Monday, August 18, 2014

Lynx Open Western Conference Semifinals Thursday at Target Center

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx, who are entering the 2014 Lynx Playoffs presented by Medica Individual and Family plans as the second seed in the Western Conference, will open the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday, August 21 at Target Center. Tipoff for Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. 

The schedule of the Western Conference Semifinals is as follows:
Game               Date                             Location                       Time (CT)          Television
Game 1             Thursday, Aug. 21          Minneapolis                   8 p.m.               ESPN2
Game 2             Saturday, Aug. 23           San Antonio                   6 p.m.               ESPN2
Game 3*           Monday, Aug. 25            Minneapolis                   TBD                  NBA TV
*If necessary

Minnesota finished 4-1 in the five-game series with San Antonio this season. Prior to Friday’s loss at San Antonio, Minnesota had won eight in a row vs. the Stars. The Lynx have won 17 of their past 20 meetings overall to open a 41-21 lead in the all-time series. This year’s postseason meeting will be the second time the two clubs have met in the playoffs, also facing off in the 2011 Western Conference Semifinals (Minnesota won the series, 2-1).

The Lynx finished the 2014 regular season with a 25-9 overall record, becoming the first team in WNBA history to string together four consecutive 25+ win seasons (Houston and Los Angeles enjoyed three-year runs). After reaching the WNBA Finals in each of the past three seasons, the Lynx are seeking to become the second team in WNBA history to reach the Finals in four consecutive seasons (Houston 1997-2000). The Lynx would be the first WNBA team to do so in the current best-of-five format. 

Last season the Lynx became the fifth team to win two WNBA championships within a three-year span, a group that also includes Houston (1997-98-99-2000), Los Angeles (2001-02), Detroit (2006, 2008) and Phoenix (2007, 2009). Minnesota enters the 2014 playoffs presented by Media Individual and Family Plans with the best winning percentage both overall (20-9, .690) and at home (14-2, .857) in league postseason history.

Single-game tickets for the Western Conference Semifinals and playoff strips, which include tickets to all potential postseason home games, are available for purchase by calling the Lynx at 612-673-8400 or by visiting

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Northland Pioneer Athletes Recognized For NJCAA Academic Awards

THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINN. (August 5, 2014) – Tara Evje was recognized by the NJCAA for academic honors for the 2013-2014 sports season. The NJCAA Student Athlete awards were previously recognized by the NJCAA as Academic All American honors.  Evje received the Superior Academic Achievement award, which are for student athletes who have completed three full time semester’s with a GPA between (3.80-3.99).  Tara was a member of the Pioneer Volleyball team and Softball team last season and will be continuing her education at Northland in the Nursing program.  Tara graduated from Fosston high school and her parents are Richard and Keni Evje of Fosston.

All three of Northland’s Women’s teams were among the teams recognized with GPA’s over 3.00.  Northland’s Volleyball team had a 3.14 GPA, Women’s Basketball team had a 3.12 overall GPA and Softball had a 3.03 GPA.

The 2013-2014 season marks the 31st year the NJCAA has recognized the success of its student-athletes in the classroom. With minimal changes, the NJCAA academic awards program has been in place since 1983.

Timberwolves Announce 2014 Preseason Schedule

Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team's 2014 preseason schedule. The Wolves will play seven exhibition contests, including two games at Target Center, and three off-site games: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Milwaukee at U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Sunday, Oct. 19 vs. Oklahoma City at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., and Friday, Oct. 24 vs. Chicago at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Wolves will serve as the home team in Cedar Rapids and the visitor in the other two off-site contests.

The fans first chance to see the 2014-15 Wolves at Target Center will be on Friday, Oct. 10 as they take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 7:00 p.m. The Wolves' second preseason contest at Target Center will be a matchup against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

In the other two preseason games, Minnesota will travel to Indiana to play the Pacers on Tuesday, Oct. 7, and go to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

The Wolves’ preseason broadcast schedule, as well as the on-sale date for the Target Center preseason games, will be announced at a later date.
Oct. 7
Indiana Pacers
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
6:00 p.m.
Oct. 10
Philadelphia 76ers
Target Center
7:00 p.m.
Oct. 17
Milwaukee Bucks
U.S. Cellular Center (Cedar Rapids)
7:00 p.m.
Oct. 19
Oklahoma City Thunder
BOK Center (Tulsa)
6:00 p.m.
Oct. 21
Indiana Pacers
Target Center
7:00 p.m.
Oct. 22
Milwaukee Bucks
BMO Harris Bradley Center
7:00 p.m.
Oct. 24
Chicago Bulls
Scottrade Center (St. Louis)
7:00 p.m.
All times Central      Bold denotes home game

Lynx Forward Maya Moore Named Western Conference Player of the Month

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The WNBA today named Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore its Western Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung for the month of July. This is the second Western Conference Player of the Month award presented by Samsung for Moore this season (May) and fourth in the past five, having also been honored in both August and September of 2013. The award marks the seventh time a Lynx player has been named Player of the Month, with Lindsay Whalen (August 2011), Seimone Augustus (July 2011) and Rebekkah Brunson (June 2011) also having previously received the award. After being named Player of the Week on Monday (Aug. 4), Moore has now received seven Player of the Week/Player of the Month awards this season.

Moore averaged 26.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg and 3.6 apg for the month, helping Minnesota compile a 9-1 record. She garnered national attention with a club-record 48 points in the 112-108 double-OT win vs. Atlanta on July 22. The point total eclipsed Katie Smith's previous Lynx mark of 46 (set at Los Angeles on July 8, 2001) and is the 2nd-highest total in WNBA history behind Riquna Williams' 51-point outburst for Tulsa last Sept. 8 at San Antonio. It was also her 10th 30+ point game of the year, equaling Diana Taurasi's WNBA single-season record in that category set in 2008. Moore scored 20+ points eight times and 30+ points on four occasions, and also collected three point/rebound double-doubles in the month.
Highlights from Moore’s month include:
  • July 10 at Tulsa: Scored 33 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Hit 12-of-21 shots from the field and all eight free throw attempts.  
  • July 22 vs. Atlanta: Scored a franchise-record 48 points in a 112-108 2OT win over the Dream. Hit a club-record-tying seven three-pointers and grabbed 10 rebounds.
  • July 31 vs. Phoenix: Registered a game-high 20 points with nine rebounds and four steals in Minnesota's 75-67 win, snapping the Mercury's 16-game winning streak.
New York Liberty forward Tina Charles was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month presented by Samsung for July. Charles averaged 21.1 points and 11.2 rebounds in the month.
Now in her fourth WNBA season, Moore leads the WNBA in scoring (24.7 ppg) and minutes (35.2 mpg), and ranks 8th in rebounding (8.2 rpg), 15th in field goal percentage (48.2%), 4th in three-pointers made (56), 2nd in free throws made (135) and 6th in steals (1.96 spg). Moore and the Lynx are in action on Tuesday, August 5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as they take on the Indiana Fever. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CDT.

Brown Named Assistant Athletic Director at UMC

CROOKSTON, Minn.- University of Minnesota Crookston Director of Athletics Stephanie Helgeson
announced the hiring of Kathleen Brown as assistant athletic director/senior women’s admistrator (SWA) and director of marketing and promotions. Brown spent the last six years at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) in Martinsville, Va., where she was most recently the athletic director for the past year. Brown was previously the head women’s softball coach at PHCC from 2008-13 and the assistant athletic director at PHCC from 2011-13.

“We are very excited to add Kathleen Brown as assistant athletic director and senior women’s administrator,” Helgeson said. “Kathleen comes in with three years of administrative experience as an assistant athletic director and athletic director at the junior college level. I believe she will be able to bring the leadership, understanding and organizational skills necessary for this position. She is also very experienced with creating relationships with student-athletes both from her time as head softball coach and time as an administrator, which will be key in her role working with NCAA Champs/Life Skills and with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at UMC.”

Brown’s main role at PHCC as athletic director was to provide administrative direction and oversight for all intercollegiate and recreational athletics staff, programs, facilities and activities. In addition to her role as athletic director, she was also the international student coordinator at PHCC for the past two years.

Prior to assuming her role as athletic director, she was the assistant athletic director for two years, where she assisted the athletic director in all administrative duties. In addition, she ensured the athletes’ eligibility requirements were met, provided mentoring and academic advising for student-athletes, helped to
familiarize the student-athletes with the entire student experience and helped provide public relations content and scores for the PHCC athletic website.

Brown was the softball coach for six seasons at PHCC prior to her move to administration. During her time as softball coach she helped to recruit and develop players for the Patriots, as well as to oversee the day-to-day operations of the program. She helped lead her team to the Region X Conference Tournament title in 2012 and was the Region X Softball Coach of the Year in 2011. During her time at PHCC, she coached against
current UMC softball coach Don Stopa, who was the head coach at fellow Region X school Louisburg

Brown was also an adjunct professor for developmental math, student development, recreation and parks, physical education and health classes at PHCC. In addition, she was the upward bound advisor for one year.

Prior to arriving at Patrick Henry Community College, Brown spent the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater Peru State College in Peru, Neb.

Brown was a student-athlete at National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) affiliate Peru State College, competing for the softball team. Brown was a two-time NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete. She was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) for three years while at Peru State and was on the Dean’s List for two years.

Brown, an Omaha, Neb. native, earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with endorsements in
Secondary Education and Coaching from Peru State College in 2007. She earned her Master of Science in Education from Peru State in 2008 and a Doctor of Education in Sports Management with an emphasis in Sports Leadership from the United States Sports Academy in 2012.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lynx Forward Maya Moore Named Western Conference Player of the Week

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The WNBA today named Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, July 28 through Sunday, August 3. The honor is Moore's fourth consecutive Player of the Week, fifth this season and 10th of her career. Moore becomes first person in WNBA history to win Player of the Week four consecutive times.

Moore started off her week by leading all scorers with 20 points in the July 31 victory over Phoenix. She netted 12 of those points in the fourth quarter to help Minnesota snap the Mercury’s franchise-best 16-game winning streak. The victory was the Lynx’ 10th in a row at Target Center, the second-longest home streak in franchise history. She also added nine rebounds and four steals.

The 6-0 forward poured in a game-high 40 points, including 28 in the second half, shooting 14-of-22 from the field and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc in the Aug. 2 win at Tulsa, the Lynx' ninth consecutive win. Moore joined Katie Smith (2001) and Diana Taurasi (2006) as the only players in WNBA history to register two 40+ point outings in the same season. The Tulsa contest marked her 11th 30+ point game this season, setting a WNBA record for most 30+ point games in a single-season.

This season Moore leads the league in scoring and minutes played, averaging 24.7 points and 35.2 minutes per game. She also ranks eighth in rebounds (8.2 rpg), sixth in steals (1.96 spg), 15th in field goal accuracy (48.2%) and fifth in free throw accuracy (89.2%).

New York’s Tina Charles was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.

The Lynx are now 22-6 on the season, including 13-1 at home, and have already secured homecourt advantage for the first round of the 2014 WNBA Playoffs. Minnesota remains within 1.5 games of first-place Phoenix Mercury (23-4) in the Western Conference standings.

Minnesota will be in action on Tuesday, August 5 in Indianapolis taking on the Indiana Fever. Indiana comes in to Tuesday’s game with a 13-15 record while the Lynx are on a current season-best nine game winning streak. The game is set to tip at 6 p.m. (CT).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NDSU Picked to Win Conference Football Title

ST. LOUIS - Three-time defending conference and national champion North Dakota State was picked to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference crown in 2014, according to a poll of the league's coaches, media and sports information directors announced Tuesday, July 29.

NDSU has won 24 straight games and 43 of its past 45 games (going 14-1, 14-1, and 15-0).  The Bison earned 24 of a possible 39 first-place votes and 370 total points ahead of second-place South Dakota State and third-place Northern Iowa.

North Dakota State had a league-high eight players on the preseason all-conference team including fullback Andrew Bonnet, wide receiver Zach Vraa, left guard Zack Johnson, defensive end Kyle Emanuel, linebacker Carlton Littlejohn, strong safety Colten Heagle and punter Ben LeCompte.  Free safety and punt returner Christian Dudzik was an honorable mention.

Youngstown State (240 points) and Southern Illinois (237) were a close choice for the fourth- and fifth-place positions. The teams tied with SDSU and Missouri State for second place in 2013.  Illinois State, Missouri State, South Dakota, Western Illinois and Indiana State took the final five spots, in order.

Including North Dakota State the last two seasons, the MVFC preseason favorite has claimed the league crown 16 times in 28 previous polls.  The Bison open at Iowa State on Saturday, Aug. 30, with an 11 a.m. kickoff televised live on FOX Sports 1.
2014 Valley Football Preseason Poll
Team (first-place votes)       Pts.
 1. North Dakota State (24)    370
 2. South Dakota State (8)     330
 3. Northern Iowa (7)           324
 4. Youngstown State           240
 5. Southern Illinois          237
 6. Illinois State              197
 7. Missouri State             180
 8. South Dakota                121
 9. Western Illinois            96
10. Indiana State               50
2014 Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team
QB-     Austin Sumner, SDSU    6-5     225     Sr.     Brandon (S.D.) Valley High
RB-     David Johnson, UNI     6-3     225     Sr.     Clinton (Iowa) High
        Zach Zenner, SDSU      6-0     220     Sr.     Eagan (Minn.) High
FB-     Andrew Bonnet, NDSU    6-3     245     Jr.     Council Bluffs (Iowa) Underwood High
WR-     Jason Schneider, SDSU  6-5     220     Sr.     Andover (Minn.) High
        Zach Vraa, NDSU         6-2    203     Sr.     Inver Grove Heights (Minn.) Rosemount 
TE-     MyCole Pruitt, SIU     6-3     255     Sr.     St. Louis (Mo.) Kirkwood High
OL-     Robert Booker, MSU     6-3     320     Jr.     Ozark (Mo.) High
        Zack Cooley, MSU       6-5     301     Sr.     Lebanon (Mo.) High
        Richard Galbierz, MSU  6-3     306     Sr.     Fenton (Mo.) Fox High
        Trevor Greger, SDSU    6-5     305     Sr.     Wagner (S.D.) High
        %Zack Johnson, NDSU    6-4     317     Jr.     Apple Valley (Minn.) Eastview High
        Jack Rummells, UNI     6-5     301     Sr.     West Branch (Iowa) High
LS-     Chris Highland, ILS    6-2     225     Sr.     Normal (Ill.) Central Catholic High
PK-     Thomas Kinney, SIU     5-8     175     Sr.     McHenry (Ill.) Johnsburg / Winona State
DL-     Kyle Emanuel, NDSU     6-3     246     Sr.     Schuyler (Neb.) Central High
        Drew Iddings, USD      6-6     283     Jr.     Rapid City (S.D.) Stevens High
        Cole Langer, SDSU      6-2     255     So.     Dell Rapids (S.D.) High
        Xavier Williams, UNI   6-4     311     Sr.     Kansas City (Mo.) Grandview High
LB-     Andrew Beisel, MSU     6-2     238     Sr.     Fenton (Mo.) Rockwood Summit High
        Auston Johnson, USD    6-0     240     Sr.     Chino Hills (Calif.) El Camino College
        Carlton Littlejohn, NDSU 6-1   216     Sr.     Minneapolis (Minn.) North High
        Pat Meehan, ILS         6-1    230     Jr.     Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East
        *Connor Underwood, INS 6-3     230     Jr.     Washington (Ill.) Community High
DB-     Martinez Davis, WIU    5-10    180     Sr.     Madisonville (Ky.) Air Force Prep
        Makinton Dorleant, UNI 5-11    185     Jr.     Bradenton (Fla.) Lely / Maryland
        Colten Heagle, NDSU    5-11    202     Sr.     Appleton (Wis.) Kimberly High
        Caleb Schaffitzel, MSU 6-0     217     Sr.     Fair Grove (Mo.) High
P-      Ben LeCompte, NDSU     5-10    200     Jr.     Barrington (Ill.) High
RS-     Andre Stubbs, YSU      5-7     165     Jr.     Maple Heights (Ohio) High
Honorable Mention: QB Sawyer Kollmorgen (UNI); TB Martin Ruiz (YSU); FB Drew Potter (USD); WR Kevin Vereen Jr. (UNI); LS Nathan Gibbs (YSU); OL Jermaine Barton (ILS); LB Kevin Kintzel (WIU); LB T.J. Lally (SDSU); DB/RS Christian Dudzik (NDSU).

Every school with minimum of one first-team selection. NDSU represented with a league-high 8 total selections. Northern Iowa (6), South Dakota State (6) and Missouri State (5) were next best.

* Connor Underwood (INS) received votes for DL, but playing LB this year.
% Zack Johnson (NDSU) selected to team but out in 2014 with an injury.