The Latest – March 28, 2012 29 Mar 12

Love Leads Wolves Over Bobcats
(Charlotte, NC) — Kevin Love scored 40 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves past the Bobcats 88-83 last night in Charlotte. Luke Ridnour added 15 points and 14 assists while Anthony Tolliver had his first double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 boards. Corey Maggette paced the Bobcats with 22 points and rookie Kemba Walker scored 20 off the bench. Minnesota outrebounded Charlotte, 50-38, and converted 13 offensive rebounds into 23 points. The 25-and-27 Timberwolves are two-and-a-half games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Wolves host Kevin Garnett and the Celtics in a rare home game Friday night.

NIT Championship Gophers vs. Stanford
(New York, NY) — The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team plays for the NIT championship tonight against Stanford at Madison Square Garden. The 23-and-14 Gophers have won six of their last seven games including Tuesday’s 68-67 overtime thriller over Washington. The 25-and-11 Cardinal advanced with a 74-64 win versus UMass. With a win tonight, Gopher Coach Tubby Smith can become the tenth coach in college basketball history to capture both an NCAA championship and an NIT title. Smith says he’s excited for his 15 players along with guys like Ralph Sampson and Trevor Mbakwe who cannot play. Tipoff from the Garden is at 6 p.m.

Wild Forward Zucker Makes NHL Debut Vs. Panthers
(StPaul, MN) — Wild forward Jason Zucker practiced with the team for the first time yesterday and will make his NHL debut tonight against the Panthers. The 20-year-old Denver U sophomore says he hopes to gain valuable experience playing the last six games for the Wild. Zucker had 22 goals and 24 assists for the Pioneers this season. The Wild opened a three-game homestand Tuesday with a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. The Panthers are coming off a 3-2 shootout victory over the Canadiens. Ex-Wild netminder Jose [[ JOH-zay ]] Theodore is expected to start for Florida tonight at the X. The Panthers lead the Capitals by five points for the Southeast Division lead.

Twins Outslug Phillies
(Fort Myers, FL) — Justin Morneau and Luke Hughes both homered as the Twins outslugged the Phillies, 11-7, in Grapefruit League play yesterday in Fort Myers. Morneau went three-for-four with a two-run homer, and Hughes was two-for-four with a three-run blast. Joe Mauer added three hits for Minnesota to raise his spring batting average to .340. Twins starter Francisco Liriano allowed two runs on eight hits over four innings and had three strikeouts. The Phillies scored three runs off reliever Glen Perkins in the seventh inning. The Twins play the Pirates in Bradenton, Florida, today.

Gopher Baseball Pounds South Dakota State
(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota baseball team defeated South Dakota State, 9-3, at the Metrodome last night for its fourth straight victory. The Gophers had a season-high 16 hits against the Jackrabbits. Michael Handel went four-for-four with two RBI, and Troy Larson had a pair of hits and drove in three runs. Minnesota finished its non-conference schedule with a 13-and-13 record. The Gophers open Big Ten play this weekend against Michigan at the Dome.

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