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Ohio Sports News

Last Update on December 22, 2014 06:33 GMT

BROWNS-PANTHERS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Cam Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and the Carolina Panthers defeated the Cleveland Browns 17-13 on Sunday to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

The victory sets up a winner-take-all showdown next Sunday at Atlanta between the Panthers (6-8-1) against the Falcons (6-9) for the division title.

The winner will join the 2010 Seattle Seahawks as the only teams in NFL history to reach the postseason in a non-strike-shortened season with a losing record.

Newton threw for 201 yards and ran for 63 yards just 12 days after the quarterback suffered two fractures in his lower back following an automobile accident. Jonathan Stewart ran for 122 yards and caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Newton.

Johnny Manziel made his second NFL start for Cleveland but left with 1:49 left in the first half with a hamstring injury and did not return.

BENGALS-STEELERS-PRIME TIME

NEW YORK (AP) -- The showdown for the AFC North title will be played in prime time.

NBC says next week's meeting between the Bengals and Steelers in Pittsburgh will be on "Sunday Night Football." The winner will be division champion.

The NFL does not designate a Sunday night game for Week 17 at the start of the season, waiting to see which matchup has the most intriguing playoff implications.

The Steelers (10-5) beat Kansas City 20-12 on Sunday to clinch a postseason berth. Cincinnati (9-4-1) hosts AFC West champ Denver on Monday night. If the Bengals lose to the Broncos, they could go into the regular-season finale in danger of missing the playoffs.

The announcement was made during halftime of Sunday night's Seahawks-Cardinals game.

GRIZZLIES-CAVALIERS

CLEVELAND (AP) -- LeBron James had 25 points and 11 assists, Dion Waiters scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland Cavaliers handled one of the Western Conference's best teams, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-91 on Sunday.

James scored 16 in the second half and the Cavs shot a season-best 61 percent from the field to improve to just 3-6 against West teams. Anderson Varejao scored 18 and Kyrie Irving had 17 points and 12 assists for the Cavs, who are 11-3 since their sluggish 5-7 start.

Cleveland, which has won eight of nine at home, is 9-2 when James has at least nine assists.

Marc Gasol scored 23 and added 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who played without forward Zach Randolph. He's nursing a sore and swollen right knee he injured in Friday's loss at Chicago.

USA-IRVING AWARD

NEW YORK (AP) -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, the MVP of the Basketball World Cup, was honored Sunday as the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

Irving started in all nine games for the Americans in Spain and averaged 12.1 points and 3.6 assists. He scored 26 points in the gold-medal game, going 6 of 6 from 3-point range to spark a rout of Serbia.

Irving was selected by USA Basketball's board of directors.

SAN FRANCISCO-CLEVELAND ST

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Anton Grady scored 17 points, Charlie Lee had 15 and Andre Yates 13 and Cleveland State held San Francisco without a field goal in overtime to pull out a 69-65 win on Sunday.

Statistically the game was even in the battle between two teams that are now both 6-6.

Three different times USF made just one of two free throws in overtime. Grady and Yates had baskets to put the Vikings ahead 66-63. After USF's last trip to the line with eight seconds left, Trey Lewis iced it by making two free throws at five seconds.

Mark Tollefesen led USF, which had an 11-point lead in the first half, with 17 points. The Dons were up 30-26 at the break. Tim Derksen had 11 but missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation.

FERRIS ST-BOWLING GREEN

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) -- Drew Lehman scored 29 points and Josh Fleming added 23 with 13 rebounds and Division II Ferris State ran away from Bowling Green on Sunday.

The win was the ninth-straight for the Bulldogs although the game counted as an exhibition, leaving them at 8-2. Bowling Green fell to 6-3 with its first loss at home.

Ferris State led 37-36 at halftime then out-scored Ball State 15-4 in the first four minutes of the second half with Dietrich Lever, Fleming and Lehman each hitting 3-pointers for a 52-40 lead. The advantage stayed around 10 until the closing minutes when the Bulldogs pulled away. Fleming's 3 at 1:47 made it 82-62.

The Bulldogs shot 49 percent, including 9 of 18 behind the arc, and were 19 of 22 from the line.

Richaun Holmes had 26 for Bowling Green, which shot 42 percent (2 of 8 on 3-pointers) and 14 of 23 from the line.

National Sports News

Last Update on December 22, 2014 11:33 GMT

NFL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The Dallas Cowboys are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Tony Romo threw four of the Cowboys' five touchdown passes in a 42-7 laugher against Indianapolis. Romo was almost perfect, completing 18 of his 20 passes for 218 yards and no interceptions before sitting out the fourth quarter. He broke Troy Aikman's team record for passing yards as the Cowboys clinched the NFC East while ending Philadelphia's playoff hopes.

DeMarco Murray played just six days after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand. Murray had a one-yard scoring run to make it 28-0 midway through the second quarter, but he had just 58 yards on 22 carries.

The Cowboys improved to 11-4 and stayed in contention for home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

The Cowboys weren't the only team to clinch playoff berths in week 16 of the NFL schedule.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 318 yards and a touchdown to lead Green Bay to a 20-3 win over Tampa Bay that clinched a wild-card playoff spot for the Packers. The victory sets up a match-up between Green Bay and Detroit in the season finale next week with the winner capturing the NFC North title.

Rodgers found Jordy Nelson nine times for 113 yards and a score to help the Packers improve to 11-4.

Pittsburgh makes it back to the post-season for the first time in three years with a 20-12 win over Kansas City. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) threw for 220 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, who will face Cincinnati next week for the AFC North title.

In other NFL finals:

-- Seattle tops the NFC West at 11-4 after Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch led the Seahawks' offense in a 35-6 pounding of Arizona. Wilson threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 88 yards and another score. Lynch rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard scoring burst in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Seahawks' defense limited the Cardinals to 216 yards and no touchdowns while holding Ryan Lindley to just 18 completions in 44 attempts.

-- Joique (JOYK) Bell scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Lions edged Chicago 20-14 to stay atop the NFC North heading into their showdown with Green Bay. Calvin Johnson helped Detroit with six catches for 103 yards, while Matthrew Stafford threw for 243 yards. Stafford topped the 4,000-yard passing mark for the fourth straight year.

--Cam Newton returned from a game off after suffering two fractures in his back to lead Carolina to a 17-13 win over Cleveland. Newton threw for a touchdown and ran for another a week after being injured in a car accident. The victory improves the Panthers record to 6-8-1 and puts them in sole possession of first place in the NFC South. They'll play Atlanta with the division title on the line next weekend.

-- Julio (HOO'-lee-oh) Jones made seven catches for 107 yards in Atlanta's 30-14 win over New Orleans. Matt Ryan completed 30 of 40 passed for 322 yards and a touchdown for the 6-9 Falcons who eliminated the Saints from playoff contention.

-- Houston kept its fading playoff hopes alive with a 25-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens, whose playoff hopes took a hit. Running back Arian Foster threw a touchdown pass and Randy Bullock made a franchise-record six field goals for the 8-7 Texans. Joe Flacco was a dismal 21-of-50 for just 195 yards and three interceptions for the Ravens, who now need help to make it to the post-season.

-- New England clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 17-16 win over the Jets. Jonas Gray's 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter was the difference. The 12-3 Patriots could earn home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs if Denver loses to Cincinnati Monday night.

-- Buffalo's playoff hopes died in Oakland as Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals to help the Raiders beat the Bills 26-24. Carr was 17 of 34 for 214 yards and no interceptions. Meanwhile, the Raiders held the Bills to just 13 yards on 13 carries. Kyle Orton threw for three touchdowns while completing 32 of 49 throws for 329 yards. Orton also had two interceptions as the Bills fell to 8-7 and stretched their playoff drought to 15 seasons.

-- Rookie Terrence Fede blocked a punt for a safety with 41 seconds to go to give Miami a wild 37-35 win over Minnesota. The teams combined for 41 points in the fourth quarter, 15 coming from the Vikings during an 11-second span.

-- Odell Beckham Jr. had eight receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring grab as the New York Giants outscored the Rams 37-27 in St. Louis. He set a franchise rookie record with his 10th and 11th TD catches, shattered another rookie mark for receptions and topped 1,000 yards while shrugging off a pair of late hits in the second quarter. The second led to a brawl and three ejections, none of them to starters. The Giants had a season-best 514 total yards and moved to 6-9 with their third straight win. The Rams fell to 6-9.

T25-FLORIDA STATE/WINSTON

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State quarterback Jameis (JAY'-mihs) Winston was cleared of the accusations he faced at a student code of conduct hearing involving an alleged sexual assault two years ago, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Former Florida Supreme Court judge Major Harding wrote in a letter to Winston that the evidence was "insufficient to satisfy the burden of proof." A prosecutor made a similar decision a year ago when he decided not to criminally charge Winston, citing a lack of evidence.

This month, the hearing was to determine whether Winston violated four sections of the code of conduct -- two for sexual misconduct and two for endangerment.

The ramifications for Winston ranged from a reprimand to expulsion from school.

The woman can request an appeal within five days.

NBA-NUGGETS/GALLINARI

DENVER (AP) -- Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari has a torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to undergo surgery. The team has yet to announce a timetable for his return. Gallinari is averaging 7.8 points in 18.8 minutes this season.

He was back on the court this year after missing nearly 18 months with a torn ACL in his left knee that required three surgeries.

NBA-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- The Cleveland Cavaliers won for the 11th time in their last 14 games by clobbering one of the top teams in the NBA's Western Conference.

LeBron James delivered 25 points and 11 assists as the Cavaliers whipped Memphis 105-91. James scored 16 in the second half and was 9-for-15 from the field, helping the Cavs shoot a season-best 61 percent from the field. Dion Waiters provided 13 of his 21 points while the Cavaliers outscored the Grizzlies 28-21 in the final period.

Marc Gasol (gah-SAHL') scored 23 and added 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who played without forward Zach Randolph and fell to 21-6.

In other NBA action:

-- Toronto has a six-game winning streak after Lou Williams and Kyle Lowry each scored 22 points in a 118-108 victory over the New York Knicks. Greivis (GREE'-vihs) Vasquez had 21 points and Terrence Ross scored 18 as the Eastern Conference leaders improved to 22-6 while dealing the Knicks their fifth straight loss.

-- Washington's six-game winning streak was stopped by Phoenix as Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris each scored 17 points to lead the Suns past the Wizards 104-92. The game was tied at 50 until Goran Dragic (DRAH'-gihch) provided 12 of his 16 while the Suns outscored the Wizards 29-21 in the third period.

-- Anthony Davis scored 38 points on 16 of 22 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead New Orleans past the Thunder 101-99 at Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook had 29 points for the Thunder, who played their second straight game without Kevin Durant because of a sprained right ankle.

-- Luol Deng (LOO'-ul dehng) scored 23 points and James Ennis scored 10 of his 16 in the fourth quarter of Miami's 100-84 triumph against Boston. The Heat won for the first time in their last six home games and stopped the Celtics' three-game winning streak.

-- Mason Plumlee scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter of Brooklyn's 110-105 win over Detroit. Joe Johnson added 16 points, including four free throws in the final 12 seconds.

-- C.J. Miles hit 10 of his 18 shots while scoring 28 points in Indiana's 100-96 verdict over Minnesota. David West added 14 points, including a huge basket with 34 seconds left after the Pacers blew a 19-point lead in the second half.

-- Sacramento ended a five-game skid and picked up its first win under interim coach Tyrone Corbin by downing the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101. DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and 14 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 24 points and Ben McLemore added 23 points and eight boards to the Kings' third victory in 13 games.

-- Michael Carter-Williams scored 21 points and the Philadelphia 76ers opened a seven-game road trip by rallying in the second half of a 96-88 triumph at Orlando. The 76ers trailed by 11 before closing the third quarter on a 22-7 run.

TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL-SCHEDULE

UNDATED (AP) -- Just a pair of top-25 men's basketball team were in action on Sunday, a current and a former member of the ACC.

No. 6 Virginia held Harvard to one field goal in the first half of a 76-27 rout. Mike Tobey and Malcolm Brogdon each scored 15 for the 11-0 Cavaliers, who equaled their best start in 22 years with their stingiest defensive performance in a season already full of them.

Jake Layman had 21 points and 11 rebounds and No. 17 Maryland beat Oklahoma State 73-64 to improve to 11-1.Melo Trimble had 16 points and helped the Terrapins open the second half with a 15-3 run to take a 17-point lead.

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Sports Director Clay Hall

WSYX - Clay Hall

Clay Hall is the Sports Director for ABC 6 and FOX 28.

Find out more about Sports Director Clay Hall

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