. Iowa, 8pm Sunday, January 8th – vs. Purdue, 5pm Thursday, January 12th – at Indiana, 7pm Sunday, January 15th – at Penn State, 3pm Sunday, January 22nd – vs. Northwestern, 3pm Wednesday, January 25th – at Michigan State, 7:30pm Saturday, January 28th – vs. Illinois, 7pm Wednesday, February 1st – at Iowa, 7:30pm Sunday, February 5th – at Nebraska, noon Thursday, February 9th – vs. Wisconsin, time TBD Tuesday, February 14th – vs. Ohio State, time TBD Saturday, February 18th – at Northwestern, 6pm Wednesday, February 22nd – vs. Michigan State, 7:30pm Saturday or Sunday, February 25/26 – vs. Indiana, time/day TBD Tuesday, February 28th – at Wisconsin, 7pm Saturday, March 3rd – vs. Nebraska, 11:30am March 8-11 – Big Ten Tournament, Indianapolis

U of M Hockey Slips To Third
(Undated) — The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team dropped from the top spot in the national USCHO.com Division I poll. Merrimack is the new No. 1 team with an 8-0-and-1 record, followed by Notre Dame, then Minnesota. Colorado College and Boston College round out the top five. The Golden Gophers split a pair of games last weekend at St. Cloud State and will play a non-conference series at No. 20 Michigan State on Friday and Saturday of this week. Red hot Minnesota-Duluth, the defending national champs, moved up two spots to No. 6 in this week’s rankings.

Gopher Women
(Undated) — The Golden Gopher women’s hockey team remains the second-ranked team in the nation in the USCHO.com Division I poll, trailing on Wisconsin in the survey. Minnesota is 12-and-2 on the year, while the Badgers are 13-and-1. Minnesota-Duluth is ranked No. 8.

Kill’s Gophers Back To Practice
(Minneapolis, MN) — After having yesterday off, the University of Minnesota football team enters its final week of game preparation of the season. The season finale is set for Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium against Illinois. The 2-and-9 Gophers kick off against 6-and-5 Illinois at 2:30 p.m. Minnesota knocked off the Fighting Illini last year in Champaign.

Former Gopher Coach Gets Big Ten Assignment
(Chicago, IL) — When the inaugural Big Ten Championship Football game is played in Indianapolis on December 3rd, former University of Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster will be on the sidelines working as a television reporter. Brewster has been a part of the FX and FOX Network television crew all season, working both NCAA and NFL games with Gus Johnson and Charles Davis. FOX is the network that will televise the Big Ten title tilt. Interestingly, there’s a chance Brewster could have to interview one of his most bitter rivals when he was the coach at Minnesota. If Wisconsin beats Penn State this weekend, the Badgers would qualify for the game. Brewster had a handful of highly-publicized spat with Bielema when the two coached against each other.

Voice Of Georgia Bulldogs Larry Munson Dead At 90
(Athens, GA) — Larry Munson, the legendary radio voice of the Georgia Bulldogs, has died. The 89-year-old Munson, who had been in poor health in recent years, died Sunday. Munson was noted for his play-by-play coverage of the University of Georgia Bulldogs that was never objective. He very much wanted UGA to win and became famous for calling on the team to “hunker down one more time.” Munson was born in Minneapolis and attended Minnesota State-Moorhead before moving on to his radio career.

TV Change For Vikes
(Eden Prairie, MN) — The NFL has changed the start time of the Vikings-Broncos on December 4th. Originally slated for a 3:05 p.m. kickoff on CBS-TV, the game will now be moved to FOX-TV and will kick off at noon.

Vikings’ Peterson Has High Ankle Sprai
(Eden Prairie, MN) — Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a high left ankle sprain. Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier made the announced on Monday after an x-ray came up negative but an MRI revealed the sprain. Peterson sustained the injury in the final minute of the first quarter during Sunday’s 27-21 loss to Oakland. Peterson ran for a score in the first quarter against the Raiders, finishing with 26 yards on six carries. The five-year veteran out of Oklahoma leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 11 and has totaled 872 yards through 10 games If Peterson is not able to go on Sunday at Atlanta, Toby Gerhart and Lorenzo Booker will split the carries for the 2-and-8 Vikings, who sit at the bottom of the NFC North. Percy Harvin could also carry a few more times out of the backfield. Sunday’s game starts at noon.

Pats Pound Chiefs On ‘MNF”
(Foxboro, MA) — Rob Gronkowski hauled in four passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Patriots in a 34-3 rout over the Chiefs on “Monday Night Football.” Tom Brady finished 15-of-27 for 234 yards with the two scores for New England, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of a two-game slide to improve to 7-and-3. Julian Edelman added a 72-yard punt return to the house, and Shane Vereen scored his first NFL touchdown on a four-yard run in the Patriot victory. Ryan Succop’s 26-yard field goal late in the first quarter accounted for the Chiefs’ lone points of the game. Tyler Palko, who was making his first NFL start, completed 25-of-38 passes for 236 yards with three interceptions for KC, which has dropped three games in-a-row to fall to 4-and-6 on the season.

Nathan Inks Deal With AL Champs
(Arlington, TX) — The all-time saves leader in Minnesota Twins history will no longer be pitching for the Twins. 37-year-old Joe Nathan signed a two-year deal with the Texas Rangers yesterday, with a team option for 2014. Nathan returned this past season after Tommy John surgery wiped out his 2010 campaign. The right-hander made 48 appearances in 2011, going 2-1 with 14 saves and a 4.84 earned run average. He lost his closer job early in the season, then won it back for the end of the year. For his career, he has a 48-23 record with 261 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 581 games (29 starts) with San Francisco and Minnesota. Nathan had been with the Twins since 2004.

MLB, Union Expected To Announce New Labor Dea
(New York, NY) — Major League Baseball is expected to announce a new collective bargaining agreement today. MLB has scheduled a noon news conference, saying only that commissioner Bud Selig (SEE-lig) and union chief Michael Weiner will be in attendance. Multiple reports over the weekend indicated Major League Baseball and the Players Association have agreed to a new five-year labor deal. The new CBA will reportedly include blood testing for human growth hormone, making MLB the first major North American sport to blood test unionized players. Testing is expected to begin when major league players report for spring training in February.

Crosby Sparkles In Return As Pens Sink Isles
(Pittsburgh, PA) — Pittsburgh star hockey player Sidney Crosby made a memorable return to the ice, scoring twice and notching two assists as the Penguins sailed by the Islanders 5-0 last night in Pennsylvania. Crosby hadn’t skated in a game since early January, when a pair of bruising hits over a five-day span sidelined him with the effects of a concussion. Evgeni Malkin tallied and added an assist as the Pens snapped a two-game skid. Crosby played prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault.

Wild Skate Today
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Wild will have a morning skate today at the Xcel Energy Center as they get ready for tomorrow night’s game against Nashville at 7 p.m. Minnesota is atop the Northwest Division standings and has won four games in a row.

MIAC Honorees
(St. Paul, MN) — The MIAC has named its weekly award winners in hockey. Concordia-Moorhead sophomore goaltender Chris Neamonitis of Montreal is the Men’s Player of the Week after blocking 40 Bethel shots in a 1-0 win on Saturday. St. Olaf freshman goalie Ali McKeever of Woodbury is the Women’s Player of the Week after notching two wins last week for the Oles.

Swimmers/Divers Win Awards
(St. Paul, MN) — The MIAC is out with its weekly honorees in men’s and women’s swimming and diving. Saint John’s senior diver Wes Schlichting of Sauk Rapids is the men’s honoree, while Saint Benedict sophomore swimmer Ellen Dean of Bothell, Washington is the female winner.

Vikings Cornerback Cook Back In Court On More Charges
(Minneapolis, MN) — Vikings cornerback Chris Cook is scheduled to make another court appearance today (11am Tues) in Minneapolis. Cook now faces a second felony assault charge in connection with a fight with his girlfriend on October 22nd. He is already charged with domestic assault by strangulation for allegedly choking her twice in his Eden Prairie townhome. The charges were amended after the victim claimed she suffered hearing loss from the alleged attack. The criminal complaint says Cook struck her in the ear causing her to hit a wall. Prosecutors plan to seek an aggravated sentence for the two assault charges. Cook is still on paid leave from the Vikings.