gular-season games.DRAFT PICKThe Sparks wi

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The way Minnesota ran the ball and performed defensively against Maryland, it really didnt matter who played quarterback.Thats not taking anything away from Conor Rhoda, who did everything asked of him in his first college start.Rodney Smith ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns, Rhoda threw for a score and the Golden Gophers cruised past error-prone Maryland 31-10 Saturday.Starting for senior Mitch Leidner, who was out with a concussion, Rhoda went 7 for 15 for 82 yards without an interception. The former walk-on had previously thrown only two passes in a mop-up role.He managed the game well, coach Tracy Claeys said. Our kids believed in him. He did the things he needed to do.Rhoda spent most of the afternoon handing off the football to Smith and Shannon Brooks, who ran for 86 yards on 22 carries.I felt good once I got out there and took a couple hits, Rhoda said. Everything settled in from there and we got things cooking on offense.Minnesota (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten) limited Maryland to 100 yards and four first downs through three quarters in building a 17-0 lead.Smiths 70-yard touchdown run with 9:30 left made it 24-3, and Antoine Winfield Jr. sealed the victory late in the game with an 82-yard interceptions return.Maryland also started its second-string quarterback, using true freshman Tyrrell Pigrome for injured Perry Hills (shoulder). The Terrapins made a variety of mistakes on both sides of the ball in their second straight lopsided loss.Obviously, a very sloppy performance, first-year coach DJ Durkin said. We killed ourselves with penalties and turnovers, especially early in the game. Playing from behind is a hard thing to do with a freshman quarterback.Dukin said Hills was not healthy enough to play.I dont feel it was in his best interest or our team to put him out there today, Durkin said. I think its one of those things where its a ticking time bomb, where its going to get hit again.Pigrome threw for 161 yards and ran for 71. But Maryland committed three turnovers and was penalized nine times for 75 yards.I know the story will all be about our freshman quarterback, but the guys around him need to play better, too, Durkin said.The Terrapins didnt score in the second half last week in a 38-14 defeat at Penn State and had gone five quarters without a TD before Pigrome threw an 11-yard pass to D.J. Moore with 5:42 remaining.It wasnt enough to prevent Durkin from absorbing his first loss at home.Durkin showed his frustration in the third quarter when Moore tumbled to the ground chasing a long pass in front of the Maryland bench. Durkin ran down the sideline, arms in the air, demanding an explanation why pass interference wasnt called.Maryland entered the game with only four turnovers, fewest in the Big Ten. But the Terrapins gave the ball away twice in the opening 16 minutes, and the second turnover proved costly.After Pigrome threw an interception, Minnesota missed a 36-yard field goal. In the second quarter, however, William Likely muffed a punt on his own 15 to set up an 8-yard run by Smith for a 7-0 lead.The Golden Gophers made it 14-0 just before halftime with a well-timed screen pass from Rhoda to Brooks, who caught the ball over the middle and sprinted in for a 17-yard score.THE TAKEAWAYMinnesota: The Golden Gophers appears to have found their groove defensively. Theyve allowed only two TDs over the last two games.Maryland: The Terps have gone south after a 4-0 start, losing two straight behind a sputtering offense that really needs Hills back under center.UP NEXTMinnesota hosts Rutgers next Saturday. The Scarlet Knights lost to Illinois on Saturday to remain winless in Big Ten play.Maryland hosts Michigan State under the lights next Saturday. Spartans won 24-7 last year. 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LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Two MVPs were too much for the Chicago Sky.Candace Parker scored 19 of her 30 points in the first half, Nneka Ogwumike added 27, and the Los Angeles Sparks won 95-75 in the teams semifinal playoff opener Wednesday night.Two-time WNBA MVP Parker had nine rebounds and newly crowned MVP Ogwumike had 10 rebounds and six assists for the Sparks, who were playing their first game in 12 days after early-round byes in the revamped playoffs. The game was at the Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus, 24 miles from downtown Los Angeles.Nneka and I have a really good chemistry in the high-low and we were able to capitalize on that, Parker said. Its been an amazing journey for me to sit back and watch Nneka develop as she has. You rarely see an MVP dive on the floor and get an extra possession for your team. Im learning just as much from her.Ogwumike has been teammates with Parker since 2012.With Candace theres so much to learn from her. She sees the game, Ogwumike said. We understand each others game.The Sky was missing injured Elena Delle Donne and her team-leading averages of 21.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. In her absence, the offensive load was spread among four players. Jamierra Faulkner scored a leading 13 points off the bench. Cappie Pondexter added 12, Tamera Young had 11 and Courtney Vandersloot 10.One thing I can guarantee is missed shots or turnovers, were going to come back an even stronger team in this second game, Pondexter said.The Sky forced seven turnovers in the opening quarter when they trailed by two. But they couldnt keep up the pressure and Los Angeles outscored Chicago 30-15 in the second, the Sparks highest-scoring period of the game.If you give up a 30-point quarter to that team, its tough to beat, Vandersloot said. After that it seemed like we were just trading baskets and not doing enough to win.The Sparks ran off nine straight points for an 86-65 lead in the fourth.The Sky never got closer than 12 points in the third, with Parker scoring the Sparks final six points on a three-point play and a 3-pointer. Ogwumike had 12 in the quarter, including eight in a row, stealing the ball and converting at the other end in one possession.I dont like her going right all thee time.dddddddddddd I want to see her go left and score, Sky coach Pokey Chatman said of Ogwumike. You have to make people go to their countermove and make them uncomfortable, and we didnt do that enough.The Sparks led 52-35 at halftime, pulling away with a 23-8 run to end the second quarter. Parker had nine points, Ogwumike seven and Kristi Toliver hit a 3-pointer to cap their scoring. They shot 62 percent in the half.TIP-INSThree-time NBA MVP Magic Johnson hugged Ogwumike before she received her WNBA MVP trophy from league president Lisa Borders before the game. On hand to support Ogwumike was her sister Chiney, who plays for the Connecticut Sun, their mother and an uncle. Its great to see big boss at our games, Parker said of Johnson, who co-owns the team. We were fortunate to talk to him before the playoffs began and to pick his brain about what it takes to win a championship. ... Sparks C Jantel Lavender won the leagues sixth woman award on Wednesday, receiving 26 of the 39 votes from a national media panel. Lavender came off the bench in all 34 regular-season games after being a starter the previous two seasons. She averaged 9.6 points and shot a career-high 53.8 percent from the field.DELLE DONNES THUMBDelle Donne sat on the Sky bench in street clothes with a wrap on her right thumb after recent surgery. She joined Betnijah Laney, who is out with an ACL tear, under the basket while the team warmed up for the second half.STREAKINToliver was 3 of 7 from 3-point range, extending her streak as the only player in the league to make at least one 3 in every game played. She hit 81 from long-range in 33 regular-season games.DRAFT PICKThe Sparks will select fourth in the 2017 draft as a result of the lottery held earlier Wednesday. They had 227 chances out of 1,000 to land the top pick, which went to San Antonio. The Sparks acquired Connecticuts lottery pick through a draft-day trade in April.WHATS NEXTGame 2 is Friday at Staples Center, the Sparks home court that was unavailable for the best-of-five series opener because the Los Angeles Kings were playing an exhibition. Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys China Womens NFL Jerseys Nike NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale NFL White Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '

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