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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Odell Beckham Jr. caught two touchdown passes and rolled up 148 yards receiving against a defense that hadn't allowed a TD in three straight games, leading the New York Giants to a 37-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

Beckham 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 (6-9) had a season-best 514 yards in total offense and have won three in a row heading into their finale at home against the Eagles. They had lost seven straight before the current streak started.

Kenny Britt made nine catches for 103 yards and Tre Mason had 13 carries for 76 yards and a score for the Rams (6-9).


CHICAGO (AP) - After benching Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears nearly hung an embarrassing loss on the playoff-bound Detroit Lions.

Thanks to a late touchdown run by Joique Bell, the Lions managed to get past Jimmy Clausen and the chaotic Chicago Bears 20-14 Sunday. That set up a showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North championship.

"This is what we play for," Calvin Johnson said after catching six passes for 103 yards. "We're right there on the door step, we have one more task ahead of us and that's to go out next week and get another W."

Bell scored on a neat touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Detroit overcame two interceptions by Matthew Stafford.

Chicago benched Cutler days earlier, having seen enough after he led the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers in the first year of a seven-year contract he signed in the offseason. They turned to the cast-off Clausen, who hadn't started a game since 2010.

Matthew Stafford outplayed Clausen, but just barely. He completed 22 of 39 passes for 243 yards and hit the 4,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year, but it was hardly an easy afternoon for him.

"We stood tall," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We played hard. We're not trying to sugar-coat it. We didn't win.  We're here to win. But I felt our players were in it to win for four quarters today but I've felt that way throughout the season. That hasn't changed."

Ndamukong Suh had two sacks, and now the playoff-bound Lions (11-4) can wrap up the NFC North title with a win next week against Green Bay. Regardless, the Lions will make their second trip to the postseason in four years and third in 16 years after Philadelphia's loss to Washington on Saturday.

They were hoping to lock up their first division championship since 1993. But with the Packers beating Tampa Bay, the North will be decided in next week's game.

Stafford threw interceptions in the end zone and near the goal line on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter with the Lions leading 7-0.

Jeremy Ross muffed a punt near the end of the first half, leading to a touchdown for Chicago, and center Dominic Raiola stepped on Chicago defensive tackle Ego Ferguson's right ankle while he was on the ground early in the third quarter.

Despite all that, the Lions came away with their highest win total since they went 12-4 in 1991.

Reggie Bush ran for a touchdown and 54 yards. He added 44 yards receiving, and Detroit handed Chicago (5-10) its fourth straight loss.

Clausen completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards in his first start since his 2010 rookie season with Carolina. He threw touchdowns to Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery and played turnover-free ball until a late interception by Glover Quin.

The Bears were leading 14-10 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings bumped Corey Fuller on a deep third-down pass, resulting in a 46-yard interference penalty.

On the next play Bell - who sat out the first quarter after violating unspecified team rules - dodged two defenders and broke a tackle by Brock Vereen for a 17-yard TD that put Detroit up 17-14. Prater added a 30-yard field goal to make it a six-point game with 2:35 remaining.

Prater gave Detroit a 10-7 lead with a 39-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half. But the Bears answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive. Clausen capped it by lofting a 20-yard pass over Darius Slay to Jeffery in the end zone, giving Chicago its first lead at 14-10 with 2:45 left in the third.

The Bears' Jeremiah Ratliff blocked a 37-yard field goal by Prater early in the fourth, keeping it a four-point game.

The Lions might have run away with this one if not for Stafford's interceptions in the second quarter and a muffed punt by Ross that led to an 11-yard touchdown catch by Forte with 30 seconds left in the first half. But if Detroit let up knowing that it clinched a playoff spot, Stafford did not see it that way.

"We came out with great energy," he said. "We moved the ball the whole day. We weren't stagnant."

Notes: Raiola said he did not intentionally step on Ferguson's ankle and apologized to him for it. No penalty was called on the play. "it was totally unintentional," Raiola said. "I was stumbling out of the play, come on now, I'm not out here trying to step on people." Ferguson was angry about it after the game, saying, "You can't take away what happened with that play. You saw the play." ... The Lions have won four straight against Chicago. ... Bears DE Willie Young will miss the season finale after leaving the game in the third quarter after injuring his left Achilles tendon. He will not play next week at Minnesota. 


CHICAGO (AP) - Patrick Kane had a power-play goal and two assists, leading Antti Raanta and the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.
 
The Blackhawks played with a "CR" on their helmets after assistant equipment manager Clint Reif died earlier in the day. The team said it was "deeply saddened" by the loss and declined further comment while asking for respect for the privacy for Reif's family and friends.
 
Raanta made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season, helping Chicago rebound from a 3-2 shootout loss Saturday night in Columbus.


High School Basketball Round-Up

Centralia 59 Highland 46

Centralia and Highland played to a tie in regulation, before the Orphans went on a 16-3 run in overtime to win the game 59 to 46.  Centralia was only 18 of 49 from the field during regulation play, before getting hot in overtime.  Centralia was down 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, but a 12-0 run during the second quarter put Centralia up at half-time 22-21.  The game stayed close in the second half, with Centralia having a 34-32 lead at the end of the third quarter.  Centralia was led by Ryan Obermeier, D'Aaron Owens, and Tyrig Billberry.   They had 14 point apiece.  Centralia next plays in their own Holiday Tournament, beginning December 29th.   

Patoka Wins Wayne City Tournament

Patoka won the Conrad Tournament at Wayne City with a 67 to 63 victory over Crab Orchard in the championship game Saturday night.  Patoka got 40 points from Jaret Cain.  Garrett Belcher added 12 and Steve Cain 10 points.  Cain along with Patoka's Dylan Back were named to the All Tournament team.  

In the third place game, Edwards County beat Wayne City 58 to 45.  Cisne edged Grayville 56 to 54 to win the fifth place game. 

Other members of the All Tourney team include Jon Ausbrook of Clay City, McKagar Farrell and Gunner Galloway of Crab Orchard, Maverick Troyer and Chase Hortin of Edwards County, Chad Dickey of Wayne City, Logan Hosick of Cisne, Charles Neal of Webber Township and Keegan Ready and Kase Robinson of Grayville.  

South Central Takes 7th Place Game at St. Elmo

Altamont won the St. Elmo Holiday Tournament with a 45 to 37 victory over Cowden-Herrick.  Okaw Valley won their third place game over Ramsey 53 to 36.  Mulberry Grove topped St. Elmo 56 to 49.  South Central topped Beecher City to win the 7th place game, 56 to 43.  South Central jumped to an 18-10 1st quarter lead and 36 to 20 half-time lead.  It wasn't until the fourth quarter when Beecher City outscored South Central 15 to 9 and cut into the lead.   South Central was led by Evan Langley with 14 points, Brett Harmeier with 11 and Dre Hill with 10.   

Other Boys Basketball Action:

     Alton Marquette 51, Jerseyville Jersey 49
     Belleville (Althoff Catholic) 78, Barr-Reeve, Ind. 62
     Cahokia 52, Ev. North, Ind. 49
     Carbondale 68, Carterville 61
     Fairfield 72, Johnston City 43
     Greenville 51, Metro-East Lutheran 40
     Hamilton County 58, Eldorado 42
     Harrisburg 74, DuQuoin 52
     Hillsboro 79, Reed-Custer 76
     Massac County 78, Anna-Jonesboro 66
     Mount Vernon 34, Waterloo 28
     Murphysboro 71, Sparta 30
     Nashville 52, Benton 33
     Olney East Richland 39, Mt. Carmel 38
     Pana 61, Carlinville 51
     Pinckneyville 66, Herrin 36
     Shiloh 45, Tuscola 44
     West Frankfort 72, Sesser-Valier 62

Girls High School Basketball:
    
     Belleville West 56, Belleville (Althoff Catholic) 40
     Effingham St. Anthony 44, Arthur-Lovington 38
     Flora 50, Marshall 48
     Okawville 47, Pinckneyville 26
     Pana 36, Gillespie 35
     Taylorville 60, Williamsville 33
     Gibault Tournament
 Fifth Place
     Roxana 50, Red Bud 43
 Championship
     Columbia 46, Waterloo 36
 John Wood Shootout
     Highland 77, Payson Seymour 31
     Illini West (Carthage) 47, Knox County, Mo. 27
     Monroe City, Mo. 51, Pittsfield 40
     Quincy 48, Canton, Mo. 42
     Tolono Unity 49, Hannibal, Mo. 22


 


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Brent Burns scored a power-play goal 4:22 into overtime, and the San Jose Sharks rallied past the St. Louis Blues 3-2 on Saturday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored with 21 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game for the Sharks. Joe Thornton dug the puck out of the corner before delivering the pass.

Steve Ott scored his first goal in 10 months late in the second period to put the Blues ahead.

Patrick Berglund also scored for the Blues, who endured their second straight disappointing defeat. St. Louis lost 6-4 to the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Andrew Desjardins had a goal for the Sharks.





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