The Latest – February 9 , 2012 09 Feb 12

Grizzlies Growl Past T’wolves
(Memphis, TN) — Memphis star Rudy Gay finished with 19 points and nine rebounds as the Grizzlies rolled the Timberwolves, 85-80, last night in Memphis. Quincy Pondexter chipped in with 17 points and six boards for Memphis, which snapped a three-game slide. Minnesota’s J.J. Barea paced the Wolves with 17 points off the bench. Rookie Derrick Williams totaled 13 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota, which had won three straight. Michael Beasley also scored 13 points to go along with six caroms in the loss. The Wolves host Dallas tomorrow night.

Mavs Win
(Denver, CO) — Dirk Nowitzki [[ no-VIT-skee ]] posted 25 points and nine rebounds as the Mavericks battered the Nuggets, 105-95, last night in the Mile High City. Vince Carter chipped in with 17 points, eight assists and five caroms in the win Dallas snapped a three-game slide and will visit Minnesota tomorrow for a 7 p.m. game.

NBA Announces Rising Stars Player Pool
(New York, NY) — A pair of Timberwolves players will take part in this year’s Rising Stars Challenge as part of NBA All-Star Weekend later this month in Orlando. Rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams are included on the 18-player roster comprised of first- and second-year pro players. Blake Griffin of the Clippers is another headlining member of the group. Former players Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal have been selected as “general managers” of two teams and the two players will then draft rosters from the entire group. The draft takes place on Thursday, February 16th, and the game tips off February 24th.

NBA All-Star Reserves Announced Today
(New York, NY) — The NBA will announce the reserves later today for this month’s All-Star Game in Orlando. The starters for the Eastern and Western Conference were announced last week. Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose will start for the East, while Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant and Andrew Bynum will start for the West. There’s a good bet that Minnesota star Kevin Love will be among the list of bench players chosen for the Western Conference. The NBA All-Star Game is set for Sunday, February 26th, in Orlando, Florida.

Gophers Host Badgers
(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team hosts Wisconsin in a key Big Ten showdown tonight at Williams Arena. Gopher coach Tubby Smith says while it is nice to be playing five of their final seven games at home, the schedule is still tough. Four of the five teams set to visit the Barn by the end of the season are ranked. Meanwhile, Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said this week he enjoys coaching at Williams Arena. Ryan, a Pennsylvania native, says he used to love Philadelphia’s Palestra back in his youth and that Williams Arena reminds him of that historic building. He says the Barn creates a good, “college atmosphere.” Tipoff tonight is set for 6 p.m.

Gopher Women At IA
(Iowa City, IA) — The Golden Gopher women’s basketball team tries to end a two-game losing streak with a road game tonight at Iowa. The Gophers are 12-and-13 overall and 4-and-7 in the Big Ten, while Iowa enters tonight’s tilt with a 14-and-10 overall mark, 6-and-5 in the league. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Memphis Joining Big East Beginning In 2013-14
(Providence, RI) — Memphis is the newest member of the Big East. The Tigers have accepted an invitation to move from Conference USA to the Big East in all sports beginning in 2013-14. It completes the conference’s goal of having 12 football members in an effort to retain its BCS status. The Big East previously announced the additions of Central Florida, SMU and Houston as full members, and Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football only. The additions help offset the upcoming loss of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC, and West Virginia and TCU to the Big 12.

Wild Start Homestand
(St. Paul, MN) — The Minnesota Wild open up a string of four straight home games with a game this evening against the Vancouver Canucks at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. There’s a good chance star player Mikko Koivu will be back on the ice for the first time since he injured his shoulder last month in St. Louis. Koivu practiced hard yesterday and head coach Mike Yeo says if he responds well today, he will likely play against the Canucks. The Wild have dropped back-to-back games and are coming off a 3-1 setback at Columbus on Tuesday to fall to 25-20-and-8 on the season. Minnesota continues the homestand Saturday against the Blue Jackets.

Michigan Board Approves 2013 Winter Classic
(Ann Arbor, MI) — The Board of Regents at the University of Michigan has approved a proposal to host the NHL’s Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in 2013. The Detroit Red Wings will reportedly play the Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day. A second outdoor rink will be built in downtown Detroit and is expected to host other All-Star events as well as high school and college hockey. The NHL will make an official announcement today. There is growing anticipation that Minnesota one day in the future will host the Winter Classic, possibly at Target Field or TCF Bank Stadium.

WCHA Honors Players
(Madison, WI) — The WCHA has named its weekly award winners in women’s hockey. Golden Gopher sophomore forward Amanda Kessel of Madison, Wisconsin, is the league’s Offensive Player of the Week. She scored eight points in a two-game sweep of St. Cloud State over the weekend. North Dakota’s Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, a former Gopher from Grand Forks, is the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. Her teammate Michelle Karvinen of Rodovoe, Denmark, is the conference’s Rookie of the Week.

Wrestling Rankings
(Edmond, OK) — St. Cloud State remains the top-ranked NCAA Division Two wrestling team in the nation this week. The Huskies received every first-place vote in this week’s coaches association national survey. Minnesota State-Mankato received some votes this week but did not appear in the Top 20.

World’s Largest Ice Fishing Contest Is On
(Brainerd, MN) — What’s called the biggest charitable ice fishing contest in the world is set to go this Saturday in north-central Minnesota. The Brainerd Jaycees’ Ice Fishing Extravaganza was postponed in January due to thin ice. Event spokeswoman Angie Nelson says ice conditions have since approved. In the tournament area they are reporting between 17 and 20 inches. The ice fishing starts at noon on Saturday and ends at 3 p.m. Total prizes are worth 150-thousand dollars.

Woods To Make PGA Season Debut Today
(Pebble Beach, CA) — Tiger Woods will make his PGA Tour debut today at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Woods makes his return to this event for the first time since 2002. World number-nine Dustin Johnson, who won this event in 2009-10, is the highest-ranked player in the field. D.A. Points is the defending champ. Woods will be paired with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

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