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Last Update on December 21, 2014 06:33 GMT

BLACKHAWKS-BLUE JACKETS

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jack Johnson scored the winner in the ninth round of a shootout and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 39 shots in regulation and eight in the tiebreaker to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Johnson faked a forehand and then jammed in a backhand before Bobrovsky clinched the win by blocking Bryan Bickell's low attempt.

It was the sixth game in a row to go past regulation for the Blue Jackets, who have a nine-game point streak (8-0-1).

Jack Skille and Kevin Connauton scored goals for Columbus. Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith tallied for the Blackhawks, and Corey Crawford made 17 saves.

The Blue Jackets ended a 13-game losing streak (0-10-3) to the Blackhawks.

BROWNS-GIPSON

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Browns have placed safety Tashaun Gipson on injured reserve with a knee injury he sustained four weeks ago.

Gipson was having a Pro Bowl-caliber season, leading the NFL with six interceptions when he hurt his knee on Nov. 23. He had hoped to return, but the Browns put him on IR before traveling to Carolina on Saturday.

Gipson is still tied for the league lead in interceptions.

The 24-year-old finished with 52 tackles in 11 starts and had a 62-yard interceptions return for a touchdown. Gipson led the Browns with five interceptions last season.

Cleveland's defensive secondary has been ravaged by injuries. Star cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder) is questionable for the Panthers while cornerback K'Waun Williams (hamstring) is out.

To take Gipson's roster spot, the Browns promoted linebacker Scott Solomon from the practice squad.

OHIO ST-NORTH CAROLINA

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brice Johnson had 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting and nine rebounds, and No. 24 North Carolina used its stout defense to hold off No. 12 Ohio State for an 82-74 victory Saturday.

Marcus Paige added 16 points for the Tar Heels (8-3), and Kennedy Meeks finished with eight points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots. Meeks and Johnson led North Carolina to a 53-40 rebounding advantage.

Marc Loving made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points for Ohio State (9-2), which had won four in a row. Sam Thompson scored 17, and D'Angelo Russell had 11 points and eight rebounds.

But the Buckeyes shot 35 percent. They were averaging 84.2 points and shooting 53.7 percent coming into the day.

VCU-CINCINNATI

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Melvin Johnson scored 18 points with four of Virginia Commonwealth's 15 3-pointers on Saturday in a 68-47 win over Cincinnati, which was playing without coach Mick Cronin.

The Bearcats (7-3) were dealing with the unexpected absence of their coach, who was diagnosed with an aneurysm that was revealed earlier in the day. A school release did not say where the aneurysm was in the 43-year old Cronin, who is in his ninth season with the team. Associate head coach Larry Davis will run the team in Cronin's absence.

VCU (8-3) held Cincinnati to 33 percent shooting and forced 15 turnovers. The Rams were 15 of 31 from 3-point range.

Cincinnati, which was led by Octavius Ellis' 12 points, had won its last 16 regular-season nonconference home games.

The Rams led 20-9 midway through the first half on the strength of six 3-pointers, two each by Terry Larrier and Jordan Burgess. The Rams had two more 3s in the first half to build a 34-21 lead and then scored the first seven points of the second half to go up by 20.

National Sports News

Last Update on December 22, 2014 02:47 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 this afternoon, 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:

-- 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 win 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 and dealt the Knicks their fifth straight loss.

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Sports Director Clay Hall

WSYX - Clay Hall

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

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