K-Heart Sports – 11/26/22

K-HEART SPORTS – 11/26/22 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Friday scores:
High School Boys Hockey
Bismarck Century 6, West Fargo 3
Dickinson 4, Mayville-Portland 2
Fargo North 3, Bismarck Legacy 2 SO
Notre Dame Academy 3, Williston 1
High School Girls Hockey
Williston 5, Bottineau 19U 0
NAHL Hockey
Minot Minotauros 5, Bismarck Bobcats 1
PUEBLO, Colo, (MSU) – The Minot State men’s basketball team got a 25-point showing from the bench on the way to a 76-69 win against the New Mexico Highlands Cowboys at Massari Arena on Friday at the CSU-Pueblo Thanksgiving Classic. The Beavers (2-2, overall, 0-1 NSIC) had four players score in double figures, led by Jaxon Gunville, who had 18 points. Cam’ron Dunfee tacked on 12 points and Khari Broadway helped out with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
After jumping out to a 25-22 advantage, Minot State went on an 8-0 run with 5:01 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Broadway, to increase its lead to 33-22. The Beavers then lost some of that lead, but still entered halftime with a 38-28 advantage. Minot State did most of its first-half damage in the paint, scoring 28 of its 38 points close to the basket. Minot State kept its lead intact before going on an 8-0 run, finished off by Michael Jok’s three, to grow the lead to 54-41 with 11:39 to go in the contest. The Cowboys narrowed the margin somewhat before the game was over, but the Beavers still cruised the rest of the way for the 76-69 win. Minot State capitalized on seven New Mexico Highlands turnovers in the period, collecting 12 points off those turnovers.
The Beavers will play the host team, Colorado State Pueblo, tonight.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (UND) – North Dakota’s bench erupted for 42 points in the 67-52 win over Utah Tech inside the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center on Friday afternoon. The game featured seven lead changes and five ties. The Fighting Hawks led 59-48 with 6:05 left and only allowed four points from the Trailblazers in the final moments to secure the 67-52 victory. UND held a 48-46 edge on the score board midway through the final period before going on a 9-1 run to extend its lead to double digits at 57-47 with just under nine minutes left. North Dakota’s run was highlighted by a 4-for-4 showing at the line from Caleb Nero and a triple from Treysen Eaglestaff. Utah Tech would not get closer than nine points after that point. B.J. Omot poured in a team-high 16 points while corralling three rebounds and dishing out two assists. He also had one of UND’s four blocks in the contest. Nero chipped in a season-high 15 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 at the charity stripe. He also paced the team in assists with five. Brady Danielson added 11 points and led the team in rebounds with six.
PHOENIX (UND) – The University of North Dakota women’s basketball team dropped a 73-60 decision to Grand Canyon on Friday afternoon to open the GCU Thanksgiving Classic from Phoenix, Ariz. UND (2-3) couldn’t contain the hot shooting of Emily Zars, as the former Western Illinois standout finished with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting while grabbing 12 rebounds and a steal to record a double-double for the Lopes (4-0). Kacie Borowicz paced the offense for the fifth straight game, scoring 12 points to go alongside four rebounds and two assists to finish with another contest in double figures. North Dakota closes out the GCU Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday afternoon against Manhattan at 1 p.m. from Phoenix. 
RENO, Nev. (NDSU) – The North Dakota State women’s basketball team topped Boise State, 68-53, at the Nugget Classic at Lawlor Events Center on Friday night. With the win, the Bison improve to 5-0 on the season for the first time since 2004. Heaven Hamling paced NDSU with a game-high and season-best 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field. She also added four rebounds, three assists and three steals to her stat line. Elle Evans poured in a season-high 13 points with four rebounds and three steals. Abby Schulte also hit double digits in scoring for the third straight game with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
As a team, NDSU shot 44.4 percent (28-63) from the field and 55.6 percent (5-9) from beyond the arc. The Bison also notched 42 points in the paint and 30 points off of turnovers. NDSU got off to fast start building a 15-7 advantage after a layup from Schulte at the 3:30 mark of the first quarter. The Bison then pushed their lead into double digits, 21-11, in the second frame following a jumper from Abby Graham with 8:21 to play in the half. NDSU led the at intermission, 27-22. The Broncos (3-3) began the third quarter trimming the edge down to three, 27-24, after a quick layup. The Bison responded to quickly increase their lead up to 10, 38-28, following a pair of free throws from Evans. NDSU then began to put the game away growing its largest lead, 62-42, after Taylor Brown drilled a triple with 4:12 to play. The Bison closed out the remaining time to earn the 68-53 win.
BEMIDJI, Minn. (UND) – North Dakota overcame a pair of two-goal deficits in a 3-3 tie against Bemidji State on Friday night from the Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn. UND (5-6-3) trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes before Griffin Ness pulled the Fighting Hawks within a goal just 2:25 into the middle frame; however, the Beavers (5-3-3) answered back 30 seconds later to restore their two-goal cushion, 3-1. Jackson Blake kept the scoring barrage coming in the early portions of the second, potting home a Riese Gaber rebound for the third goal in the opening five minutes of the stanza to bring the score back to one, 3-2. It was the second time Blake found the back of the net, but his first goal was overturned due to successful challenge for too many men by BSU. Late in the second, Judd Caulfield scored his fourth goal in four weeks with a beautiful deflection in the slot off a Ty Farmer shot to bring the Hawks level at 3-3 after 40 minutes of play. Both teams had chances in the final stanza, but neither side could find the back of the net as the game went into overtime. In the extra session, North Dakota had a trio of sparkling opportunities, but two saves from goaltender Mattias Sholl and a missed net had the game finish in a 3-3 tie. North Dakota will close out the home-and-home series with Bemidji State on Saturday night from Ralph Engelstad Arena at 6:07 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 28 points, and the Charlotte Hornets stopped Minnesota’s five-game win streak with a 110-108 victory over Anthony Edwards and the Timberwolves on Friday night. Terry Rozier had 22 points and eight assists, helping the Hornets (6-14) win back-to-back games for the first time this season. P.J. Washington scored 16 points, and reserve Theo Maledon finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Edwards scored 25 points for the Timberwolves (10-9), who shot 22% from 3-point range. D’Angelo Russell had 20 points and 10 assists, and Rudy Gobert finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds. The Timberwolves bolted to a 62-52 halftime lead as Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns combined for 30 points. But Charlotte battled back to take a 91-83 lead after outscoring the Timberwolves 39-21 in the third quarter behind 11 points from Oubre and 10 from Rozier. Charlotte carried that momentum into the fourth. Nick Richards rejected Gobert at the rim, setting up a high-flying dunk by Kai Jones off a feed from Rozier that brought the crowd to its feet and helped push the lead to 14. The Timberwolves had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds after Rozier missed a floater, but they were unable to corral the rebound. That forced them to foul Washington, who made one of two throws with 4.7 seconds left to help close it out. After the free throw, Washington smiled and gave a nod to his bench. Timberwolves: Host Golden State on Sunday.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Calle Jarnkrok scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Minnesota 4-3 on Friday and spoiled Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s return to the net. Mitch Marner scored first for Toronto to stretch his point streak to 15 straight games and extend the longest run in the NHL this season. Zach Aston-Reese and William Nylander each had a goal and John Tavares had two assists for the Maple Leafs, who started their four-game trip Wednesday by stopping New Jersey’s 13-game winning streak. Matt Murray stopped 25 shots and improved to 4-0-1 with 11 goals allowed in five games since returning from a midsection injury. Kirill Kaprizov scored on a power play and Matt Boldy had the second goal for the Wild, who welcomed newly acquired right wing Ryan Reaves to their heavy third line and kept up the offensive momentum from a 6-1 win Wednesday over Winnipeg.
With the Wild net empty, Mats Zuccarello scored 6-on-5 with 3:34 left to cut the lead to one. But Murray was up to the task of finishing it off, knocking away a high-danger shot by Kaprizov in the final seconds. Fleury, who made 23 saves, missed the previous three games with an upper-body injury. In the middle of the first period, Aston-Reese pivoted around defenseman Matt Dumba and sneaked in a bad-angle shot that zipped between the goalie’s pads. Aston-Reese looked pleasantly surprised the puck went in during the celebratory scrum with his linemates. Fleury said it was his fault, “a stupid goal.” The 20-year veteran Fleury was a bit out of position on Jarnkrok’s winner. He made a big blocker save on a shot by Mark Giordano that ricocheted in front for an easy knock-in of the rebound. With 6:37 left, Nylander’s slap shot from the slot zipped past Fleury’s stick.
The Wild played their customary day-after-Thanksgiving matinee and gave their fans plenty to shout about. Kaprizov’s tip-in of a rebound gave him a team-high 12 goals. Boldy’s one-timer off a pass from Alex Goligoski was a clinic in how to work a rush. Connor Dewar had a breakaway in the closing minute of the second period that Murray stonewalled with his right pad, preventing the Wild from tying the game before the break. Toronto improved to 8-1-3 in November despite a long list of injuries, with defensemen Jordie Benn, T.J. Brodie, Carl Dahlstrom, Jake Muzzin and Morgan Rielly sidelined. The Maple Leafs blocked 22 shots and did plenty of dirty work in the offensive zone, too.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Somewhere along the line this season after Kevin O’Connell was hired as Minnesota’s coach, Kirk Cousins found the consistent winning touch in the clutch that too often was missing for him. One of the NFL’s most scrutinized quarterbacks delivered again for the 2022 Vikings, with three touchdown passes including the tiebreaking score in the fourth quarter to beat New England 33-26 on Thursday night. O’Connell made special mention of Cousins and his performance on the prime-time stage against a vaunted defense in his postgame speech to the players in the locker room. Eight wins for Minnesota (9-2) have come by one score. “You don’t play like he did tonight without really starting to develop some ownership of our offense,” O’Connell told reporters.
Cousins has felt the confidence of his coaches and teammates like never before — “it almost brings me to tears,” he said during a candid postgame news conference — and turned that support into an increased comfort on the field. The 59-59-2 career record as a starter that he carried this year has begun to take better shape with this season the resilient Vikings have been assembling. “That’s something that we continually try to talk to him about,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. “Just go out there and play football. You’re a dang good football player and you prove that week in and week out. You show how tough you are. You show how prepared you are.”
The strangest — or perhaps most fitting — part is that Cousins currently has the worst passer rating of his career (88.2) to rank just 21st in the NFL. As satisfied, or relieved, as he has been with all the wins the Vikings have enjoyed this year, Cousins is a perfectionist who can’t help himself pick apart his play. He threw one interception against the Patriots and, he pointed out, could have had two more. “Thankfully we’ve been finding a way to win in spite of it being Year 1 in this system. There have been moments where you feel like, ‘Man, we, I’ve got to be better here on offense for us to go where we want to go.’ I think that’s where you still feel like you’re developing.”
After Cousins was sacked a career-most seven times by the Cowboys, his time to throw was vastly increased despite the absence of left tackle Christian Darrisaw. O’Connell was at his play-calling best with quicker throws and shorter drops for Cousins, ample help for Darrisaw’s sub, Blake Brandel, and a commitment to the run despite a lack of production that allowed the Vikings to stay in their play-action passing attack. Cousins was sacked only once. “We used a lot of different techniques on the edges to try to condense that rush, try to let Kirk have some clean pockets,” O’Connell said.
Whether it was a lack of pressure over the first three quarters, injuries forcing fourth-stringer Duke Shelley into the starting lineup at cornerback or an overall vulnerability with the way defensive coordinator Ed Donatell arranged their coverages, the Vikings gave Patriots quarterback Mac Jones too much space down the field on a night when he had a career-high 382 passing yards with a season-high 119.8 passer rating. The Vikings have been outgained in total yardage in four straight games.
Kene Nwangwu, who had two kickoff return touchdowns as a rookie last season, finally broke free with a 97-yard score immediately after the Patriots reached the end zone with relative ease on their opening drive of the second half. “All year long I hit him at pregame meals: ‘Is today the day? Is today the day?’” O’Connell said. “He’s just so talented, such a special athlete.”
Greg Joseph has five missed extra points, the most in the NFL this year. Including his 2018 season with Cleveland, Joseph has an 87.9% cumulative conversion rate on extra points that is the worst among kickers over the last five years with more than 35 attempts, according to Sportradar data. Joseph is 94 for 107, with four misses in 2021.
With 10 days to recuperate, the Vikings ought to be closer to full strength for their next game. Defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson (calf) was listed as questionable for Thursday, so he’s on track barring a setback to return from a four-game absence. Cornerbacks Cameron Dantzler Sr. (ankle), Akayleb Evans (concussion) and Andrew Booth Jr. (knee) were all sidelined against the Patriots, and Dantzler must miss one more game on injured reserve. In the concussion protocol for a second time in successive weeks, Darrisaw has an unclear path back to the lineup.
81.6% — The completion rate for Cousins (30 for 37) was the second best by a Patriots’ opponent in 23 seasons under coach Bill Belichick. The only better performance was by Miami (85.7%) in 2008, per Sportradar, when Chad Pennington went 17 for 20 in a 38-13 victory.
The Vikings can clinch the NFC North by beating the New York Jets next week and getting some help. They would need Jacksonville to win at Detroit on Dec. 4 and Green Bay to lose either of its next two games: at Philadelphia on Sunday or at Chicago on Dec. 4. More important for the Vikings, given the state of the division beneath them, is their place in the NFC. Their loss to the Eagles (9-1) looms large as a potential tiebreaker for the first-round bye. They have a two-game edge in the loss column on NFC West co-leaders San Francisco and Seattle for the No. 2 seed that would come with home games in the first two rounds.

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