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No. 21 Minnesota beats North Florida 87-59

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No. 21 Minnesota beats North Florida 87-59

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Rodney Williams with 15 points and eight rebounds as No. 21 Minnesota topped North Florida 87-59 Saturday.

Williams all but three of his points in the second half and Austin Hollins added 12 points for the Gophers (8-1), winners of four straight.

Trevor Mbakwe and Joe Coleman had 11 points each.

Parker Smith led the Ospreys (3-5) with 22 points while connecting on just 6 of 19 attempts, including a 3-for-11 mark from the 3-point line. Travis Wallace added 17.

Minnesota held a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. When North Florida cut its deficit to 10 early in the period, the Gophers went on a 9-0 run capped by a three-point play by Coleman, and led comfortably the rest of the way.

The Gophers blocked a season-high 13 shots, including a career-high four from Andre Hollins and three from Mbakwe. Minnesota also tied a season high with 15 steals.

After hitting its first five attempts of the game, the Ospreys made just five shots on 23 shooting the rest of the first half as the Gophers forced tough looks and 11 North Florida turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Minnesota trailed 18-10 with 11:45 to play in the half, but followed with a 20-3 burst that included a 7 1/2-minute scoreless stretch for the Ospreys. Six of the eight field goals during the Gophers' run were layups or dunks.

Minnesota scored 16 points off turnovers in the first half and used its size advantage to grab 14 offensive rebounds turned into 13 points. The Gophers finished with a season-high 25 offensive boards, ultimately outscoring North Florida 54-24 in the paint.

North Florida committed a season-high 22 turnovers, the most forced by Minnesota this season.

Gophers reserve Andre Ingram was not with the team due to a death in his family.

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Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

Bryce Harper glad Phillies able to respond after 'embarrassing' Orioles series

When the Baltimore Orioles swept the Phillies in a midweek series, several Philadelphians were not pleased. 

One Phillies analyst called the performance "lifeless" and now Bryce Harper is referring to the whole team's effort as "embarrassing."

Much to Harper's and the Phillies' pleasure, the team was able to respond in the series opener against the Mets with a walk-off to get back in the win column. 

"That's a big win for us right there," Harper told reporters postgame. "We have to start out the series after the embarrassment we put up against the Baltimore Orioles, that was pretty terrible. To be able to start this series off on the right foot, that's huge for us."

RELATED: ORIOLES COMPLETE TWO SERIES SWEEPS IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS

In the three-game set, Baltimore scored 26 runs against Philadelphia. The first two games saw the Phillies starters post four earned runs each and the finale was a miraculous extra-inning comeback for Baltimore, where they scored 10 runs in the final five innings. It was more than an indictment of the team's pitching than anything else.

Many teams across the league believed the Orioles would be walkover team in a 60-game sprint to get the 2020 season complete. After one of the worst records in the sport's history over the past two seasons and no sign of things turning around, that was expected to carry over. An 11-8 record a third of the way through shows that is not the case. Baltimore has the fouth-best record in the American League. Even in a normal season, they would be in line for a Wild Card spot. 

Harper and the Phillies learned that the hard way. 

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Alex Ovechkin's explanation for missing open net power play attempt in Game 2: 'Sh-t happens'

Alex Ovechkin's explanation for missing open net power play attempt in Game 2: 'Sh-t happens'

Things aren't looking too good for the Washington Capitals as they're already down 2-0 to the New York Islanders in the first round of the NHL Playoffs. The team became completely unglued in an ugly 5-2 loss in Game 2 Friday night and Caps star Alex Ovechkin had an extremely applicable response when reflecting on the poor performance. 

"Sh-t happens," Ovechkin said when asked about a poorly executed power-play attempt in which he hit the side of the net. 

The quote is all-encompassing. 

For the glass-half-full crowd, remember that 2018 series against the Columbus Blue Jackets? When Washington lost its first two games of the first-round series to the Columbus and rallied back to win it 4-2? Yup, they went on to win the Stanley Cup and all was forgiven. 

However, there are very few similarities between then and now. 

RELATED: WHY THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT THAN 2018, OVECHKIN'S BIG GAME AND THE CAPS ARE IN TROUBLE

The Caps have to have a short memory and get right back on the horse as the puck drops for Game 3 on Sunday at noon. 

“We’ve just got to move on," Ovechkin said.

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