The Latest – 1/02/2012 01 Feb 12

Wolves and Pacers
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Timberwolves’ record would reach the .500 mark with a win over the Pacers tonight at Target Center. The last time the Wolves had a .500 record this late in the season was January 30th, 2007 when they were 22-and-22. The 14-and-6 Pacers are on a two-game winning streak after last night’s 106-99 victory over New Jersey. Paul George scored a career-high 24 points, Danny Granger had 21, and Roy Hibbert added 18 points and 14 rebounds. For Minnesota, the return of injured players Michael Beasley, Martell Webster and Brad Miller has meant less playing time for rookie Derrick Williams and forward Anthony Tolliver. The Wolves will wear 1967-68 Minnesota Muskies ABA jerseys tonight while the Pacers play in their blue road uniforms from the early 1970s.

Gophers At Iowa
(Iowa City, IA) — The Golden Gophers men’s basketball team will be looking for payback tonight against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City at 7:30 p.m. Iowa surprised Minnesota 64-62 at Williams Arena on January 4th, but has since lost five of its last six games. The Hawkeyes have allowed more than 75 points in their conference losses and gave up 103 points at Indiana on Sunday. Matt Gatens [[ GATE-ins ]] leads Iowa in scoring with 13.5 points per game. Gophers backup center Elliot Eliason rolled an ankle in practice Monday and is questionable for tonight’s game.

White, Cyclones Rally Past K-State
(Ames, IA) — Former Minnesota Mr. Basketball Royce White led Iowa State past Kansas State 72-70 last night in Ames. White hit the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining as the Cyclones rallied back from a 14-point deficit. The ex-Hopkins star finished with 22 points and eight rebounds. Coach Fred Hoiberg’s Cyclones are now 6-and-3 in the Big 12 and 16-and-6 overall. White signed with the Gophers for the 2009-2010 season but left Minnesota before appearing in any games. He sat out last season at ISU as a redshirt freshman.

U-of-M National Signing Day
(Minneapolis, MN) — University of Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill is expected to sign seven of the state’s top-10 recruits to national letters of intent today. The list includes Hopkins wide receiver Andre McDonald, Blue Earth offensive lineman Jonah Pirsig, Mankato West quarterback Philip Nelson and St.Thomas Academy guard Isaac Hayes. Minnesota’s 2012 recruting class has surprised some college scouting experts. McDonald has been compared to all-time Gophers leading receiver Eric Decker, Scout.com ranks Pirsig as Kill’s top recruit, Nelson is rated as one of top four senior QB’s in the nation, and ESPN lists Hayes as a top-150 talent. Coach Kill will introduce his new recruits during a news conference today at 3 p.m. and the Goal Line Club is hosting a ‘Sota Social at TCF Bank Stadium at 5 p.m.

Vikings Lease at Metrodome Expires
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Minnesota Vikings’ 30-year Metrodome lease expires today. Team officials have said that they will not agree to a short-term extension without a deal in place to build a new stadium. The Metrodome site appears to now be the preferred location for a new stadium — at least among political leaders — but there is no final agreement. Even if a consensus is reached during this legislative session, the Vikings could conceivably end up playing at the Metrodome again next season. That’s because of the time it could take to hire an architect and finalize a design for a new stadium.

Wild Practice
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Wild are back on the ice practicing today after last night’s collosal collapse against the Predators. The Wild had a 4-1 lead midway through the third period and wound up losing 5-4 to Nashville. Defenseman Justin Falk says they need to rebound quickly and focus on tomorrow’s game at Colorado. The Wild lead the season series with the Avalanche two-games-to-one.

Astros Add Livan
(Houston, TX) — The Houston Astros signed former Twins starter Livan Hernandez to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. The 16-year veteran is expected to compete for the fifth spot in Houston’s rotation. Hernandez went 8-and-13 with a 4.47 ERA for the Nationals last season. He won 10 games in Minnesota during the 2008 season before being released by the Twins in August.

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Palm/rtm

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