Wednesday, July 27, 2016

UND, U of M sign scheduling agreement

LAS VEGAS – Athletics department officials from the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota announced on Wednesday a four-year  scheduling agreement between the two programs in which the two schools will host alternating non-conference series beginning in 2019-20.

Minnesota will host series at Mariucci Arena in both 2019-20 and 2021-22 and North Dakota will host 2-game non-conference series at Ralph Engelstad Arena in 2020-21 and 2022-23.

Earlier today, it was also announced that the two schools would meet in the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game in Las Vegas, an event that is not a part of the four-year scheduling agreement.

“Continuing this rivalry is a big deal for our program and our fans,” said UND head coach Brad Berry. “These are two very proud and historic programs, and the memories these games have created throughout the years has cemented it as the best rivalry in college hockey.”

The North Dakota-Minnesota men’s hockey rivalry dates back to the 1947-48 season and has seen the two storied programs square off 284 times (Minnesota leads 139-130-15). The two teams, formerly longtime conference rivals, have met only once in the past three seasons, a Minnesota victory in the 2014 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal in Philadelphia. The rivalry is scheduled to resume this November at Minnesota and again in 2017-18 in Grand Forks. Today’s announcements means the longtime rivals will meet at least 13 times in the next seven years.

“We’re thrilled to be able to come to this agreement with the University of Minnesota,” said UND Athletics Director Brian Faison. “Rivalries are one of the many things that make college sports so special and there are none better in college hockey than this one. Our players, coaches and fans are all looking forward to it.”

UND and Minnesota have combined to win 13 NCAA Division I men’s hockey championships, including eight by North Dakota (most recently in 2015-16) and five by the Golden Gophers.

The Fighting Hawks will open the 2016-17 season with an Oct. 1 exhibition game against the University of Manitoba, and then begin the regular season following weekend against Canisius.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

UMC Women's Basketball Releases 2016-17 Schedule

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball team released their 2016-17 schedule Tuesday afternoon. The Golden Eagles will play four challenging non-conference games before getting into a strong slate in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) with 22 games including 11 games at Lysaker Gymnasium.

“We are very excited for our 2016-17 schedule,” said Head Coach Mike Roysland. “The preseason will be a very challenging one with games against Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan and two games at the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic in San Antonio. Those games will help us prepare for the tough schedule we fill face in the NSIC.”

Minnesota Crookston is coming off the best season in program history with an 18-10 mark. The Golden Eagles earned the No. 3 seed in the NSIC North for the second-consecutive season. Also for the second-consecutive season they won their first round NSIC Tournament games in front of record crowds at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles would then advance to the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, where they would lose to eventual NSIC Champion University of Sioux Falls.

The Golden Eagles were led by seniors Katrina Nordick and Alexa Thielman, who were both 1,000 point scorers and All-NSIC First Team picks. Nordick was also an all-region pick last season. The Golden Eagles will look to build on their success of the past two seasons as they return three starters from last season.

Leading the way will be juniors Micaela Noga (G, Parkers Prairie, Minn.) and Emily Gruber (F/C, Monticello, Minn.), along with sophomore Alison Hughes (G, Janesville, Wis.). The three players averaged a combined 27.5 points between the three of them. Hughes and Gruber were both All-NSIC Freshman picks in their first seasons in the Maroon and Gold with Hughes earning the honor last season and Gruber the year before. Also returning are impact bench players Isieoma Odor (R-So., F/C, Bloomington, Minn.) and Caitlin Michaelis (So., G, Marshfield, Wis.), while Lindsey Weber (So., G/F, Delafield, Wis.) also returns.

Leanna Haugen, a 6-3 post from just up the road in Argyle, Minn., will join the core after a redshirt season where she gained experience on the practice court. She is joined by a talented group of freshman who will also look to leave their mark on the Golden Eagles including: Stephanie McWilliams (G, Grand Forks, N.D.), Amber Schoenicke (F/C, Marshall, Wis.), Kelsey Stinson (G/F, Cottage Grove, Wis.), Paige Weakley (G, Kearney, Mo.) and Kitri Zezza (G, Albertville, Minn.).

“We have holes to fill with the graduation of Katrina, Alexa and Megan, but I am excited about what we have returning and with the key pieces we were able to bring in with our recruiting class,” Roysland said.

The Golden Eagles will open up the 2016-17 season with a pair of exhibitions against NCAA Division I opponents. They will travel to Brookings, S.D. Oct. 27 to face South Dakota State University at 7 p.m. The Jackrabbits went 27-7 last season en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance, which included a win over University of Miami (Fla.).

UMC will continue their exhibition slate against the University of North Dakota Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in Grand Forks, N.D. The Fighting Hawks went 19-14 on the 2015-16 season.

The Golden Eagles open up the regular-season Nov. 18 on the road against Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Mich at 4:30 p.m. The Huskies were 19-8 last season. Their trip to Michigan will continue Nov. 19 against Northern Michigan University at 12:30 p.m. in Marquette, Mich. The Wildcats were 13-16 during the 2015-16 season.

UMC will continue non-conference play at the St. Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic in San Antonio, Texas. The Golden Eagles will commence the tournament with a game against Angelo State University Nov. 25. The Rams went 24-8 last season, advancing to the second round of the NCAA South Central Regional. The next day, UMC will face-off with the St. Mary’s University Rattlers. They went 18-10 on the 2015-16 season.

After a challenging non-conference slate the Golden Eagles will open up NSIC play in what proves to be another great year of competition in the league. UMC will open up against St. Cloud State Dec. 2 at Halenbeck Hall at 6 p.m. in St. Cloud, Minn. The Huskies went 13-14 last season.

On Dec. 3, UMC will take on University of Minnesota Duluth at 4 p.m. in Duluth, Minn. The Bulldogs were 7-19 in their first season under Mandy Pearson.
The Golden Eagles will play their first game in the friendly confines of “The Hersch” Dec. 9 as they take on Red River Valley rival Minnesota State University Moorhead at 6 p.m. The Dragons went 21-6 last season and shared the NSIC North title.

UMC will continue their home stand against the other team who shared the NSIC North title, Northern State University, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. The Wolves were 23-8 last season and went on to the NCAA Central Regional.

The Golden Eagles will wrap their home stand up on Dec. 15 as they take on their rivals from 88 miles down Highway 2, Bemidji State University. The Beavers were 7-20 in their first season under Chelsea DeVille.

UMC will round out their play in 2016 with games Dec. 30 and 31 on the road. The Golden Eagles will face Winona State at 6 p.m. in Winona, Minn. Dec. 30. The Warriors were 30-4 last season and went on to the second round of the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The Golden Eagles will conclude the year with a New Year’s Eve showdown against Upper Iowa University at 4 p.m. The Peacocks went 5-24 last season but are under new leadership this season with former Division I assistant coach Micha Thompson taking the lead.

UMC will open up 2017 Jan. 6 at Lysaker Gymnasium as they get a second go at Minnesota Duluth at 6 p.m. Jan. 7, UMC will remain home to take on St. Cloud State at 4 p.m.

The Golden Eagles will then take on Bemidji State for the second time, this time on the road at BSU Gymnasium Jan. 10 at 6 p.m.

They will then return home to battle Southwest Minnesota State University Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. and University of Sioux Falls Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. The Mustangs went 5-24 last season. They are under new leadership with Tom Webb taking over the program after turning around a program at Cameron University. He is joined on the bench by a familiar face to Golden Eagle fans in Brittani Wiese. Wiese wore the Maroon and Gold for Coach Roysland from 2009-13. She is serving as an assistant coach for the Mustangs.

Sioux Falls is coming off a great season with a 27-6 mark. The Cougars would win the NSIC Tournament and then lose in the first round of the NSIC Central Region Tournament. Sioux Falls ended UMC’s season last year at the NSIC Tournament at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

UMC will then hit the road Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. to take on University of Mary. The Marauders went 15-16 on the 2015-16 season. They will then take on Minot State University Jan. 21 at 4 p.m. in Minot, N.D. The Beavers were 11-18 last season.
The Golden Eagles will then return home to face Minnesota State University-Mankato at 6 p.m. Jan. 27. The Mavericks were 9-18 on the season, ending their season in the first round of the NSIC Tournament against the Golden Eagles. UMC also defeated the Mavericks on a last-second shot from Odor during the regular-season.

UMC will then take on Concordia University-St. Paul Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. The Golden Bears went 14-16 last season. Amanda Behnke will take over as full-time head coach this season after taking over on an interim basis mid-season.

UMC will hit the road to battle Augustana University at 6 p.m. in Sioux Falls, S.D. Feb. 3. The Vikings were 24-8 last season. They will then take on Wayne State College (Neb.) at 4 p.m. in Wayne, Neb. Feb. 4. The Wildcats were 17-12 during the 2016-17 season.

The Golden Eagles will stay on the road to face Northern State for the second time Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. They will then face MSU Moorhead Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.
UMC will conclude the regular-season Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. against Minot State University and Feb. 18 against U-Mary at 4 p.m. with both games played at Lysaker Gymnasium.

The NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament will begin Wed., Feb. 22 at the site of the top four seeds in both the North and South. The winners of those games will advance to the Sanford Pentagon for games Feb. 25 and possible games on the 26 and 28 for those who advance. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MN Lynx Announce Xcel Energy Center as Home for 2017 Season

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Lynx today announced that the Xcel Energy Center will be the team’s venue for home games during the 2017 season. The team will relocate due to the previously announced major renovation and complete shutdown of Target Center taking place during the summer and early fall of 2017.
“Our fans will enjoy the experience and amenities that Xcel Energy Center has to offer, while eagerly anticipating the conclusion of our newly renovated home in Minneapolis in time for the 2018 Lynx season,” said Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx President Chris Wright. “We look forward to bringing the three-time champion Lynx to the Xcel Energy Center and the opportunity to showcase these amazing athletes who are incredible role models both on and off the court. We also anticipate continuing to build our relationship with the City of St. Paul and becoming more integrated with this first-class community.”
“I’m thrilled to be welcoming Minnesota’s three-time WNBA champions to the City of Saint Paul for their 2017 season,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “The Lynx are a powerhouse of a team, and an amazing group of athletes to watch – and we hope fans from across the state enjoy doing so from the capital city.”
The Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and host to more than 150 sporting and entertainment events each year.
“We are proud to welcome these world-class athletes to our building for the 2017 season,” said Xcel Energy Center Vice President and General Manager Jack Larson. “The Minnesota Lynx are a great addition to the wide variety of events Xcel Energy Center has become known for hosting and represent our commitment to the community and fans from around the state.”
In partnership with Visit Saint Paul, the official convention and visitors bureau for the capital city, the Lynx Tickets for Kids program will be able to welcome local schools and community youth organizations to attend games for free throughout the season.
“We are excited to bring the Lynx to Saint Paul and to provide free access to thousands of young people in our community,” said Pat Harris, chairman of Visit Saint Paul. “It’s a win-win for all.”
The Lynx chose to make the announcement at this time to inform season ticket members of the change ahead of their upcoming renewals. For more information on becoming a season ticket member, visit .  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Lynx 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 July 4 through July 10. The Player of the Week award is Moore’s third of the season and the 17th of her career.
Minnesota went 2-1 on the week, improving to 16-4 overall for its second-best record ever at the 20-game mark. Over the three games played in the week, Moore averaged 28.3 points, 3.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds.
The sixth-year pro from the University of Connecticut tallied a team-high 33 points on July 5 against the Chicago Sky, with 13 of those 33 coming in the fourth quarter and helping the Lynx erase a 10-point deficit for their third double-digit comeback win of the season. Moore totaled 40 points on July 7 against Connecticut, adding eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks to join Diana Taurasi as the only players in WNBA history to score 40+ points on three occasions. She notched 31 of those points in the second half along with seven more in overtime to mark the second-most prolific scoring half in WNBA history. Moore tallied 12 points and a game-high seven assists against Dallas on July 9, the ninth time this season she’s led the Lynx in assists. She currently ranks fourth in the league in scoring (20.0 ppg), seventh in assists (4.3 apg), fifth in steals (1.55 spg), eighth in free throw accuracy (90.2%) and 11th in three-point accuracy (38.6%).
Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
The Lynx play next on Tuesday, July 12 against the San Antonio Stars at AT&T Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT and can be heard on BOB 106.1 FM.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Timberwolves Sign Kris Dunn

Minneapolis/St. Paul – The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Kris Dunn, the fifth overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. 
Dunn, a 6-4 guard out of Providence, averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals in 95 games over three-plus seasons. He is the only Providence player to tally career totals of 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 500 assists and 200 steals with the Friars. As a junior this past season, Dunn averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.5 steals, and was named Big East Player of the Year, Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American. He led the Big East in steals, ranking fifth in the nation, and finished second in the Big East in assists and fourth in scoring. Dunn was also named 2014-15 Big East Player of the Year and Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore after averaging 15.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.7 steals. He joined Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing as the only players to win Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year twice.
Dunn will make his Timberwolves debut at the Samsung NBA Summer League 2016, which takes place in Las Vegas from July 8-18. Minnesota’s first game is against the Denver Nuggets on July 8 at the Thomas & Mack Center at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on ESPN.

UMC Men's Golf Signs Four for 2016-17

CROOKSTON, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s golf team announced the signing of four student-athletes who will begin competing for the Golden Eagles during the 2016-17 season. UMC has signed Eric Gullicks (Finley, N.D./Lake Region State College), Spencer Harvey (Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti H.S.), Jordan Leiting (Fertile, Minn./Fertile-Beltrami H.S.) and Casey Swanson (East Grand Forks, Minn./Bemidji State University).

I am very pleased with the incoming class of student-athletes we are bringing in,” said Head Coach Jason Tangquist. “We needed to bring in some new guys who could gel with our returners, who have some maturity, and who are willing to work hard and I think we have done that.  We were young last year as a team and I believe the guys as a whole will be able to focus and be much improved moving into the Fall 2016 season.  I know everyone is excited to get off to a great start and our focus will be to compete each week.

The Golden Eagles will have 11 golfers on the roster for the 2016-17 season. UMC returns seven members of the 2015-16 team, which was a young roster, only graduating one senior in Seth Heppner (Crookston, Minn.). UMC returns Reed Bohm (Sr., St. Hilaire, Minn.), Ricky Phillips (Sr., Grand Forks, N.D.), T’mone Kleindl (Jr., Graceville, Minn.), Brandon Brown (So., Stanchfield, Minn.), Ethan Johnson (So., Roseau, Minn.), Nick Kennedy (So., Lake Bronson, Minn.) and Ben Koisti (So., Lake Norden, S.D.).

Minnesota Crookston’s leading returner for the season is Kleindl, who averaged an 83.0 on the season with a low round of 73 on the season. In addition to Kleindl, Phillips averaged an 83.7 with a low round of 77, while Koisti averaged an 84.7 with a low round also of 77.

Eric Gullicks/Finley, N.D./Lake Region State College
Gullicks placed in third at regionals while competing at Lake Region State College. He qualified for the NJCAA National Tournament. Gullicks will have two years to compete at Minnesota Crookston. He competed on the high school level for Finley-Sharon Public School.

He is the son of Brent and Cindy Gullicks. Gullicks was born Jan. 22, 1995. He plans to major in agronomy. Gullicks was a 4.0 student and was on the President’s List four semesters at Lake Region State College.

Spencer Harvey/Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti H.S.
He placed in a tie for second on the Minnesota Junior Tour at Forest Hills Golf Club June 15, 2015. Harvey finished in 10th in June of 2015 at the Timber Creek Golf Course and Falcon Ridge Golf Course. As a junior, shot an 80 with five birdies at The Refuge.

Jordan Leiting/Fertile, Minn./Fertile-Beltrami H.S.
Leiting was a six-year letter winner at Fertile-Beltrami H.S. He was named 2016 Pine to Prairie All-Conference. Leiting competed in the sections golf meet five of his six seasons. He earned fifth place in the 2016 sub-sections. Leiting also competed in football where he was a 2016 Football All-Section pick and in basketball, where he was named All-Conference.

Leiting is the son of Joe and Angie Leiting. He plans to major in natural resources. Leiting was born June 13, 1998. He was an honor student in high school.

Casey Swanson/East Grand Forks, Minn./Bemidji State University
Swanson was a High School Sub-Section Champion at East Grand Forks H.S. He was a Minnesota Golf Association State Qualifier and a junior tour champion and point leader in 2014. Swanson attended Bemidji State University last season but did not compete in a golf tournament.

He is the son of Janna and Brian Swanson. Swanson plans to major in business management. He was born March 4, 1997.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Olson Promoted to Associate Head Coach for NDSU Men’s Basketball

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State’s Jayden Olson has been promoted to associate head coach of the Bison men’s basketball team, head coach David Richman announced Wednesday.

Olson is entering his third season at NDSU after joining Richman’s staff in April 2014.

“Coach Olson has made a tremendous impact on our program and our culture in two short years as a Bison,” Richman said. “His passion and daily approach continue to elevate our Bison Family, keeping our student-athletes paramount in everything we strive for.”

In the 2014-15 season, Olson helped guide the Bison to the Summit League regular season and tournament championships and their third NCAA Tournament berth in seven years. NDSU reached the 20-win mark once again in 2015-16, marking four straight years with 20 or more victories for only the second time in school history.

Olson came to North Dakota State from Nebraska after working with former NDSU head coach Tim Miles with the Huskers as well as at Colorado State. He served as the top assistant at Augustana College in Sioux Falls for three seasons from 2007-10