K-Heart Sports – 03/29/22

K-HEART SPORTS – TUESDAY – 032922 – 0700
BISMARCK, ND (MSU) – The Minot State softball team began conference play on Monday sweeping a doubleheader at the University of Mary. Senior Trinity Valentine was dominant in game one, striking out 10 Mary hitters over seven innings of work to help lead the Beavers to a 6-2 win. Valentine (9-3) gave up two runs, both of them earned, on five hits and walking two. Sophomore Jasmine Blizzard hurled a five-hit shutout to lead Minot State past Mary 5-0 in game two. Blizzard (3-1) went the distance, giving up five hits, walking one and striking out three. The Beavers improve to 21-5 overall, 2-0 NSIC. They are back in action this weekend in St. Cloud on Saturday and at Duluth on Sunday.
WINONA, Minn. (MSU) – Senior RJ Martinez was dominant on Monday, striking out nine Winona State hitters over six innings of work to help lead the Minot State baseball team to a 14-1 victory, and a series win. Martinez (3-0) worked six innings, giving up one run on five hits and walking three for Minot State (10-13, 4-4). The Beavers finish their roadtrip with a doubleheader at Wayne State today.
MINOT, N.D. (MSU) – Minot State distance runner Jacob Jensen has been racking up awards all season long and Monday he added another to his list of accolades. The junior from Belcourt was named the first NSIC Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week for his efforts at the Yellow Jackets Spring Open hosted by Black Hill State (S.D.) over the weekend where he finished second in the 1,500 meters and third in the 800 meters. Jensen clocked a time of 4 minutes, 1.68 seconds in the 1,500 meters which gives him the fastest time in the NSIC to start the outdoor season, and his time of 2:00.80 in the 800 meters ranks him No. 2 in the NSIC in that event to start the outdoor season.
The honor is the second time this academic year that Jensen has been named an NSIC Athlete of the Week, earning the award for indoor track on Dec. 14, 2021. He also earned All-NSIC performance honors in cross country in the fall as well as being named the NSIC Elite 18 award winner for cross country for the second time.
EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings on Monday announced the signings of three more players, including a pair of cornerbacks and a versatile offensive lineman. Minnesota announced the signings of cornerbacks Tye Smith and Nate Hairston, as well as Jesse Davis. Smith will return to the Vikings after spending 2021 on the team’s practice squad. Hairston played all 16 games for Denver in 2021. Davis has played in 80 games and started 72 of them for the Dolphins since 2017. In 2021, Davis started 14 games at right tackle and two at left guard.
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – The Minnesota Twins have signed veteran right-hander Chris Archer to a one-year contract. Archer gives the Twins a potential boost for their rotation. He is a two-time All-Star who’s coming off an injury-ruined season. The 33-year-old Archer made five starts and one relief appearance for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021 with a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. He was sidelined for the majority of the season with tightness in his forearm. Archer could slot in Minnesota’s rotation behind Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober and Dylan Bundy.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – UConn is heading back to the women’s Final Four for the 14th straight time. The Huskies beat North Carolina State 91-87 in a double-overtime thriller. Paige Bueckers scored 15 of her 27 points in the two extra periods. The Huskies will face top seed Stanford on Friday night in the national semifinals in Minneapolis. Bueckers, who is from the Twin Cities, was AP Player of the Year last season as a freshman but missed two months this season with a knee injury.

In other NCAA women’s action:
– Hailey Van Lith scored 22 points, Olivia Cochran made a series of crucial baskets in the final minutes, and Louisville held off Michigan 62-50 to return to the Final Four for the fourth time in program history. Chelsie Hall added 15 points and Emily Engstler balanced out a poor shooting night with 16 rebounds and some big plays on defense, helping the top-seeded Cardinals advance to face South Carolina next weekend in Minneapolis. Naz Hillmon finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines, who couldn’t overcome 22 turnovers despite a huge disparity at the foul line in their first regional final.

UNDATED (AP) – Pascal Siakam had a season-high 40 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out, and the Toronto Raptors beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 115-112 in overtime. Toronto snapped a four-game home losing streak against the Celtics. Playing without forwards Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum and centers Al Horford and Robert Williams III, Boston lost for the fifth time in 29 games.

In other Monday NBA contests:
– Isaiah Roby scored a career-high 30 points on 11-of-13 shooting and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in overtime to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 134-131. Aaron Wiggins added a career-best 28 points for the Thunder, who remain in second-to-last place in the Western Conference with losses in 11 of their last 13 games. Ben McLemore had 28 points, including eight 3-pointers, for the Trail Blazers. Portland has lost four straight and also sits outside the playoff picture at 12th in the West.
– Desmond Bane scored 22 points, De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 21 points each and the Memphis Grizzlies solidified their hold on second place in the Western Conference with a 123-95 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors. Jordan Poole led Golden State with 25 points. Golden State dropped its third straight and sixth in the last seven.
– Dejounte Murray scored a career-high 33 points and the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 123-120 win over the Houston Rockets to inch closer to the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. It was the fourth straight victory for the Spurs, who moved within one-half game of the Los Angeles Lakers for the 10th spot in the West.
– Darius Garland had 25 points and 12 assists, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-101 win over the Orlando Magic Monday night after losing big man Evan Mobley due to a sprained left ankle. Mobley, the No. 3 overall pick, landed on the foot of Franz Wagner under the basket. He limped to the locker room and did not return.
– Jimmy Butler scored 27 points, Bam Adebayo added 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the Miami Heat beat the Sacramento Kings 123-100 to stop a four-game slide. Tyler Herro had 20 for the Heat, who improved to 36-5 when scoring at least 110 points. Davion Mitchell scored 21 for Sacramento.
– Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 19 rebounds and 11 assists for his 19th triple-double of the season, and the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Charlotte Hornets 113-109. The loss dropped the Hornets to ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the idle Brooklyn Nets.
– Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 29 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the Indiana Pacers 132-123. Clint Capela and Kevin Huerter each contributed 22 points and Capela added 15 rebounds for the Hawks, who are 10th in the Eastern Conference. Trae Young had 14 points and 16 assists for the Hawks.
– RJ Barrett scored 28 points, Alec Burks had 27 and the New York Knicks beat the Chicago Bulls 109-104 for their fourth straight victory. The Knicks strong recent play will likely come too late. They remained 4 1/2 games behind Atlanta for 10th place in the Eastern Conference and the final play-in spot with only six games remaining.

UNDATED (AP) – Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III has torn cartilage in his left knee. The team made the announcement a day after he limped off the court in Boston’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Williams was averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and just over two blocks this season for the Celtics.

Elsewhere in the NBA:
– The Pelicans say they have converted undrafted rookie guard Jose Alvarado’s two-way contract to a guaranteed multiyear deal. The club did not disclose contract terms, but the new deal means the former four-year Georgia Tech standout would be eligible for postseason games. The 6-foot Alvarado appeared in just eight of New Orleans’ first 35 games this season, but has seen a surge in playing time lately.
– Cavaliers forward Dean Wade will miss the rest of the season following knee surgery. It’s the latest medical setback for a Cleveland. All-Star center Jarrett Allen has missed Cleveland’s past 10 days with a broken finger.
– Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will sit out the rest of the season after an ankle injury. Gilgeous-Alexander has missed three of the last four games with right ankle soreness.

UNDATED (AP) – The Carolina Hurricanes gave the Washington Capitals something to think about if the division rivals meet in the playoffs. Martin Necas scored twice to help the Hurricanes rout the Capitals 6-1 in a potential first-round preview. It was Carolina’s first victory in four meetings this season. Beating Washington allowed Metropolitan Division-leading Carolina to keep pace with Florida atop the Eastern Conference.

Elsewhere on the ice:
– Alex Wennberg scored 14 seconds into the game, Jared McCann got his team-leading 24th goal and the Seattle Kraken dominated on both ends of the ice in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Chris Driedger stopped 36 shots for the expansion Kraken, who have four wins in their last six games. Seattle had 14 of its 18 skaters record a point. Adam Larsson, Victor Rask, Jordan Eberle and Daniel Sprong also scored, and Vince Dunn added two assists. Arthur Kaliyev scored and Cal Petersen made 32 saves for Los Angeles, which had earned points in four of its last five. It was the 1,000th NHL regular-season game for coach Todd McLellan.
– Ryan McLeod had two goals and an assist and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-1. Connor McDavid, Warren Foegele, Zach Hyman and Leon Draisaitl also scored for the Oilers, who have won seven straight home games. Mikko Koskinen finished with 31 saves. Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes, who lost their sixth straight and were officially eliminated from playoff contention with a record of 20-41-5. Karel Vejmelka made 30 saves. Josef Korenar came out to start the third in the Arizona net and finished with six saves.
– Tage Thompson scored the tiebreaking goal on a fortunate bounce with 10.6 seconds left and the Buffalo Sabres rallied from four down to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5. Victor Olofsson had two goals and an assist to help the Sabres win for the first time in three games. Kyle Okposo, Vinnie Hinostroza and Alex Tuch also scored for Buffalo.
– Vladimir Tarasenko had two goals and an assist, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Tarasenko has 23 goals this season, and the three-point game gave him 500 points in his NHL career. David Perron and Marco Scandella also scored for the Blues, who had lost of three of four.

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – Team officials say Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has died from an illness. Melnyk was 62. A team statement did not explain what the illness was. Melnyk had a liver transplant in 2015 after a public campaign for a donor. He had owned the Senators since 2003, when he bought the NHL club for $92 million. The Toronto native was involved in other businesses around Canada and in 2010 had an estimated net worth of $1.21 billion.


ST. LOUIS (AP) – Albert Pujols has returned to the St. Louis Cardinals, finding a home in the place where he became one of baseball’s most powerful sluggers. The 42-year-old Pujols emerged from beyond the right field wall at the Cardinals’ spring training complex between the first and second innings of an exhibition game against Houston . Pujols drew a standing ovation from the crowd and was greeted with hugs in the St. Louis dugout. Pujols was a three-time MVP and helped the Cardinals win two World Series titles. He split last season with the Angels and Dodgers. He says this will be his final season.

In other MLB news:
– The Minnesota Twins have signed veteran right-hander Chris Archer to a one-year contract. Archer gives the Twins a potential boost for their rotation. He is a two-time All-Star who’s coming off an injury-ruined 2021 season with the Rays. He had a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.
– San Francisco Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is scheduled for surgery to repair a ligament in his right index finger. The Giants announced that the veteran infielder would undergo the procedure Tuesday in Los Angeles.

UNDATED (AP) – To ensure more opportunities for diverse candidates, the NFL has added requirements on the hiring of offensive assistant coaches, and women in general. The moves announced at the owners meeting include adjustments to the Rooney Rule adopted in 2003 and amended frequently in attempts to enhance opportunities for people of color and women for nearly all league and team jobs. Beginning this season, all 32 clubs must employ a female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority to serve as an offensive assistant coach. The person will receive a one-year contract and work closely with the head coach and offensive staff to gain experience.

In other NFL news:
– State and county taxpayers will be asked to commit a record $850 million in public funds toward construction of the Buffalo Bills’ new stadium as part of a 30-year lease agreement. The project has a total estimated price tag of $1.4 billion. Meanwhile, sources tell The Associated Press that Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee plans to propose $500 million in bonds in the state budget to help fund a new covered $1.2 billon Tennessee Titans stadium envisioned for Nashville.
– Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon’s patience paid off with a new contract. Witherspoon signed a two-year deal to remain with the Steelers rather than leave in free agency. The signing marked an abrupt turnaround for Witherspoon. He hardly played during the first half of the 2021 season after being acquired in a trade with Seattle.
– Longtime Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder has announced his retirement after eight injury-filled seasons. Linder spent more than a week contemplating his decision before announcing on Instagram he’s hanging up his cleats. The five-time team captain played 88 games since the Jaguars drafted him in the third round in 2014.
– Offensive lineman Will Hernandez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-foot-3, 332-pound Hernandez played the past four seasons with the New York Giants, which is the team that drafted him in 2018.
(Copyright 2022 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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