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Bradly Uses Late Surge To Get Past Eastern Illinois

Koch Bar had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Bradley pulled away in overtime after trailing for the better part of the second half to beat Eastern Illinois 87-83 on Tuesday night.
 
Bradley (4-3) opened the overtime period on a 9-2 run to lead 81-74 with 1:17 left. Eastern Illinois (4-3) closed to 81-79 with 42 seconds left, but Bradley made all six of its free-throw attempts from there.
 
The Braves fell behind at the 10:55 mark of the second half and trailed until Darrell Brown made a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left that tied it at 72. The Panthers' Montell Goodwin missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds and Bar secured the rebound to force overtime.
 
JoJo McGlaston added 17 points and Brown scored 14 for Bradley.
 
Demetrius McReynolds led Eastern Illinois with 25 points and Muusa Dama had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

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Illini Beat NC State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Malcolm Hill scored 22 points to lead Illinois to an 88-74 victory over North Carolina State on Tuesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
 
Illinois (5-3) shot 30 of 60 from the field for 50 percent to outlast N.C. State in what was a tightly contested game in which neither team had a double-digit lead until the Illini led 67-57 with about eight minutes left.
The Wolfpack held a 33-32 edge at the half but Illinois came out firing, shooting 68 percent in the second half and creating large leads that the Wolfpack could not overcome.
 
The Illini bench outscored the Wolfpack's 39-22 and was led by Leron Black, who scored 15 points and brought in eight rebounds.
 
Torin Dorn scored 17 points to lead N.C. State (5-2), which shot 53 percent from the field.
 
Despite the hot shooting, the Wolfpack committed 19 turnovers, which prevented the offense to consistently produce and resulted in 17 Illinois points.

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Panik Leads Blackhawks Past Panthers

Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin scored in a shootout, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Florida 2-1 on Tuesday night in the Panthers' first game since Tom Rowe took over as interim coach.
 
Panik also scored in regulation and Corey Crawford made 38 saves in Chicago's first home game in 16 days. The Blackhawks went 3-3-1 on their 12-day circus trip.
 
Panarin beat Roberto Luongo with a slick backhand in the second round of the shootout. After Aleksander Barkov was stopped by Crawford at the other end, Panik converted his chance with a well-placed wrist shot past Luongo on the glove side.
 
Florida returned to the ice for the first time since coach Gerard Gallant was fired after a 3-2 loss at Carolina on Sunday night. Jaromir Jagr scored in the third period and Luongo made 32 saves, but the Panthers lost for the third time in four games.

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Michigan's Jabril Peppers Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year

Michigan's Jabrill Peppers has been named the Big Ten's defensive player of the year as well as top linebacker and return specialist in a vote of coaches and media.
 
Peppers is third in the Big Ten with 16 tackles for loss, and he helped lead a unit that ranks second in the nation in total defense, scoring defense and red-zone defense. The Wolverines also lead the country in passing yards defense and third-down defense. Peppers leads the conference with a 25.8-yard punt return average.
 
Other award winners announced Tuesday: Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State, defensive lineman of the year; Jourdan Lewis, Michigan, defensive back of the year; Emmit Carpenter, Minnesota, kicker of the year; Cameron Johnston, Ohio State, punter of the year.
 
Paul Chryst of Wisconsin was the coaches' selection for coach of the year; Penn State's James Franklin was the media's choice.

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Jay, Cubs Agree To One-Year Deal

The Chicago Cubs and outfielder Jon Jay have agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract, likely signaling the end of Dexter Fowler's time with the World Series champions.
 
Jay batted .291 with two homers and 26 RBIs in 90 games with San Diego last season. He made his major league debut with St. Louis in 2010 and is a .287 hitter in 847 career games over seven seasons.
 
The Cubs have an opening in center after Fowler turned down a $17.2 million qualifying offer two weeks ago. Fowler also rejected a qualifying offer from Chicago last November and then returned to the Cubs during spring training, but that same scenario seems even less likely this time around.
 
Jay could platoon in center with righty-hitting Albert Almora Jr., or manager Joe Maddon could move Jason Heyward over from right for Chicago's first title defense since it won it all in 1908.
 
The Cubs announced the deal with Jay on Tuesday.

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Washington In Top 4 in Latest CFP Rankings, Michigan Out

The penultimate 2016 College Football Playoff Rankings were released Tuesday night with reverberations for the top 25 teams in the nation following Ohio State's come-from-behind, double-overtime win against Michigan on Saturday.
 
Though the Wolverines only fell two spots to No. 5, they are in position to potentially be passed by either new No. 6 Wisconsin or No. 7 Penn State, which will go head-to-head in the Big Ten title game on Saturday night. The Buckeyes appear locked in to the top four at this time, though conference title game wins by Clemson (ACC) on Saturday and/or Washington (Pac-12) on Friday could change the order of the top four.
 
Should the Tigers or Huskies lose their respective games, the door would then open for a second Big Ten team to get in, be it the Wolverines, Badgers or Nittany Lions.
 
Appearing to be on the outside looking in are No. 8 Colorado, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 10 Oklahoma State. The two Big 12 teams are ranked far too low to make a big enough jump following their de facto conference title game on Saturday.

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Mets, Cespedes Agree on Long-Term Deal

Free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Mets have agreed to stay together, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
 
Rosenthal reports the deal is for four years at $110-million.
 
Rosenthal and others also reports that Cespedes has full no-trade protection which, again, is pretty standard at this juncture.
 
No two ways about this, it's a huge win for the Mets. Bringing back Cespedes after he opted out of his three-year, $75 million deal was their top priority this offseason.
 
Cespedes, 31, hit .280/.354/.530 with 25 doubles, 31 homers and 86 RBI last season, his first full campaign in New York. He only managed 132 games due to injury, limiting his HR and RBI totals. 
 
Cespedes was also with the Mets down the stretch in 2015 after being traded from the Tigers in front of the deadline. He immediately became a fan favorite as he started off insanely hot and then helped spur the Mets to their first World Series since 2000. 
 
With Cespedes off the market, the top free-agent outfielders are Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond, Jose Bautista (though he may need to DH rather soon, if not immediately) and Carlos Gomez. Mark Trumbo needs to be a DH and we could say the same for Carlos Beltran.

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Clinton Maroons Fall to Tri-Valley

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Tri-Valley Vikings with a final score of 55-44 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were lead by Senior Peyton McCubbin, with a total of 13 points. Senior Noah Griffin was named the Stephen York Country Financial Player of the Game, with a total of 12 points.
 
Tri-Valley was lead by Brock Ward with a total of 15 points, and Clayton Leipold added 13 points.
 
With the loss, the Maroons fall to 3-2.
 
Tune in Friday, December 10th as the Clinton Maroons take on Rochester. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

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Rodgers' Big Game Leads Packers Over Eagles

Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes to Davante Adams and the Green Bay Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-13 Monday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
 
Rodgers had 313 yards passing and Adams had 113 yards receiving to help send Philadelphia (5-6) to its first home loss this season.
The Packers (5-6) kept their sinking playoff hopes alive but they're still two games behind the Lions (7-4) in the NFC North.
 
Carson Wentz had 254 yards passing, ran for a score and threw an interception. The last-place Eagles are 2-6 since a 3-0 start.
 
Rodgers came out firing and led the Packers on consecutive touchdown drives to start the game. Rodgers extended the opening drive by running twice for 25 yards and tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Adams for a 7-0 lead.
 
After the Eagles answered on Wentz's 1-yard TD run , Rodgers led another 75-yard scoring drive. He threw a perfect 20-yard TD pass to Adams to give the Packers a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Nolan Carroll had excellent coverage on the play, but Rodgers put the ball in a tight spot and hit Adams in stride in the back of the end zone.
 
Aaron Ripkowski's 1-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter extended Green Bay's lead to 24-13.
 
Philadelphia's Caleb Sturgis kicked field goals of 48 and 50 yards while Green Bay's Mason Crosby connected from 33 and 32 yards.
 
The Packers host the Texans (6-5) Sunday. 
 

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Bears Lose LB Trevathan for Season

Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured right patellar tendon.
 
Trevathan was injured in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 27-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
 
Coach John Fox said Trevathan will go on injured reserve. He becomes the team's 15th player on injured reserve, although it's possible cornerback Kyle Fuller or wide receiver Kevin White could come off of IR at some point this season.
 
Trevathan was blocked in the backfield behind the play, planted and suffered the knee injury.
 
Two years ago while with Denver, Trevathan suffered a season-ending knee injury that required surgery, but it was to his left knee.
 
John Timu replaced Trevathan in the lineup Sunday and likely will continue as his replacement.
 

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Blues Hang On For Win Over Stars

Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 3:24 of overtime to lift the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night. Tarasenko took a pass from Jori Lehtera and fired a wrist shot past Stars goalie Antti Niemi for 10th of the season and team-leading 23rd point.
 
The Stars had tied it with 50 seconds left in the third period on defenseman Jamie Oleksiak's second goal of the game.
On the tying goal, Dallas had an extra skater with Niemi pulled and Oleksiak sent the puck at the net from the left point and it got past Blues goalie Jake Allen for his fourth career goal - third against St. Louis.
 
Robby Fabbri, Alex Pietrangelo and David Perron also scored for St. Louis, and Allen finished with 18 saves.
 
Jamie Benn had the Stars' other goal and Niemi stopped 27 shots.
 
The Blues took a 3-2 lead with 6:48 remaining as Perron took a pass from Jaden Schwartz and beat Niemi. Perron has the longest active point-scoring streak in the NHL at eight games (three goals, eight assists).
 
The Blues got on the scoreboard first with 6:24 left in the first period when Fabbri took a pass from Robert Bortuzzo in the right circle and sent a low wrist shot past Niemi. It was Fabbri's first goal in six games.
 
Pietrangelo poked in a loose puck under the Niemi's pad at 4:17 of the second period for a power-play goal to make it 2-0. Patrick Berglund redirected the shot by Pietrangelo but Niemi never completely covered it. Charging the net, Pietrangelo pounced and knocked it in.
 
The Blues host Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

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Westbrook Leads OKC Over Knicks

Russell Westbrook raised his averages to 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds through more than a month of play with his NBA-leading eighth triple-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 112-103 on Monday night.
Westbrook had his third straight triple-double and the 45th of his career and nearly did it by halftime, finishing with 27 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists. He had 14 points, 10 boards and nine assists at the break.
 
Enes Kanter added a season-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Steven Adams had 14 points and 10 boards as the Thunder outrebounded the Knicks 53-40.
 
Derrick Rose scored a season-best 30 points, but the Knicks had their six-game home winning streak snapped. Kristaps Porzingis added 21 points and Carmelo Anthony had 18, but shot just 4 for 19.

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Clinton Lady Maroons Fall to Tolono Unity Lady Rockets

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Tolono Unity Lady Rockets by a score of 67-44 on Monday night. The Lady Maroons were led by junior Alyssa Saulsberry with 17 points. Saulsberry was named the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game. Sophomore Savannah Moore also chipped in with 11 points.

The Lady Rockets were led by senior Harlie Duncan with 19 points.

 

With the loss the Lady Maroons fall to 2-3 on the season, and the Lady Rockets improve to 4-1.

 

Tune in Thursday, December 8, as the Lady Maroons take on the Central A&M Lady Raiders.You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Titans Beat Bears; Injuries Continue To Mount for Chicago; Packers At Philadelphia for MNF

Marcus Mariota threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tennessee Titans hung on to beat the depleted Chicago Bears 27-21 on Sunday.
 
The Titans (6-6) gave their playoff hopes a boost, though they watched as Chicago (2-9) cut a 20-point lead to six in the fourth quarter.
 
Matt Barkley, starting for the injured Jay Cutler, led the late surge. The Bears had a first down at the Tennessee 7 in the final minute when Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in the end zone on first down. Barkley's next three attempts fell incomplete, preserving the win for Tennessee.
 
The Titans moved one-half game out of first place in the AFC South when Houston lost to San Diego.
 
Mariota, putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Titans quarterback, came through with another solid performance. The second-year pro completed 15 of 23 passes.
 
Rishard Matthews added 64 yards receiving, including a diving touchdown grab near the end of the first half. Delanie Walker had three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, and the Titans headed into their bye on a winning note after losing at Indianapolis last week.
 
With Cutler nursing a right shoulder injury, the Bears were forced to give Barkley his first career start. The former Southern California star struggled before coming on strong down the stretch, going 28 for 54 for 316 yards with the first three touchdowns of his career and two interceptions.
 
Besides Cutler, the Bears also held out LB Leonard Floyd (concussion) and G Josh Sitton (ankle). WR Alshon Jeffery served the second game of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancers, while LB Jerrell Freeman served his first game after being suspended on Monday.
 
Linebacker Danny Trevathan suffered a right knee injury late in Sunday's 27-21 loss and coach John Fox said it was serious.
 
Trevathan was injured away from the ball when the Titans handed off to Derrick Henry on second-and-5 at their 22 with just under three minutes remaining. Trevathan stayed down clutching his right leg and was tended to for several minutes before being helped off the field.
 
It was the latest injury for a team that's been hit hard all year. Chicago was missing a long list of players, including quarterback Jay Cutler.
 
Even so, the Bears cut a 20-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter.
 
The Bears will host San Francisco on Sunday.
 
>>Packers on Monday Night Football
 
Monday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia could serve as an elimination game. 
 
The Green Bay Packers have lost four in a row to plunge to 4-6 and 14th place in the NFC playoff race. Even with an upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, they would remain two games behind the division-leading Lions after their Thanksgiving Day win over Minnesota.
The Eagles have crashed back to Earth with losses in five of their last seven games. At 5-5, they are in ninth place in the NFC and trail Washington (6-3-1) for the final NFC wild-card spot.
 
For the Packers, this is unexpected territory as they join New England as the only teams to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons.
 
The Packers had seven starters out by the end of the Washington game, including both starting cornerbacks and both starting inside linebackers. With the injuries to Jake Ryan (ankle) and Blake Martinez (knee) at inside linebacker, the Packers might be forced to move Clay Matthews back inside, where he played the previous season-and-a-half.
 
There's a chance the Packers could get back second-year cornerback Damarious Randall, who's missed the past five games following groin surgery, but veteran Sam Shields will spend the rest of the season on injured reserve with a concussion.

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Illinois State Gets By D-II Ferris State

Phil Fayne and Deontae Hawkins combined for 43 points and Illinois State led wire-to-wire to beat Division II Ferris State, 81-67 on Sunday.
 
The Redbirds opened with an 8-0 run. While they never trailed they never really put Ferris State away.
The Bulldogs trailed by five at intermission_42-37- and stayed within single digits until Paris Lee hit two free throws with 11:22 left to give Illinois State a 59-48 advantage.
 
Fayne was 9 of 16 from the field for 22 points. Hawkins was 8 of 12, including 2 of 4 from distance, to finish with 21. Collectively the Redbirds were 31 of 68 (45.6 percent) from the field, including 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.
 
Drew Cushingberry scored 20 points to lead Ferris State, which shot 23 of 54 from the floor (42.6 percent) and helped keep the game close by hitting 10 of 24 41.7 percent) from distance.

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Late Rally By Central Arkansas Eliminates ISU From FCS Playoffs

Antwon Wells scored on a 4-yard run with 1:28 to play and Central Arkansas defeated Illinois State 31-24 on Saturday in the first round of the FCS playoffs.
 
The Bears (10-2) scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to take a 24-17 lead. The Redbirds (6-6) tied it when Jake Kolbe hooked up with Anthony Warrum for a 55-yard touchdown with 6:22 remaining.
On the ensuing drive Central Arkansas pushed beyond midfield before Patrick Ponder's 41-yard punt pinned Illinois State on its 1. The Redbirds were forced to punt from their 3. On the next play Wells broke free on a short pass from Hayden Hildebrand for a 39-yard gain that led to the winning touchdown on the next snap.
 
Central Arkansas plays at No. 2 seed Eastern Washington (10-1) next Saturday.
 
Illinois State led 17-7 at the half but George Odum blocked a punt that Jakari Dillard returned 4 yards for a score in the first minute of the fourth quarter to start the Bears' comeback.
 
Hildebrand threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns to Desmond Smith.
 
Warrum caught both of Kolb's scoring passing and became the first ISU receiver with two 1,000-yard seasons.

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Illinois Ends Season With Loss to Northwestern

Justin Jackson ran his way into the Northwestern record books in just three seasons and could finish his career as the school's all-time leading rusher.
 
Still, he is content right now to share the running back position with emerging newcomer John Moten.
 
Jackson rushed for 173 yards and three touchdowns, Moten added 128 yards and two touchdowns and Northwestern became bowl eligible with a 42-21 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
 
Clayton Thorson completed 13 of 20 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown as the Wildcats improved to 6-6 and 5-4 in the Big Ten.
 
Wes Lunt completed 28 of 54 passes for 377 yards and two touchdowns (with one interception) for Illinois (3-9, 2-7), which closed out its first season under coach Lovie Smith with three straight losses.
 
>>Michigan Drops Only Two Spots in Coaches Poll
 
Michigan is still a top-six team in college football, according to the Coaches Poll.
 
The Wolverines dropped just two spots, from No. 4 to No. 6, following a contested 30-27 double-overtime loss to Ohio State, which remains at No. 2 in the college football rankings. 
The Wolverines are 10-2 on the year, did not win the Big Ten East and are essentially out of the College Football Playoff conversation -- unless the CFP Selection Committee opts to get strange.
 
Speaking of the Big Ten East, champion Penn State is No. 8 in the latest poll while Big Ten West champ Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan earlier in the year, sits at No. 5. That puts four Big Ten teams in the top eight.
 
Alabama is still the unanimous No. 1 and Clemson and Washington, which will play for the ACC and Pac-12 titles, respectively, next week, round out the top four.
 
The results of Week 13 have shuffled the top of the AP Top 25. While Alabama and Ohio State held at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, there's a new No. 3 and No. 4 with Clemson and Washington moving into those slots.
 
Depending on the outcomes of conference championship week, there's a real possibility that's what the playoff field will look like.
 
Clemson moves up after beating in-state rival South Carolina 56-7, while Washington rises after beating Washington State 45-17 in the Apple Cup.
Another reason those two teams moved up? Michigan fell two spots, just like in the Coaches Poll, after losing in double overtime to Ohio State. 
 
However, unlike the Coaches Poll, the Wolverines remain ranked ahead of Wisconsin.
 
New teams cracking the latest top 25 are Stanford, Virginia Tech, Navy, Iowa, South Florida and Pitt.

 

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Pacers Drop Clippers

Glenn Robinson III and Myles Turner each scored 17 points and the Pacers forced 20 turnovers in a 91-70 victory Sunday night over the Clippers, who have lost two in a row for the first time this season.
 
The Pacers have forced at least 20 turnovers seven times this season and this time it came while the Clippers tried to bounce back from a 108-97 loss in Detroit on Friday.
 
Blake Griffin had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Chris Paul added 13 points. The Clippers shot just 31.4 percent from the field, were 4 of 24 from 3-point range, and couldn't get going offensively for the second straight game.
 
Al Jefferson and Rodney Stuckey created a spark off the bench for the Pacers. Jefferson finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Stuckey had 12 points to help Indiana win two straight for just the second time this season.
 
Indiana went on a 12-2 run at the start of the second half and took a 62-44 lead after Robinson's 3-pointer with 6:48 left in the third quarter.
 
Monta Ellis made a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter and Jefferson scored to put the Pacers ahead 79-58 with 10:49 to play.
 
With All-Star forward Paul George on the bench nursing a sore left ankle for the second straight game, Indiana got off to a slow start, but settled in on defense and forced the Clippers to turn it over 11 times in the first quarter.
 
Pacers travel to Portland Wednesday, where Indiana hasn't won since November 2007.

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Clinton Maroons Defeat LeRoy

The Clinton Maroons defeated the LeRoy Panthers by a score of 75-59 on Friday night. The Maroons were led by senior Peyton McCubbin with 17 points. Junior Austin Baker also chipped in with 16 points.

 

The Panthers were led by Noah Perry with 24 points and Brett Egan added 21 points.

 

With the win the Maroons improve to 2-1 on the season, and the Panthers fall to 1-2.

 

Tune in Tuesday, November 29, as the Maroons take on Tri-Valley. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Lions beat Vikings 16-13, have sole possession of 1st place

Darius Slay returned the interception 13 yards with 30 seconds left to set up Matt Prater's 40-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Lions to a 16-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday.
 
The Lions (7-4) have won six of seven, including two against Minnesota this month and four of the wins have come on Prater's field goals, despite trailing in the fourth quarter of every game this season.
 
Detroit extended its NFL record of having its first 11 games decided by seven or fewer points.
 
The Vikings (6-5) have lost five of six, plummeting out of first place after surging to the top of the division by winning their first five games.
 
In a week, Minnesota will host the NFC-leading Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. Detroit gets an extended break before playing Dec. 4 at New Orleans.
 

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Rookies lead Cowboys to 10th straight, 31-26 over Redskins

Dak Prescott accounted for two touchdowns , Ezekiel Elliott ran for a pair of scores and the Cowboys extended their franchise regular-season record with a 10th straight victory, beating the Redskins 31-26 on Thursday.
Prescott tied Don Meredith's club quarterback record from 50 years ago with his fifth rushing TD and the NFL-leading Cowboys (10-1) won despite 449 yards passing and three touchdowns from Kirk Cousins, the first Redskins quarterback with two 400-yard games in a season.
 
The Redskins (6-4-1) got swept by their NFC East rival, and the defending division champions fell 3 1/2 games behind Dallas with five games left. It was their seventh loss in eight tries on Thanksgiving against Cowboys, who had never won more than eight straight in the regular season.
 
After getting 43 yards on the first Dallas possession, Elliott had just 13 yards before a 21-yarder to start Dallas' last TD drive. It was the second straight week he finished with 97 yards after some difficulty in the first half.
 
The Cowboys had an eight-game streak with at least 400 yards snapped, finishing with 353. But Dallas answered with touchdowns each time the Redskins got within a score on Cousins' passes of 5 yards to Jordan Reed and 67 yards to DeSean Jackson , who had 118 yards receiving.
 
Cousins took the Washington career lead with his third 400-yard game and became the first Redskins quarterback with consecutive 350-yard games since Jay Schroeder in 1986. He had 375 last week against Green Bay.
 
Reed had 10 catches for 95 yards after missing most of the first half when he injured his left shoulder leaping for a pass over his head in the end zone.
 
Prescott was 17 of 24 for a season-low 195 yards and one touchdown, a toe-tapper to Terrance Williams . He had eight carries for 39 yards, including a career-long 18-yarder. Dez Bryant led Dallas with 72 yards on five catches.

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Brown scores 3 TDs for Steelers in 28-7 win over Colts

Antonio Brown hauled in three touchdown catches of more than 20 yards to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 28-7 victory over a depleted Colts team that was missing star quarterback Andrew Luck.
Brown took full advantage of his chances by scoring on three of his five catches and finishing with 91 yards, two short of joining Hines Ward as the only receivers in franchise history with four straight 1,000-yard seasons.
 
Brown has 23 receptions for 342 yards and seven TDs in three career games against the Colts.
 
The Steelers built a 21-7 lead by scoring touchdowns on each of their first three possessions - a 5-yard run from Le'Veon Bell, and touchdown catches by Brown of 25 and 33 yards.
 
Indy's only score came on a 5-yard TD pass from Tolzien to Donte Moncrief early in the second quarter, a play set up by the first completion of Pat McAfee's career on a fake punt.
 
The Colts (5-6) had two chances to trim the deficit but Tolzien was stopped twice on third-down runs at the 1-yard line, and the Steelers forced incompletions on both fourth-down plays.
Bell ran 23 times for 120 yards.
Tolzien finished 22 of 36 for 205 yards with one TD and two interceptions.
 
Steelers: Will try to extend their winning streak to three Dec. 4 when the New York Giants visit.
Colts: Hope to have Luck back in the lineup when they visit the New York Jets on Dec. 5.

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No. 19 West Virginia beat Illinois 89-57 in Tip-Off

Nathan Adrian had 13 points and eight rebounds in No. 19 West Virginia's 89-57 victory over Illinois on Thursday in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center.
 
Jevon Carter added 10 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists for the Mountaineers (4-0). They will face Temple in the title game Friday. The Owls beat No. 25 Florida State 89-86.
 
Esa Ahmad and Elijah Macon each had nine points, and Teyvon Myers and Daxter Miles Jr. added eight each. Michael Finke led Illinois (4-2) with 13 points, and Mike Thorne Jr. had 12.

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Illinois Wraps Up Season at Northwestern

The first season under head coach Lovie Smith provided moments of inspiration for the Illinois Fighting Illini but will likely go down as a disappointment as Illinois heads to Evanston Sunday to take on Northwestern.
The Illini off a shutout loss to Iowa last Saturday (28-0) at Memorial Stadium, the 3-8 Illini will try to defeat their in-state rivals.
 
Last year, the school announced an agreement to play the games when Illinois hosts Northwestern at Soldier Field in Chicago, but that was scratched earlier this season under first year athletic director Josh Whitman.
 
Northwestern has had a rocky year.
 
Starting the season 0-2, Northwestern lost to Western Michigan then FCS Illinois State. 
 
The Wildcats have beaten Iowa on the road this year. 
 
Northwestern is 5-6 on the season while Illinois is 3-8.
 
Game time Saturday is 11 am and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.

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Maroa-Forsyth, Decatur St. Teresa at State Finals Today

The Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs and Maroa-Forsyth Trojans will go for state titles today at Champaign's Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs will square off at 11 am in the Class 1A final against Forreston. 
 
Bulldogs star sophomore runningback Jacardia Wright scored 43 touchdowns this year, 39 on the ground and ate up 2485 yards.
 
Meanwhile, quarterback Ryan Fyke accounted for 2074 yards through the air with 25 touchdowns to just three interceptions. 
 
Forreston features a prolific run game, with a line that averages 226 pounds up front and four backs with over 600 yards for the season. Led by AJ Christensen and his 1109 yards and 11.1 yards-per-carry, Gavin Fuchs just missed 1000 yards with 989 totals yards on just 84 carries. 
 
Mat Akins ran for 721 yards and Garrett Baortscher accounted for 603 yards.
 
This is St. Ts first trip to the state finals since 1986.
 
For the Trojans of Maroa-Forsyth, they will face off against Dee-Mack from the Heart of Illinois Conference. 
The Trojans feature a balanced offense as they ran for just short of 3-thousand yards and thre for nearly 25-hundred yards. 
 
Quarterback Tyler Ray threw for 32 touchdowns to just 6 picks. 
 
Runningback Jaxon Nelson ran for 1119 yards and 15 scores while Deondre Gregory ran for 772 yards and eight touchdowns. 
 
The Chiefs of Dee-Mack are a very run oriented offense. 
 
Accumulating 4746 yards on the ground this year, senior tailback Jared Reese ran for almost 2-thousand yards this year (1951) with 29 touchdowns. 
 
Tailback Jacob Caricle ran for 850 yards and Preston Lester accounted for 788 yards. 
 
In 89 attempts, quarterback Derek Baker threw for 14 touchdowns to just three interceptions and accounted for 960 yards through the air. 
 
Both teams enter action today at 12-1 overall.
 
This will be the second title game for Dee-Mack, their last title game appearance coming back in 1987 where they fell to Marian Woodstock. 
 
Since 2006 under head coach Josh Jostes, this will the Trojans sixth appearance in the state title game. 

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Cowboys Host Redskins in Pivotal Thanksgiving Matchup

The Dallas Cowboys are the talk of the NFL right now, racing out to the league's best record and a club-record winning streak behind pair of dynamic offensive rookies.

 

The Cowboys (9-1) haven't lost since the season opener way back on Sept. 11. It's a start that has everyone's attention, given the prominence of the franchise and the circumstances surrounding its unexpected dominance.

 

And while Dallas is enjoying its lofty perch atop the league standings, the Cowboys are quite aware of what awaits Thanksgiving against longtime rival Washington at AT&T Stadium.

 

The defending NFC East champion Redskins (6-3-1) are off to one of their best starts in years and are looking for revenge after losing to Dallas earlier this season.

 

Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott have electrified the Cowboys' attack. Prescott has accounted for 21 touchdowns -- 17 passing and four rushing -- and Elliott leads the league in rushing with 1,102 yards.

 

Dallas has piled up at least 400 yards of total offense in eight consecutive games, tying New England (2007) and Denver (2013) for the longest single-season streaks in NFL history.

 

Washington is no slouch offensively behind Kirk Cousins. The Redskins walloped Green Bay 42-24 on Sunday, scoring the second-most points since Jay Gruden became head coach in 2014.

 

With 515 total yards against the Packers, Washington has hit at least 500 yards twice this season. That ties the most in a single campaign, dating back to 1950.

 

Dallas is 29-18-1 all-time on Thanksgiving and is aiming to snap a two-game losing streak on Turkey Day.

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Vikings, Lions meet for second time this month

The Minnesota Vikings learned the hard way earlier this month about the Detroit Lions' late-game prowess. The Vikings would prefer to give themselves a little more elbow room in the rematch on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit.

 

The Lions stole a win in Minnesota on Nov. 6 after the Vikings took the lead with 23 seconds remaining in regulation. A 58-yard Matt Prater field goal sent the game into overtime, and Detroit completed the comeback with a 28-yard Matthew Stafford-to-Golden Tate pass play.

 

That 22-16 overtime victory is the reason why the NFC North teams are tied for first place at 6-4. Detroit has staged a fourth-quarter comeback in all of its wins.

 

The last time the teams met on Thanksgiving Day was 1995, when the Lions pulled out a wild 44-38 victory.

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Jones, Ward lead Sharks to over Blackhawks 2-1

Joe Pavelski figured if the extra goal wasn't going to come, then the Sharks needed extra defense. Martin Jones happily obliged.

 

Logan Couture and Joel Ward scored in the first period and San Jose gave the Chicago Blackhawks their second straight loss with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night.

 

Artemi Panarin scored for the Blackhawks, who have back-to-back losses for the first time since opening the season 0-2. They also fell to the Oilers 5-0 on Monday night.

 

Jones, who had his 15th career shutout Monday, stopped 33 shots for his 10th win of the year.

 

Corey Crawford saved 33 shots for the Blackhawks, who entered with points in 10 of their last 12 games against San Jose.

 

The Blackhawks will complete their seven-game trip with back-to-back games at the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

 

The Sharks will continue their homestand with a game against the New York Islanders on Friday.

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Ovechkin's 16th hat trick sends Caps to 4-3 win over Blues

Alex Ovechkin stretched out his arms in celebration, teammates mobbed him along the boards and jubilant fans launched their hats onto the ice.

 

This was the performance they had waited to see.

 

Ovechkin scored his first hat trick this season and 16th of his 10-year NHL career to lead the Washington Capitals over the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Wednesday night.

 

In the process, the three-time MVP and six-time goal-scoring champ showed the attitude that echoed his best seasons.

 

The 31-year-old Ovechkin played fewer than 16 minutes but had a goal in each period to move one hat trick ahead of Florida's Jaromir Jagr for the most among active players.

 

Ovechkin's second multi-goal game this season also propelled the Capitals to their third win through four games of a five-game homestand.

 

Ovechkin made it 2-0 in the second when he took John Carlson's cross-ice feed and fired a slap shot from a similar spot inside the left faceoff circle off the goalie's blocker.

 

The Blues begin a five-game homestand against Minnesota on Saturday.

 

Capitals will close a five-game homestand Friday against Buffalo.

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Spieth wins second Australian Open in three years

At the end of 2014, Jordan Spieth traveled to Australia to play in the Australian Open. It was a curious move for the one-time PGA Tour winner that turned out to be a launching pad for one of the great seasons in American golf history in 2015. Spieth won Down Under and ending up winning the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open.

 

Now we might have a repeat on our hands because Spieth took the 2016 Australian Open in a playoff over Cameron Smith and Ash Hall. Speith shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday to get into the playoff before making birdie on the first playoff hole for the win. His scores for the week were 69, 70, 68 and 69. His consistency shined on a week when low numbers were available.

 

In the final round, it was a birdie on No. 16 (a long one) that got him hunting at 12 under. Spieth played in the penultimate group and third-round leader Geoff Ogilvy faltered late with a double-bogey at the same 16th Spieth birdied.

 

Then par saves at Nos. 17 and 18 propelled Spieth into the playoff. It was vintage Spieth (if a 23-year-old can do something "vintage"). It was not pretty, but it was effective. And he held a trophy at the end of the day.

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Bradley Rallies Past Wofford

JoJo McGlaston scored 14 points and Bradley rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat Wofford 70-62 on Tuesday in a consolation bracket game at the Gulf Coast Showcase.
 
Luuk Van Bree made consecutive 3-pointers, his only field goals of the game, to give Bradley a 64-62 lead with 2:28 to go. On its next possession, Bradley missed two shots but retained possession, eventually get two free throws from Darrell Brown. A block on the other end and a dunk by McGlaston sealed the outcome.
 
Brown and Antoine Pittman added 11 points each and Koch Bar had 10 rebounds to go with nine points for the Braves (3-2).
 
Fletcher Mcgee had 15 points, Eric Garcia 12 points and five assists and Ryan Sawvell 10 points and nine rebounds for the Terriers (1-3).

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Nuggets Beat Bulls

Rookie Jamal Murray scored a season-high 24 points, Will Barton hit two free throws with 9.5 seconds left and the Denver Nuggets beat the Chicago Bulls 110-107 on Tuesday night.
 
It was Denver's 10th straight home win over the Bulls and its 16th in the last 17 meetings at Pepsi Center.
 
Butler had 35 points and eight rebounds for Chicago, which last won in Denver on Feb. 8, 2006. Dwyane Wade had 22 points after sitting out Sunday's game against the Lakers.
 
The Nuggets used a 22-0 run at the start of the second quarter to take a 41-31 lead. Murray had 15 of his 17 first half points in the period and Wilson Chandler scored 12 of his 16 in the second quarter.
 
The game was tied when Barton was fouled on a drive to the basket, and he hit two free throws left to give Denver a 109-107 lead. Isaiah Cannon shot an airball on a 3-point attempt and the Nuggets got the ball.

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CFP Top Four Remain Unchanged

A Saturday filled with chalk saw the top four teams in the College Football Playoff Rankings all win, leaving little room for movement in the fourth edition of the rankings released Tuesday.
 
The spot able to be filled was just outside the top four as as Houston upset Louisville 36-10 last Thursday. Washington moved up to No. 5 and Wisconsin took the last spot in the "first two out" at No. 6.
 
It is not surprising that there are no changes at the top of the rankings this week. 
 
The top 10 teams in this week's rankings are in the exact same order as they were last week with the exception of Louisville.
 
In fact, the highest-rated team in the rankings that jumped over other teams that won is No. 15 Florida.

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Blues Double-Up Bruins

Robert Bortuzzo and Paul Stastny scored 2:12 apart in the second and Jake Allen had 39 saves, helping the Blues beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday night despite getting just seven shots on net in the first 20 minutes
 
The Blues won their fourth straight and put an end to a four-game road losing streak.
 
Jori Lehtera scored twice for St. Louis, including a shot into an empty net with 1:16 left just after Allen stopped a one-timer to preserve the lead. Colton Parayko and Patrik Berglund each had two assists.
 
Longtime Blues captain David Backes scored for Boston in his first game against his former club, putting the Bruins up 1-0 early in the first with the 20,000th goal in franchise history. Montreal is the only other NHL team with 20,000 goals.
 
Dominic Moore also scored for the Bruins, who played much of the last two periods without defenseman Zdeno Chara.
 
The Blues are at Washington on tonight, wrapping up a quick visit to the East Coast with back-to-back games.

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HS BBALL: Stokowski, Fisher Lead Monticello Past Riverton

Luke Stokowski and Calvin Fisher recorded double-doubles and Monticello used a strong defensive effort to get by Riverton 36-25 in a season opening win Tuesday night in Riverton. Stokowski had 15 points and 16 rebounds and Fisher added 13 points and 10 boards and dished out five assists. It wasn't pretty as Monticello shot just 33-percent from the floor and 12-for-21 from the free throw line. Riverton’s Keegan Ramsey led the way with 12 points. The Sages take next ten days off before returning to action Friday, December 2 when they host Bismarck-Henning at Monticello High School. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons Fall to Panthers

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Leroy Panthers by a final score of 41-32 on Tuesday night. The Maroons were lead by Junior Madi Filkin with a total of 10 points. Filkin was named the Stephen York Country Financial Player of the Game. Junior Alyssa Saulsberry also chipped in with a total of 5 points.
 
The Panthers were lead by Sophomore Cara Levingston with a total of 13 points against the Maroons.
 
Tune in Monday, November 28th as the Maroons take on Tolono Unity. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

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Sages Open Basketball Season Tonight

The Monticello Sages boys basketball team opens their 2016-17 campaign tonight when the travel to Riverton to take on the Hawks.
 
The Sages are coming off a 17-9 campaign in 2015-16 where they reached a sectional semi-final.
The Sages graduated leading scorers Zach Fisher and Noah Freeman, and will turn to returning senior starter Isiah Florey along with juniors Luke Stokowski and Calvin Fisher. 
 
With a backcourt of 6'5, 6'4, and 6'3, the Sages will boast a lot of size, but the production of Fisher and Freeman from beyond the arc will be a big question mark if the Sages have success this season.
 
Coach Kevin Roy enters his 10th season at the helm of the boys basketball program. 18 wins shy of 200 career victories, Monticello certainly has a chance to get him there this season.
 
Hear tonight's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Illinois, Illinois State Lose

Keon Johnson scored 38 points and Winthrop upset Illinois 84-80 in overtime on Monday night.
 
Johnson, who missed Friday's game against Florida State due to a foot injury, helped Winthrop win its first-ever matchup against Illinois. The Eagles held the lead for only 29 seconds before forcing overtime.
Tevin Prescott had two dunks and Johnson made a layup during a 6-2 run to open the extra period and Winthrop (3-1) led the rest of the way.
 
The Illini pulled within two on three occasions in the final 1:23, but Johnson made a jumper and Bjorn Broman and Prescott each made two free throws to hold off Illinois.
 
The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field and 45 percent (10 of 22) from 3-point range.
 
Michael Finke led the Illini (4-1) with 18 points, including six in overtime.
 
The Winthrop bench, including Johnson, outscored the Illini reserves 54-18.
 
>>Texas Christian Handles Illinois State
 
Vladimir Brodziansky scored 11 straight points late in the second half and Jaylen Fisher hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer in the final minute as TCU defeated Illinois State 80-71 on Monday.
 
Brodziansky finished with 24 points on 7-of-8 shooting for the Horned Frogs (4-0), keeping new coach Jamie Dixon undefeated at his alma mater. The 4-0 record is the best start for any first-year coach in TCU history.
 
MiKyle McIntosh had 20 points and nine rebounds for Illinois State (1-1).
 
Guard Kenrich Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds for TCU in his first start after missing all of last season with a knee injury. He played 20 minutes Friday in his first action back.
 
The Redbirds have three straight home games on the schedule, beginning Sunday against Ferris State, followed by matchups with IUPUI and New Mexico.

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Oilers Thump Blackhawks

Leon Draisaitl scored twice and Cam Talbot made 31 saves for his third shutout of the season, helping the Edmonton Oilers beat the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks 5-0 on Monday night.
Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera and Anton Slepyshev also scored for the Oilers.
 
Corey Crawford made 22 saves in the loss as the Blackhawks had a two-game winning streak snapped.
 
Teenage captain Connor McDavid had two assists for Edmonton. The 19-year-old set up a goal 2:39 in by skating the length of the ice before centering the puck for Klefbom, who blasted a shot past Crawford.
 
McDavid also assisted late in the first when Draisaitl tipped in Klefbom's shot from the point on a power play for a 2-0 lead.

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Bears LB Freeman Suspended For PED Violation

Linebacker Jerrell Freeman on Monday became the second Chicago Bears player suspended for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy in two weeks.
Freeman was suspended for four weeks and is eligible to return to practice Dec. 19 to prepare for the Dec. 24 home game against the Washington Redskins. Freeman, in his first year in Chicago after signing as a free agent, leads the Bears with 69 tackles and with 22 assists.
 
Last week, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games for the same violation and will be eligible to return for the Dec. 18 game against Green Bay.

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Golden State Pounds Indiana

Klay Thompson dazzled Indiana Pacers fans with a knockout performance. He scored 25 points in 26 minutes and took the entire fourth quarter off, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 120-83 rout for their eighth consecutive victory.
It was the worst home loss for Indiana in its NBA history.
 
Breakout games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse are becoming the norm for Thompson. He scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and made a last-second shot to beat the division-leading Pacers 98-96 in March 2014. The next two times he came to town, Thompson scored 39 points in each game.
 
This time, he went 10 of 18 from the field and 4 of 10 on 3-pointers.
 
Steph Curry finished with 22 points. Kevin Durant, the 2013-14 MVP, had 14 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Warriors.
 
Indiana (7-8) looked tired after earning its first road win Sunday night in overtime at Oklahoma City. The Pacers also played short-handed, with three-time All-Star Paul George, starting center Myles Turner and backup forward C.J. Miles all out with injuries.
 
Rodney Stuckey led the Pacers with 21 points, Thaddeus Young had 14 and Indiana was never close after the first quarter.
 
The Pacers host Atlanta on Wednesday. It will be the first time Teague faces his former team since being traded to Indiana this summer.

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Monticello Lady Sages Defeat Casey Westville

As heard on 95.9 FM WEZC, the Monticello Lady Sages defeated Casey Westville by a score of 56-27 on Monday night. The Lady Sages were led by Marissa McPike with 13 points. Zanna Myers and Rachael Lockmiller added 12 points each, and Emma Reeder also chipped in with 11 points.

 

With the win the Lady Sages improve to 3-1 on the season. Casey Westville fall to 1-1 on the season.

 

Tune in Thursday, December 1, as the Lady Sages take on Mt. Pulaski at Mt. Pulaski. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Clinton Maroons Defeat Iroquois West

In a game heard Monday night on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons defeated the Iroquois West Raiders by a score of 66-28. The Maroons were led by senior Kaleb Murphy-Leach with 12 points. Leach was named the Country Financial representative Maroons Player of the Game. Junior Austin Baker and senior Dalton Smith added 10 points, and senior Noah Griffin chipped in with 9 points.

 

The Raiders were led by senior Tyler Brenner with 10 points.

 

With the win the Maroons improve to 1-0 on the season and the Raiders fall to 0-1.

 

Tune in Tuesday, November 29, as the Maroons take on Tri-Valley. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW  and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Bears, Packers Lose To NFC East Teams

Eli Manning threw a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown pass to rookie Sterling Shepard in the third quarter as the New York Giants rallied for their fifth straight win with a 22-16 decision over the Chicago Bears on a windy Sunday.
 
Manning (21 of 36 for 227) also threw another third-quarter touchdown to Will Tye, Rashad Jennings scored on a 2-yard run and Robbie Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal on a day he missed two extra points.
 
The Giants (7-3) also got a second-half shutout from their defense and a game-clinching interception from Landon Collins as injuries on the offensive line finally caught up with the Bears (2-8) and left Jay Cutler under constant pressure.
 
The winning streak is New York's longest in the regular season since 2010, while the Bears' starts matches their worst since 2002.
 
>>Redskins Surge Past Reeling Packers
 
Kirk Cousins threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Redskins to a 42-24 victory Sunday night, Washington's sixth victory in eight games.
 
With Cousins carving up Green Bay's porous pass defense and Robert Kelley running for 137 yards and three touchdowns, Washington put up 517 yards.
 
Aaron Rodgers was 26 of 41 for 351 yards.
 
The Redskins have a big meeting at Dallas to look forward to for Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys (9-1) have won nine in a row.

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Butler's 40 Points Lifts Bulls Over Lakers; Pacers Lose

Jimmy Butler scored a season-high 40 points and Isaiah Canaan added a season-high 17 in the Chicago Bulls' fifth victory in six games, 118-110 over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
 
Nikola Mirotic had 15 points and 15 rebounds and the Bulls held off Los Angeles' late rally for their third win in four stops on their annual circus road trip.
 
Rajon Rondo had four points, nine rebounds and 12 assists despite a sore left ankle. He hit a floater in the lane with 28.6 seconds left to secure the Bulls' win after Los Angeles trimmed a 15-point lead to five.
 
Lou Williams scored a season-high 25 points and Larry Nance Jr. had a career-high 18 for the Lakers (7-7), but their other young stars mostly struggled in their second straight loss.
 
>>Pacers Edge OKC in Overtime
 
Jeff Teague scored eight of his 30 points in overtime, harassing Russell Westbrook defensively all night and lifting the short-handed Pacers to a 115-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
 
It was Indiana's first road victory of the season and it came without star forward Paul George, who missed his second straight game with a sore left ankle.
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had his fifth triple-double of the season - as many as the rest of the NBA combined - with 31 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds, but went 13 of 34 from the field.
 
Teague matched his season scoring high and added nine assists and six steals. He hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left in regulation to put the Pacers up three.
 
Westbrook hit a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to tie it for the Thunder and Glenn Robinson III missed a well-guarded 10-footer at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
 
Teague's 3-pointer in the opening minute of overtime put the Pacers ahead for good. With 1:09 left, he converted a three-point play to make it 113-107, and he hit two free throws with 19.1 seconds left to put Indiana up 115-111. 
 
Six Pacers scored in double figures and two of them had double-doubles - Robinson with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Myles Turner just missed another with 15 points and nine rebounds.
 
Enes Kanter added 16 points for the Thunder.
 
The Pacers host Golden State on the second night of a back-to-back featuring last season's Western Conference finalists.

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Iowa Blanks Illinois; EIU Drops Eastern Kentucky

The Iowa Hawkeyes struggled to a 7-0 halftime lead before turning the game over to LeShun Daniels Jr. and the defense on the way to a 28-0 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini.
 
Daniels had 159 yards on 26 carries, including second-half touchdowns of 1 and 50 yards that put the game away.
 
Iowa's defense kept its foot on the Illini for four quarters, denying them points even off a pair of first-half turnovers and keeping Was Lunt to 137 yards and an interception on 19-of-41 passing.
 
The shutout was the first for Iowa (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) since a win over Ball State in 2010. Illinois had just 198 yards of offense, had as many first downs - 10 - as punts and never pushed inside the Iowa 30.
 
 The Illini had first-half chances. But they failed to turn two turnovers and some good field position into points in their last home game of the season. Lost in the final score is a solid effort from a defense that Iowa wore down as the game went on. Iowa had 136 yards at halftime, had turned the ball over twice and, minus Aaron McCarron's punt return, hadn't scored.
 
Illinois finishes up the regular season at Northwestern next Saturday.
 
>>Eastern Illinois Drops Eastern Kentucky
 
Jared Pilson, Devin Church and Darshon McCullough ran for scores and Eastern Illinois converted one of three turnovers into points to beat Eastern Kentucky 24-0 on Saturday in a regular-season finale.
Church gained 177 yards on 25 carries and became the 12th running back in EIU history to gain 1,000 yards in a season. He scored on an 8-yard run in the third quarter.
 
It was the EIU's first shutout since its 31-0 win over Indiana State on Sept. 12, 2009.
 
Pilson's 3-yard TD run capped a five-play, 34-yard second-quarter drive and was set up by an Eastern Kentucky fumble on a punt return. The Panthers (6-5, 4-4 Ohio Valley) couldn't cash in on another fumble and an interception.
 
McCullough scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter after Church ran for 68 yards on the previous play.
 
The Panthers outgained the Colonels 431-152 in total yards and held Eastern Kentucky (3-8, 2-6) to 68 yards rushing.
 
>>Clemson Moves Up After Wild Weekend
 
Louisville fell from the College Football Playoff picture with a loss at Houston. No longer the one-loss team banging on the door to be considered for national title contention, the Cardinals also fell out of the top 10 in the updated college football rankings, down to No. 11 in the Coaches Poll.
 
Clemson officially clinched the ACC Atlantic Division title with a win at Wake Forest and now sits at No. 3, wedged between Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan in the pecking order at the top of the polls. The Big Ten continues to have a strong representation as a conference with four teams in the top eight, while the Big 12 probably saw its stock improve with two teams (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State) in the top 10.
 
USC made the biggest move up of any team, up seven spots to No. 12 while Utah, a team that beat USC earlier this season, dropped nine spots to No. 20 after losing to Oregon.
 
The Alabama Crimson Tide shook off a slow start against Chattanooga and held on for a win to secure No. 1 in the Coaches Poll. But right behind the Tide are the Big Ten rivals that will hold the sport's spotlight next Saturday with the Big Ten East hanging in the balance.
 
Ohio State nearly lost its No. 2 ranking when Mark Dantonio decided to go for two instead of forcing overtime in East Lansing, but a failed conversion and 17-16 win sends the Buckeyes back to Columbus with a winner-take-all mentality heading into Saturday's game against Michigan. The Wolverines had their own survivalist mentality going on Saturday, squeezing two touchdowns in before the snow started falling to beat Indiana 20-10.
 
USC made a big move up in this week's poll to No. 12. Utah made the biggest drop, down to No. 21 after losing to Oregon. Louisville dropped out of the top 10 following its loss to Houston, and Washington State was able to hold on to its national ranking (now at No. 23) after losing at Colorado.

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Cardinals Reportedly Land LHP Cecil

In the latest sign the bullpen market has exploded, veteran southpaw Brett Cecil has reportedly agreed to a four-year contract with the Cardinals. The team has not yet confirmed the news.
Cecil, 30, has spent the last eight seasons with the Blue Jays, the team that originally drafted him 38th overall in 2007 draft. He had a 3.93 ERA (110 ERA+) with 45 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings around a torn lat muscle in 2016. This was his first venture out into free agency.
 
Earlier this offseason St. Louis lost trade deadline pickup Zach Duke to Tommy John surgery, taking away one of their two bullpen lefties. 
 
The Blue Jays did not make Cecil the $17.2 million qualifying offer and therefore will not receive a draft pick for losing him in free agency.

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Monticello Falls to IC Catholic 3A Semifinal Action

The powerful run game of IC Catholic was too much for the Monticello Sages Saturday afternoon as the Knights rolled to a 48-6 win in the semifinal round of Class 3A.
 
On the second play from scrimmage for IC Catholic, Jack Leinhart jumped a bubble screen by Knights' quarterback Luke Ricobene, setting up a Caleb Hanson 2 yard touchdown run, giving Monticello a 6-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion. 
 
It was all IC Catholic from there.
 
Division I runningback Jordan Rowell ran for 299 yards and three touchdowns.
 
The Sages were led by Hanson, who completed 12 of 29 passes for 89 yards and was intercepted twice. He also ran for 53 yards and a touchdown.
 
The Sages finish their 2016 season 12-1 overall.
 
Coach Cully Welter is proud of his team, especially for their never-quit attitude against the top seed in Class 3A.
 
 
Coach Welter says it can be hard at the end of a game to express what a team like this means but he feels the kids have a lot to be proud of.
 
 
IC Catholic will play Carlinville next Friday afternoon at 4 pm at Memorial Stadium in Champaign for the state title.
 
Class 1A playoff scores:
 
Hardin Calhoun 20
Decatur St. Teresa 34
 
Class 2A:
 
Dee-Mack 34
Kewanee Wethersfield 7
 
Maroa-Forsyth 48
Shelbyville 8
 
Class 5:
 
Peoria 43
Morris 35
 
Class 6A:
 
Burbank St. Laurence 16
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 28

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McGlaston leads Bradley over SE Missouri St 84-78

JoJo McGlaston scored 12 of his career-high 19 points in the second half and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye added 16 points as Bradley defeated Southeast Missouri State 84-78 on Friday night.
 
Freshman Darrell Brown recorded a career-high 15 points. Brown's 3-pointer 12 seconds into the game gave Bradley (2-1) a lead it would never surrender.
 
The Braves led 38-35 at halftime, and with a 47-44 lead used a 10-0 run to create some space. Lautier-Ogunleye made two free throws and the Braves were up 54-44 with 10:21 to play.
 
Bradley out rebounded Southeast Missouri State by a 43-23 margin. Bradley's point total was its highest since recording 84 on Dec. 2 last year in a win against Central Michigan.
 
Bradley leads the all-time series with a 7-2 edge and has now won five straight.
 
Antonius Cleveland and Daniel Simmons each scored 16 points to lead Southeast Missouri State (2-2).

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Monticello Faces Off With IC Catholic Saturday

A trip to Memorial Stadium in Champaign is up for grabs Saturday when the Monticello Sages play host to Elmhurst IC Catholic in Monticello. 
 
The Sages used another route to defeat Farmington Saturday 48-17, now they welcome undefeated IC Catholic to Monticello. Head coach of the Sages, Cully Welter, says his defense stepped up on a day when the offense wasn't as efficient as usual.
 
 
A loaded IC Catholic squad comes to town Saturday afternoon headlined by a runningback with a commitment to Northern Illinois. Coach Welter says while he gains a lot of the attention, their quarterback is a good player as well.
 
 
Both teams are undefeated. 
 
Hear all the action at 3 pm Saturday on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
The winner takes on the winner of Saturday's game between Carlinville and Virden North Mac next Friday in Champaign for the state title.
 
Class 1A Semifinal games Saturday:
 
Hardin Calhoun (9-3) vs. Decatur St. Teresa (11-1 Sat. 1:30 pm
 
Class 2A
 
Dee-Mack (11-1) vs. Kewanee Wethersfield) (11-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
Shelbyville (9-3) at Maroa-Forsyth (11-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
 
Class 4A
 
Canton (10-2) at Rochester (11-1) Sat. 6:00 pm
 
Class 5A
 
Peoria (11-1) at Morris (10-2) Sat. 3:00 pm
 
Class 6A
 
Burbank St. Laurence (9-3) at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (12-0) Sat. 2:00 pm

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Lady Maroons Defeat Olympia At Turkey Tussle

The Clinton Lady Maroons used a strong second half to surge past the Olympia Lady Spartans 49-39 Thursday night from the annual Clinton Turkey Tussle.
Trailing 32-31, the Lady Maroons used an 18-7 fourth quarter to surge by Olympia and improve to 2-1 on the season. 
 
The Lady Maroons shot 23-of-35 from the free throw line compared to Olympia's 6-for-13.
 
Madi Filkin led the Lady Maroons with 12 points and Savannah Moore added 10 as nine Lady Maroons recorded points. 
 
Kendra Peifer scored 12 points to lead the Lady Spartans. 

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Illini Add 4-Star Center Tillmon

Illinois says it has added high-ranking center Jeremiah Tilmon to its recruiting class for the coming season.
 
Illinois coach John Groce said Thursday that the sought-after 6-10, 245-pound Tilmon "has everything you want at that position." Groce called Tilmon a good scorer and passer who also excels at inside defense.
 
Recruiting analysts rank the player from East St. Louis, Illinois, among the top 25 recruits in the country. He is Groce's highest-ranked recruit at Illinois.
 
Tilmon also will fill an immediate need for Illinois because both centers, Maverick Morgan and Mike Thorne Jr., are in their final seasons.
 
Tilmon joins guards Trent Frazier, Javon Pickett and Da'Monte Williams in an Illini recruiting class that several recruiting services now rank in the top 10 in the country.

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Butler Leads Bulls Past Jazz

Jimmy Butler scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz 85-77 on Thursday night.
 
The Bulls have won four straight, including three on the road.
 
Chicago used 9-0 runs to start the third and fourth quarters that Utah never recovered from. Nikola Mirotic had a dunk, a steal and an assist during the fourth-quarter run that put the Bulls up 75-58.
 
The Jazz cut the lead to 80-75 late, but Dwyane Wade and Butler hit jumpers to put the game away.
 
Wade scored 18 points for the Bulls and Robin Lopez posted his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
 
The Jazz have lost two straight at home after going 4-1 during the preceding road trip.
 
Rudy Gobert finished with 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for the Jazz as Gordon Hayward added eight points and 12 rebounds.
 

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Cubs' Bryant, Angels' Trout MVPs

Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant has been voted NL MVP, and Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout is the AL winner for the second time in three years.
 
Bryant hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs in just his second year in the majors, helping the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. He becomes just the sixth player to win rookie of the year and MVP in one or consecutive seasons.
 
Bryant received 29 first-place votes, and Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy was the runner-up.
 
While the Angels finished fourth in the AL West, Trout was his usual brilliant self. He batted .315 with 29 homers, 100 RBIs and 30 steals. He scored 17 percent of Los Angeles' runs, the highest percentage for an AL player since Rickey Henderson with the 1985 New York Yankees.
 
Trout received 19 of 30 first-place votes. Boston right fielder Mookie Betts was second.
 
The results of the voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America were announced Thursday night. Voting was completed by the start of the playoffs.

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Blues Drop Sharks

Left winger Jaden Schwartz scored twice, one in each of the first two periods, before left winger David Perron broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal at 15:56 of the second period to put the Blues ahead to stay, in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.
 
Goalie Jake Allen preserved the one-goal lead by stopping 13 San Jose shots in the third period, including a couple of saves in the final 55 seconds when a delay of game penalty against center Kyle Brodziak gave the Sharks a 6-on-4 advantage after pulling goalie Martin Jones.
 
The Sharks got even-strength goals from center Logan Couture and left winger Kevin Labanc.
 
St. Louis will play their next game at home against Nashville. 

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Illini Host Iowa For Home Finale; EIU At Eastern Kentucky

The Fighting Illini will send off 24 seniors Saturday when they host Iowa at Memorial Stadium.
The Illini lost last week in Wisconsin, 48-3. The Hawkeyes were an early favorite to win the Big Ten West but have struggled this year.
 
The Hawkeyes did win last week over then-second ranked Michigan.
 
The Hawkeyes are 6-4 on the season while the Illini  are 3-7.
 
Saturday's action kicks off at 11 am and can be seen on the Big Ten Network. 
 
>>Eastern Illinois Travels To Eastern Kentucky
 
Hoping to keep their postseason hopes alive, the Eastern Illinois Panthers will travel to Richmond, Kentucky for their season finale.
 
At 5-5 and off a 33-17 loss to UT-Martin, the Panthers need a victory to remain eligible for postseason play in the FCS Playoffs.
 
 
Eastern Kentucky dropped Austin Peay 67-30 last Saturday. 
 
The 3-7 Colonels are out of the playoff race and are just 1-5 in Ohio Valley play this year.
 
Kick off is 1 pm Saturday. Hear all the action starting at 12:30 pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Bears in New York To Take on Giants; Packers Take on Redskins

The Giants (6-3) have won four games in a row -- with each victory coming by single digits -- and are aiming for their first five-game winning streak since 2011. Under first-year coach Ben McAdoo, the team is 4-1 at home and already has matched its six-win total from a season ago.
 
The outlook is not nearly as bright for the reeling Bears (2-7). Chicago has dropped four of its past five games and is 0-5 on the road this season as the team prepares to head east.
To make matters worse, the Bears will not have two of their best players on offense. Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long was placed on injured reserve this week after being carted off the field with a right ankle injury against Tampa Bay, and Pro Bowl wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will serve the first game of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
 
New York has a plus-11 turnover ratio, which is the best in the NFL. The Giants have a top-10 rushing defense (92.1 yards allowed per game) and have held opponents to 20.4 points per game, which is No. 11 in the league.
 
On paper, the Bears' offense does not match up well against the Giants' defense. Chicago has managed only 15.7 points per game, which is second-to-last in the NFL. Meanwhile, mercurial quarterback Jay Cutler is coming off his worst outing of the season as he threw two interceptions and fumbled twice against the Buccaneers.
 
Rookie running back Jordan Howard dinged up an ankle in Week 10 but returned to practice this week. If Howard regresses, look for the tandem of Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey to carry the ball for the Bears.
 
With Jeffery suspended and Kevin White injured, the top receiving option for the Bears is tight end Zach Miller (44 receptions, 425 yards, 3 TDs). Meanwhile, wide receivers Cam Meredith and Marquess Wilson likely will see more action on the outside.
 
Meredith, 23, joined the team in 2015 as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois State. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound flanker has impressed coach John Fox this season as he has caught 29 passes for 381 yards and two touchdowns.
 
>>Packers in Washington for Sunday Night Football
 
The Washington Redskins are surging and the Green Bay Packers are struggling.
 
The story line for Sunday night's game at FedEx Field isn't too much different than it was for last year's wild-card playoff game in Washington.
The Redskins had won four in a row and the Packers had lost two in a row. Washington promptly jumped on Green Bay, taking a quick 11-0 lead. It was all Green Bay the rest of the way, though, as it advanced with a 35-18 win.
 
Washington is hot again. After back-to-back home losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas to open the season, the Redskins are 5-1-1. The Packers have dropped three in a row and four of their last five to tumble to 4-5.
 
The Packers' string of seven consecutive playoff berths is matched only by the New England Patriots. With Green Bay's season in deep trouble, McCarthy is hoping for a repeat of last year's playoff performance.
 
Washington's offense is led by quarterback Kirk Cousins. He has thrown for 2,716 yards and completed 66.9 percent of his passes. He has one of the deepest group of pass-catching threats in the league, with six players having at least 26 receptions.
 
Green Bay's pass defense, on the other hand, ranks 29th in opponent passer rating. Last week at Tennessee, the Titans threw five touchdown passes and only seven incompletions.
 
On the other side of the ball, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has struggled for most of the season. Without even the pretense of a running game the last four weeks, Rodgers ranks in the bottom half of the league in passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt.
 
Injuries have slammed the Packers. They had nine Week 1 starters out of the game by the end of last week, with right guard T.J. Lang (ankle) and left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) dropping out of that blowout loss.
 
The Packers could get back outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who has missed the last three games, and tight end Jared Cook, who has missed the last six games. 

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Monticello Lady Sages Defeat Meridian Lady Hawks

In a game heard on WEZC, the Monticello Lady Sages defeated the Meridian Lady Hawks by a score of 42-23. The Lady Sages were led by Rachel Lockmiller with 14 points. Zanna Myers also chipped in with 11 points.

The Lady Hawks were led by Amy Aukamp with 7 points.

 

With the win the Lady Sages improve to 2-0 on the season and Meridian falls to 0-3.

 

Tune in Monday, November 21, as the Lady Sages take on Casey. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Redbirds Beat Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne

Deontae Hawkins knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points and seven boards as Illinois State beat Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne in its home opener, 75-57 on Wednesday night.
 
Hawkins hit 9 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 7 from distance ln leading the Redbirds. MiKyle McIntosh contributed 13 points.
 
Illinois State raced to a 19-2 lead to start the game and held a 41-24 advantage at intermission.
 
Fort Wayne got within nine points, 53-44 with 12:39 left in the game after John Konchar tipped in an offensive rebound, but the Redbirds scored the next five points to push their lead back to double digits.
 
Mo Evans knocked down five 3-pointers to lead Fort Wayne with 19 points. Konchar added 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
 
Illinois State (1-1) is picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference; Fort Wayne (1-2) is the preseason favorite to win the Summit League.

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Mark Grudzeilanek Picked To Manage White Sox AAA Affiliate

The Chicago White Sox have hired former major league All-Star and Gold Glove second baseman Mark Grudzielanek to manage Triple-A Charlotte.
 
Grudzielanek spent the past two seasons working in the Arizona Diamondbacks' player development system. He played 15 seasons in the majors from 1995 to 2010, was an All-Star for the Montreal Expos in 1996 and won a Gold Glove for the Kansas City Royals in 2006.
 
Other managing assignments announced Wednesday were: Julio Vinas (Double-A Birmingham), Willie Harris (Class A Winston-Salem), Justin Jirschele (Class A Kannapolis), Tim Esmay (Great Falls) and Ryan Newman (Arizona Rookie League). Steve McCatty (Charlotte) and John Ely (Great Falls) were hired as pitching coaches.
 
Richard Dotson will serve as the organization's pitching coordinator and Mike Gellinger as hitting coordinator.
 
>>Red Sox's Porcello, Nationals' Scherzer Win Cy Young
 
Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello was named the 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America on Wednesday. Tigers righty Justin Verlander finished second in the voting, and Indians righty Corey Kluber was third.
 
Porcello received eight first-place votes and totaled 137 points. Verlander received 14 first-place votes and totaled 132 points. Porcello's 18 second-place votes were the difference, as were two voters leaving Verlander off their ballots entirely.
 
The five-point gap is the second-smallest in Cy Young history. Verlander lost the 2012 AL Cy Young to David Price by a mere four points, so he's now been on the wrong end of the two smallest voting gaps in history. Verlander has come that close to having three career Cy Youngs.
 
This is only the third time in history the Cy Young winner did not receive the most first-place votes. Tom Glavine beat out Trevor Hoffman for the 1992 NL Cy Young with fewer first-place votes (13-11), and Tim Lincecum finished ahead of Adam Wainwright with fewer first-place votes in the 2009 NL voting (12-11).
 
Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer was named the winner of the 2016 National League Cy Young Award Wednesday by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
 
Cubs lefty Jon Lester finished second in the voting and Cubs righty Kyle Hendricks was third.
 
Somewhat surprisingly, Scherzer won the Cy Young in a landslide. He received 25 of the 30 first-place votes and accumulated 192 points. Lester received one first-place vote and had 102 points. Hendricks received two first-place votes and had 85 points. Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw received the other two first-place votes.
 
Scherzer went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA (141 ERA+) in 228 1/3 innings in 2016. He led the league in wins and innings, as well as all of baseball in strikeouts (284) and WHIP (0.97). On May 12, Scherzer became the fifth pitcher in history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game.

 

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Pacers Beat Cavs

The Indiana Pacers beat the LeBron-less Cleveland Cavaliers 103-92 to improve to 3-1 at home in the past two years when James sits.
 
Jeff Teague had 20 points and eight assists, and Thaddeus Young had 16 points to help the Pacers improve to 6-1 at home and 6-6 overall.
 
James sat out for the first time this season. Averaging 23.4 points and 8.9 rebounds, he rested after playing Tuesday night in a home victory over Toronto. Guard J.R. Smith also missed the game because of a sprained right ankle.
 
Kevin Love led Cleveland with 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving had 24 points and seven assists. The Cavaliers dropped to 9-2 after matching the best start in franchise history with the victory over Toronto on Tuesday night.
 
The Pacers host the Phoenix Susn on Friday night to end a four-game homestand.

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Illinois Overpowers McKendree

Jalen Coleman-Lands and Maverick Morgan scored 18 points apiece to lead six players in double figures and Illinois beat Division II McKendree 112-65 on Tuesday night.
 
Michael Finke had 17 points, on 8-of-10 shooting, and eight rebounds and Tracy Abrams was 5-of-5 from the field with four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points and six assists. Aaron Jordan scored 11, including three 3s, and Mike Thorne Jr. had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
 
Illinois (3-0) opened the game with a 7-0 run, including five points by Finke, and never trailed.
 
Coleman-Lands hit 3-pointers on three-consecutive possessions to make it 21-10 with 12:28 left in the first half and the Illini led by double figures the rest of the way.
 
The Illinois bench outscored McKendree's reserves 59-23 and shot 56 percent from the field, including 16 of 28 (57 percent) from 3-point range.
 
Nate Michael, son of former Illinois basketball player Tom Michael, led the McKendree (1-0) with 25 points. The game served as an exhibition for Bearcats.
 
Illinois hosts Detroit on Friday night as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament.
 
>>Kentucky Blasts Michigan State
 
Malik Monk's 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting from 3-point range and the second-ranked Wildcats' defense that held No. 13 Michigan State to 32.8 percent shooting combined for a 69-48 victory Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Relying on another talented freshman class, Kentucky was able to up the tempo enough and keep the tenacious defense going that the Spartans committed 20 turnovers which the Wildcats turned into 24 points.
 
Freshman De'Aaron Fox added 12 points for Kentucky, which snapped Michigan State's two-game winning streak in the series that the Wildcats lead 13-11.
 
Kenny Goins and Cassius Winston led the Spartans with nine points each. Freshman Miles Bridges was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting but he grabbed 12 rebounds.
 
The Spartans were coming off a 68-65 loss to No. 10 Arizona in Honolulu.
 
Kentucky led 34-26 at halftime and the Wildcats opened the big lead with a 16-7 run that made it 51-37 with 12:04 to play. Michigan State continued to struggle from the outside and the Wildcats led by as many as 23 points.
 
>>No. 7 Kansas Knocks Off No. 1 Duke
 
On Tuesday night the Jayhawks went from looking like easy winners to facing another excruciating loss. But a short jumper by Frank Mason III with 1.8 seconds to go gave the Jayhawks a 77-75 victory over top-ranked Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The Jayhawks (1-1) beat a top-ranked team for the eighth time.
 
Kansas was ahead 62-50 with 8 minutes to play but the Blue Devils (2-1), despite a terrible shooting game by Grayson Allen, the leading vote-getter on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team, managed to suddenly start hitting shots and they tied the game at 75 with 15 seconds left on a 3-pointer by Jackson..
 
Kansas called a timeout with 8.2 seconds left and set up the game-winner.
 
Mason, who had a career-high 30 in the loss to Indiana, led Kansas with 21 points, freshman Josh Jackson added 15 and Devonte' Graham had 13.
 
Luke Kennard led five Duke players in double figures with 22 points. Allen finished with 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting.
 
Kansas finished 2 for 17 from 3-point range but the Jayhawks shot 50.8 percent overall (33 for 65) including making 60.6 percent of their shots in the second half (20 of 33).
 
Duke shot 48.9 percent for the game (23 of 47) including 8 of 19 on 3s.

 

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Butler Leads Bulls Over Blazers

Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls opened a six-game road trip with a 113-88 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
Dwyane Wade had 19 points for Chicago, which extended its modest winning streak to three games. Former Blazers center Robin Lopez added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
 
The Blazers, who had won five of six, were cold from the start, falling behind by as many as 26 points. Damian Lillard, who made just two shots from the field in the first half, finished with 19 points.
 
Chicago, coming off a 106-95 victory over Washington on Saturday, was without Rajon Rondo because of a left ankle sprain. Jerian Grant made his first start of the season and had 18 points.

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Blues Top Buffalo

Jaden Schwartz and Kyle Brodziak scored early in the third period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
 
Robbi Fabbri and Scottie Upshall also scored and Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues, who snapped a three-game skid and beat the Sabres for the ninth straight time.
 
Sam Reinhart scored and Robin Lehner stopped 27 shots for the Sabres, who lost their fifth consecutive game.
 
Schwartz broke a 1-1 tie 44 seconds into the third period on a rebound past a prone Lehner, who had made a sprawling save to stop Dmitrij Jaskin's breakaway moments before.
 
Brodziak tipped in Ryan Reaves' pass to give the Blues a 3-1 lead at 2:16 of the third. It was Brodziak's first goal since April 4 against Arizona.
 
The Blues host San Jose on Thursday night.
 
>>Jets Blank Blackhawks
 
Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for his first shutout of the season, rookie Patrik Laine scored his NHL-leading 12th goal and the Winnipeg Jets beat the division-leading Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 on Tuesday night.
 
Rookie defenseman Josh Morrissey scored his first career goal, while forwards Chris Thorburn and Nic Petan got their first scores of the season for the second-place Jets.
 
Nikolaj Ehlers had two assists, helping Winnipeg stretch its points streak to five games.
 
Chicago goalie Corey Crawford was replaced by Scott Darling after letting in four goals on 22 shots. Darling made two saves.
 
It was the first of five games between the Central Division foes this season.

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Bears Place OL Long on IR

The Chicago Bears have placed star right guard Kyle Long on injured reserve because of an ankle injury.
The announcement on Tuesday comes two days after the three-time Pro Bowl lineman was taken from the field on a cart during a loss at Tampa Bay. And it's another big blow for a team that's 2-7 after losing to the Buccaneers.
 
Long was injured in the second quarter when Paul Lasike rolled up on his right ankle as he corralled a shovel pass from Jay Cutler. Long stayed down for several minutes while being tended to by medical personnel. He banged on the cart trying to fire up his team as he was taken from the field.

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Ohio State Up To No. 2 in CFP Rankings

Upset Saturday -- with the Nos. 2-3-4 teams all going down in the same day for the first time since 1985 -- resulted in some shake-up to the third edition of the College Football Playoff Rankings, though not as much as you might think.
 
The CFP Selection Committee gave us some juicy premature seminfinal matchups that almost certainly will not be the same in three weeks. No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Clemson in a rematch of last year's championship game, and No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan which needs no further explanation.
 
Unfortunately, the Buckeyes and Wolverines will play each other in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend and there are no realistic scenarios that have them playing a rematch in a CFP semifinal.
 
The choice by the committee to put Michigan ahead of Clemson was interesting. That was likely more about the quality of each team's loss, which favors Michigan, instead of strength of schedule, which favors Clemson. The Wolverines do have three wins against teams in the top 10 this week, all at home, of course.
 
Strength of schedule was also cast aside in the Washington vs Wisconsin debate for No. 6. Wisconsin has an extra loss but has played a much tougher schedule than the Huskies. Washington benefits this week from Stanford being added to the rankings, giving the Huskies another win against a current top 25 team.

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UPDATED: Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Riverton

In a game heard Tuesday night on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons limited the Riverton Lady Hawks in the second half, overcoming 21-15 halftime deficit to win by a score of 42-37 at the annual Clinton Turkey Tussle at Clinton High School.
 
The Lady Maroons outscored the Lady Hawks 27-16 in the second half and were 20-of-27 at the free throw line while the Lady Hawks were just 8-of-20.
 
The Lady Maroons were led by junior Alyssa Saulsberry with 15 points, and was named the Country Financial representative Stephan York Maroons Player of the Game. Sophomore Savannah Moore also chipped in with 12 points.
 
The Lady Hawks were led by Chloe Megginson with 11 points and Addison Pals added 8 points.
 
With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 1-1, and Riverton falls to 1-1.
 
Tune in Tuesday, November 22, as the Lady Maroons take on LeRoy. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Other Turkey Tussle scores:
 
Petersburg PORTA 68
Maroa-Forsyth 62
 
@ Urbana
Olympia 49
Decatur LSA 19
 
Tri-Valley 8
Urbana 72

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HS GBB: Urbana Tops Clinton in Season Opener

The Urbana Lady Tigers used a huge fourth quarter to rally past the Clinton Lady Maroons 65-55 in the season opener and the opener of the Clinton Turkey Tussle from Clinton High School.
 
Trailing 43-38 after three quarters, the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Maroons 27-12 in the fourth quarter and overcame a 26-24 halftime deficit despite shooting 16-of-32 from the free throw line. 
 
Clinton shot 16-of-23 from the charity stripe.
 
Urbana's Ariel Scott led all scorers with 29 points and Lauryn Cross at 10.
 
Alyssa Saulsberry and Tori Wilson led the Lady Maroons with 16 apiece. Madi Filkin added eight.
 
Saulsberry was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
 
Maroa Forsyth beat Decatur LSA in the tournament opener Monday, 54-16.
 
The Lady Maroons return to action in the Turkey Tussle, taking on Riverton at 7:30 pm.
 
Hear the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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WEZC To Broadcast Monticello Boys, Girls Basketball Games This Winter

Monticello girls basketball opens their 2016 basketball season this week and 95.9 FM WEZC and dewittdailynews.com will broadcast a girls game of the week, along with all boys basketball games this season.
 
Starting Thursday when the Lady Sages host Meridian at 7 pm, then next week when the boys open their regular season, action can be heard on WEZC and free online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
Visit dewittdailynews.com today for a full broadcast schedule of girls basketball games and all boys basketball games.

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Bears WR Jeffry Suspended For PED Violation

The Bears' 2016 season just went from bad to worse.
 
The NFL announced on Monday that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has been suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspension will cost Jeffery a reported total of $3.4 million in lost salary.
Jeffery released a statement following the announcement of his suspension.
 
"As a professional athlete, I have been careful about what I put in my body. I took a recommended supplement to combat inflammation. Unfortunately this supplement contained an ingredient that was on the NFL's banned substance list. I take full responsibility and I'm deeply upset with myself for not doing the proper research."
 
"I want to apologize to my family, the Bears organization, my teammates, and Bears fans. I will work hard to earn back the respect and trust of the Bears nation and look forward to being back on the field."
 
The suspension means that the 2-7 Bears won't have their leading receiver for the next four weeks when they play the Giants, Titans, 49ers and Lions. Jeffery isn't allowed to return to practice until Dec. 12 and won't be eligible to play in a game until Dec. 18, when the Bears host the Packers.
 
>>Giants Best Bengals on MNF
 
Eli Manning threw his third touchdown pass of the game on a fourth-down, fourth-quarter roll of the dice by Ben McAdoo, and the Giants beat the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 on Monday night for their first four-game winning streak since 2013.
 
Manning threw scoring passes of 10 yards apiece to rookie Jerrell Adams and Odell Beckham in the first half, and a game-winning 3-yarder to rookie Sterling Shepard on a daring call with New York (6-3) down 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.
 
The six wins match the Giants' total in each of the last two seasons under Tom Coughlin, and it bodes well with Chicago (2-7) and Cleveland (0-10) on tap the next two weeks.
 
The Giants defense took over, closing it out on Landon Collins' fourth interception in the past three games and two stops, the last on consecutive sacks of Andy Dalton with less than five minutes to play.
 
Dalton threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green and Jeremy Hill scored on a 9-yard run that was set up by an 84-yard kickoff return by Alex Erickson to start the second half. Mike Nugent kicked two field goals for Cincinnati (3-5-1), the second giving the Bengals a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter.
 
The Giants finish a three-game homestand with a matchup against Chicago.

 

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Pacers Top Magic

Paul George scored 13 points in his return from a sprained ankle, and the Pacers spoiled Frank Vogel's return to Indiana with an 88-69 victory Monday night.
Orlando shot 32 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers, resulting in 20 points for Indiana. Evan Fournier led the Magic with 14 points on 4-of-15 shooting, and Aaron Gordon had 11.
 
George also had six rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who pulled away in the second half. Monta Ellis also scored 13 points, and Jeff Teague finished with 11.
 
Indiana led by as many as 21 points during the fourth quarter.
 
The Pacers host the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

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Dodgers SS Seager, Tigers P Fulmer Rookie of the Year Winners

Coming as no surprise, we found out Monday evening that Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager unanimously won the NL Rookie of the Year vote.
 
The 22-year-old Seager had been the odds-on favorite seemingly all along for good reason: He performed at a well-above-average level throughout the season, all while playing a high-demand position. In all, Seager appeared in 157 games, batting .308/.365/.512 (translating to a 137 OPS+) with 26 home runs.
 
Seager is the 17th Dodger to win the award, and the first since Todd Hollandsworth in 1996. Seager joins a star-studded group that includes Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela and Mike Piazza, among others. 
 
Monday evening, Tigers right-handed starter Michael Fulmer was named the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year, besting Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin and Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.
 
Fulmer, who will turn 24 in March, was acquired from the Mets at the 2015 trade deadline as part of the Yoenis Cespedes deal. He reached the majors in late April and quickly showed he belonged. In 26 starts, Fulmer tallied 159 innings, a 3.06 ERA (135 ERA+), and a 3.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He also notched a quality start in 58 percent of his tries, and finished with 4.9 WAR.
 
>>Mets Walker, Phillies Hellickson Accept Qualifying Offers
 
The deadline to either accept or reject qualifying offers by the top-flight free agents was Monday at 5 p.m. ET and Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson accepted the one-year, $17.2 million deal instead of testing free agency: 
 
Hellickson, 29, was 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA (111 ERA+) last season. 
 
Mets second baseman Neil Walker waited until just before the 5 p.m. ET deadline to announce he would remain with the club for an additional season.

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Monticello, IC Catholic Game Time Set

The Monticello Sages Class 3A semifinal football game with Elmhurst IC Catholic Saturday has been set for a 3 pm start time in Monticello.
 
The Knights of IC Catholic will travel for the first time this postseason after wins over St. Joseph-Ogden, Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Wilmington.
 
The Sages have been dominant in three postseason games. First routing Chicago Clark at home, then Westville on the road and this past Saturday's 48-17 win over Farmington.
 
The winner moves on to the state title game, the Friday following Thanksgiving, for a 4 pm kick from Memorial Stadium. 
 
The winner Carlinville and Virden North Mac awaits.
 
Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Hill Leads Illinois Over Northern Kentucky

Illinois needed a career-high performance from Malcolm Hill to outlast Northern Kentucky 79-64 on Sunday night.
 
The senior scored a career-high 40 points and brought down 12 rebounds to help Illinois (2-0) fight through a first half where the Illini trailed 33-31 at halftime and struggled to hold off the Norse off until the end.
 
The Illini shot 44 percent from the field but were 20-30 from the free-throw line.
 
Michael Finke also scored in double figures, adding 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Illini.
 
Lavone Holland II led Northern Kentucky (1-1) with 13 points, which kept the Norse in the game until the final eight minutes.
 
The Norse held a 43-32 rebound advantage despite Northern Kentucky's tallest players being 6-foot-7.
 
Northern Kentucky was sloppy with the ball for most of the game, committing 18 turnovers that led to 21 Illinois points.
 
Illinois will play its third game in five nights when the Illini host McKendree on Tuesday night.
 
>>Delaware Coasts Past Bradley
 
Anthony Mosley scored 16 points, Devonne Pinkard added 14 and Delaware coasted to a 63-49 win over Bradley on Sunday.
 
Delaware (2-0) never trailed, opening the game with a 15-5 run sparked by Pinkard's 3-pointer and holding Bradley to just 15 first-half points. Eric Carter's layup early in the second half gave Delaware its largest lead, 36-15, with 19:20 left.
 
Cazmon Hayes grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds for the Blue Hens, who controlled the boards 45-27 and haven't opened with two straight wins since the 2005-06 season.
 
Bradley (1-1) outscored Delaware 34-29 over the final 20 minutes but couldn't trim the gap below double figures, getting no closer than 14 three times.
 
Alex Foster led Bradley with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Darrell Brown added 11 points and JoJo McGlaston 10 for the Braves.

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Bears, Packers Lose Big

Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 36-10 victory over the mistake-prone Chicago Bears on Sunday.
 
Winston threw for TDs of 10 yards to Cameron Brate and 43 yards to Freddie Martino, the latter set up by a bizarre highlight-reel play that saw the No. 1 pick in last year's draft scramble 23 yards backward into his own end zone before avoiding a safety and launching a 39-yard completion to Mike Evans at the Chicago 38.
Martino, a former practice squad player with two career receptions, scored his first NFL touchdown after a delay penalty pushed the Bucs (4-5) back to the 43.
 
Two weeks after returning from injury and helping the Bears (2-7) beat NFC North leader Minnesota, Jay Cutler threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, one resulting in a third-quarter safety that put the Bucs up 29-10.
 
The Bucs forced four turnovers overall and sacked Cutler four times.
 
The Bears scored on Cameron Meredith's 50-yard TD reception on the final play of the first half. Cutler finished 16 of 30 for 182 yards, and Tampa Bay's Chris Conte returned a first-quarter interception 20 yards to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead.
 
The Bears hit the road next week, facing the New York Giants.
 
>>Titans Throttle Packers
 
Marcus Mariota threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns and the Titans routed Green Bay 47-25 Sunday.
 
Five different Titans scored a touchdown in the first half as Tennessee put together its best scoring performance this season with 35 points.
With the win, the Titans (5-5) also matched the five victories over the past two seasons combined.
The defense forced the Packers three-and-out after the onside kick. Then DeMarco Murray took the Titans' opening play from scrimmage, running 75 yards for a touchdown. He finished with 123 yards and also threw a TD pass.
 
Brian Orakpo had two of Tennessee's five sacks, and the Titans also forced three turnovers .
 
The Packers (4-5) started a three-game road swing by losing their third straight. Green Bay has lost four of five in dropping below .500 for the first time since 2013. They finished by winning the NFC North that season.
 
Aaron Rodgers threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran for another.
 
The Packers remain on the road, facing the Washington Redskins.

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Blackhawks Beat Canadiens

Patrick Kane scored a spectacular tiebreaking goal in the second period and the Chicago Blackhawks beat Montreal 3-2 on Sunday night, handing the league-leading Canadiens just their second regulation loss of the season.
Marian Hossa added his team-leading ninth and rookie Gustav Forsling scored his first in the NHL as Chicago improved to 9-0-2 in its last 11 and ended Montreal's four-game winning streak.
 
Shea Weber and Andrei Markov scored for the Canadiens in a matchup of conference leaders.
 
Both goalies faced teams from their hometowns. Canadiens backup Al Montoya, a Chicago native, made 32 saves. Chicago's Corey Crawford, from Montreal, stopped 21 shots.
 
Kane put Chicago ahead 3-2 with 3:37 left in the second period to cap a terrific individual effort. Kane skated down the slot, fooled Jeff Petry with a move and chipped a shot past Montoya - while falling to the ice with Max Pacioretty checking him closely from behind.

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Illinois State Wins Big; Illini Blasted By Wisconsin

Corey Clement ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns and No. 7 Wisconsin intercepted Illinois quarterback Jeff George Jr. four times in rolling to a 48-3 win on Saturday.
 
Dare Ogunbowale added 103 yards on seven carries for the Badgers (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten, No. 7 CFP), who rushed for a season-high 363 yards as a team.
 
Wisconsin led by 18 after the first quarter with two scores from Clement, and 31-3 at the half on a homecoming weekend at Camp Randall Stadium.
 
George had an awful day a week after helping Illinois rally to beat Michigan State. George was 5 of 16 for 79 yards in the first half against Wisconsin before getting pulled for former starter Wes Lunt.
 
That didn't work either. Illinois (3-7, 2-5) mustered just 60 yards and three first downs in the second half.
 
Safety Leo Musso had two interceptions for the Badgers.
 
Illinois wraps up their home schedule when they host Iowa next week.
 
>>Western Illinois Falls To Northern Iowa
 
Michael Malloy ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns, Eli Dunne threw for two scores and Northern Iowa beat Western Illinois 30-23 on Saturday.
Dunne completed 19 of 27 passes for 209 yards with one interception and Jalen Rima had four receptions for 79 yards for Northern Iowa (5-5, 4-3 Missouri Valley Conference).
 
Malloy capped an 11-play, 78-yard game-opening drive with a 2-yard touchdown run and Dunne hit Logan Cunningham for a 9-yard score to make it 14-0 with 4:51 left in the first half.
 
A touchdown pass from Dunne to Daurice Fountain and a 6-yard scoring run by Malloy - sandwiched around Lance Lenoir's 9-yard TD catch for Western Illinois - made it 27-9 with 7:34 left and the Panthers held on from there.
 
Sean McGuire threw three touchdown passes - including two to Isaiah Lesure - for Western Illinois (6-4, 3-4).
 
>>Kolbe Leads Illinois State Over Missouri State
 
Jake Kolbe threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns while Jamal Towns and DeMarco Corbin each topped 100 yards rushing to lead Illinois State past Missouri state 37-0 on Saturday.
Towns had 134 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and Corbin had 102 yards on 11 carries. Anthony Warrum had 133 yards receiving off eight receptions and a touchdown.
 
Mitchell Brees and Dalton Keene each picked off the Bears' Brodie Lambert once. Illinois State (6-5, 4-4 Missouri Valley) held Missouri State (4-6, 2-5) to 77 yards passing and 116 yards rushing, 44 of which came from Lambert.
 
Illinois State broke the game open in the second quarter when Kolbe threw a 38-yard TD to Warrum. Just more than two minutes later Kolbe connected with Christian Gibbs on a 35-yard score and Sean Slattery made his second field goal of the first half to make it 20-0 at half.
 
>>Youngstown State Tops Southern Illinois
 
Hunter Wells threw two touchdown passes and the defense made two stands in the closing minutes to give Youngstown State a 21-14 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday.
 
Jody Webb rushed for a career-high 167 yards on 21 carries, including two long runs that set up scores for the Penguins (7-3, 5-2 Missouri Valley), who finished perfect at home for the fifth time in school history.
 
Webb had a 24-yard scamper after a short punt set the Penguins up at midfield. Wells followed that with a swing pass that Darien Townsend turned into a 10-yard score with 4:59 to play.
 
Southern Illinois (3-7, 1-6) then marched inside the Youngstown 10 before throwing three straight incompletions. Given one last chance after a punt, the Salukis reached the Penguins' 35 and Sam Straub's Hail Mary pass was caught by Israel Lamprakes at the 5 as time ran out.
 
Southern Illinois had two long scoring drives in the second half after trailing 14-0 at halftime as Straub, in his second start, threw for a career-high 366 yards.

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Chaotic Saturday Shakes Up Polls

College football hit the chaos button this weekend. For the first time since 1985, Nos. 2, 3 and 4 all lost on the same day. After picking up the pieces, we're left with a messy College Football Playoff picture and only three weeks of action left (including conference championship Saturday) before the CFP Selection Committee has to release its final rankings and name its top four.
 
Michigan lost, dropped in the polls and got jumped by Ohio State, but still has better odds to win the Big Ten than the Buckeyes. Clemson lost, dropped in the polls and got jumped by Louisville, but still has better odds to win the ACC than the Cardinals. Washington still has a clear path to the Pac-12 title, but after watching USC bottle up Jake Browning and the Huskies offense in Seattle, there's less confidence in their shot to win both the Apple Cup against Washington State and the Pac-12 title game.
 
The AP voters reshuffled the top of the order, brought those USC Trojans into the mix (No. 15) and set the tone for what will be a lively week of debate across the country.
 
Alahama, No. 1 in the newest college football rankings from the coaches, and Western Michigan remain the only unbeatens in college football after a wild Saturday.
 
It's a shakeup to what was viewed as a stable set of title contenders up top, but the resulting rankings after Week 11 show that even losing won't change the perception of the pecking order. Ohio State's performances since losing to Penn State have boosted the Buckeyes' stock, and now Urban Meyer's high-scoring bunch is No. 2 in the country staring down a back-to-back against Michigan State and Michigan, who fell down to No. 4 after losing at Iowa.
 
Auburn's loss at Georgia resulted in a drop to No. 16 and wrapped up the SEC West for the Crimson Tide. Florida, at No. 18, kept pace in the SEC East with a win against South Carolina and will have a chance to wrap up the division at No. 14 LSU next Saturday.

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Defense Leads Monticello In Big Quarterfinals Win

The Monticello defense held a high powered Farmington offense in check all afternoon and the offense was good enough to lead the Sages to a 48-14 win over the Farmers in the quarterfinal round of the Class 3A IHSA football playoffs.
 
The Sages defense held the Farmers to 198 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers, all in the first half. 
Caleb Hanson finished 10 for 18 with 215 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also scored once on the ground, accumulating 30 yards on ten rushes.
 
Nathan Graham and Isiah Florey each hauled in three catches, Florey finished with 122 yards and Graham had 55. Each caught a touchdown pass.
 
Farmington quarterback Dylan Hayden finished 12 for 26 with 103 and had two touchdown passes to Eric Higgs. Hayden threw four first half interceptions. 
 
Higgs finished with eight receptions for 96 yards and the two touchdowns. 
 
Farmington ends their season 11-1 while Monticello moves on and is 12-0. 
 
The Sages will host Elmhurst Catholic next week. Game time is yet to be determined.
 
Elmhurst Catholic beat Wilmington Saturday 48-14.
 
Class 3A quarterfinal scores:
 
Tolono Unity 42 2 OT
Virden North Mac 49
 
Class 1A quarterfinal scores:
 
Decatur St. Teresa 34
Warrensburg-Latham 13
 
Tuscola 27
Hardin Calhoun 28
 
Class 2A quarterfinal scores:
 
DuQuoin 21
Maroa-Forsyth 35
 
Shelbyville 24
Champaign St. Thomas More 0
 
Newman Central Catholic 12
Dee-Mack 14
 
Class 5A quarterfinal scores:
 
Metamora7
Morris 12
 
Class 6A quarterfinal scores:
 
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 56
Rock Island 13

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Monticello Hosts Undefeated Farmington Saturday

If high scoring, offensive oriented football is up your alley, Monticello will be the place to be Saturday.
 
The Monticello Sages high scoring offense will be tested Saturday when the host the Farmington Farmers in the third round of Class 3A IHSA football playoffs. Sages head coach Cully Welter says the Farmers offense is almost a mirror image of theirs.
 
 
Neither team's passing offense will be new for either defense. Coach Welter says both sides have the advantage of seeing the passing offenses in practice. He feels this will come down to who's defense steups up.
 
 
Farmington enters play 11-0 off a 28-18 victory over Elmwood-Brimfield last Saturday evening. The Farmers come from the Prairieland Conference's Blue Division. 
 
Game time Saturday is 2 pm from Monticello. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Class 3A football games:
 
#1 Elmhurst Catholic (11-0) vs. #4 Wilmington (11-0)  Elmhurst, Sat. 5:00 pm
#4 Carlinville (10-1) at #1 Newton (11-0) Sat 3:00 pm
#10 Tolono Unity (9-2) at #3 Virden North Mac (10-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 2A Quarterfinal games:
 
#4 Dee-Mack (10-1) at #1 Newman Central Catholic (11-0) Sat. 1:00 pm
#8 DuQuoin (9-2) at #5 Maroa-Forsyth (10-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#14 Champaign St. Thomas More (8-3) at #10 Shelbyville (8-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 1A Quarterfinal games:
 
#12 Hardin Calhoun (8-3) at #1 Tuscola (11-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#14 Warrensburg-Latham (7-4) at #2 Decatur St. Teresa (10-1) Sat. 1:30 pm
 
Class 4A Quarterfinal games:
 
#5 Rochester (10-1) at #1 Belleville Althoff Catholic (11-0) Sat. 7:00 pm
 
Class 5A Quarterfinal games:
 
#4 Washington (9-2) at #1 Peoria (10-1) Sat. 12, 7:00 pm
#10 Metamora (8-3) at #3 Morris (9-2) Sat. 3:00 pm
 
Class 6A Quarterfinal games:
 
#2 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (11-0) at #11 Rock Island (9-2) Sat. 3:00 pm

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Illini At No. 7 Wisconsin Saturday; ISU Hosts Season Finale; EIU On Bye

The 7th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (7-2, 4-2) are in position to win the Big Ten Conference's West Division if they can win their final three regular season games, starting with Saturday's visit from Illinois.
 
Illinois (3-6, 2-4) led the conference in penalties most of the year, a spot it finally vacated last week when it sent Michigan State careening to its seventh straight loss with a 31-27 verdict that kept its slender bowl hopes alive.
Jeff George Jr. appears likely to start again as senior Wes Lunt, the quarterback for the past 2 ? seasons, continues to nurse a back injury that has sidelined him for four straight games.
 
It's not known if wide receiver Malik Turner, by far Illinois' leading receiver, will be able to play after sitting out the Michigan State game with a concussion. Turner's potential absence will put more pressure on a running game fronted last week by Kendrick Foster's 146-yard, two-touchdown effort.
 
As for the Badgers, they're coming off a 21-7 win last week at Northwestern in which they outrushed the Wildcats 190-39. Corey Clement rushed 32 times for 106 yards and a touchdown, helping Wisconsin possess the ball for more than 40 minutes.
 
Saturday's game time is 2:30 pm and can be seen on ESPN2.
 
>>ISU Wraps Up Season At Home Hosting Missouri State
 
Coming off back-to-back wins against Top-15 nationally-ranked opponents, Illinois State (5-5, 3-4 MVFC) will look to cap off its season with a win over Missouri State (4-5, 2-4 MVFC) when the Redbirds host the Bears on Senior Day. 
 
A win would secure the seventh winning season in the last eight under the leadership of head coach Brock Spack and keep the Redbirds' NCAA FCS playoff hopes alive heading into the bye week.
 
Sophomore quarterback Jake Kolbe earned MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, after leading the Redbirds to their second-straight win over a Top 15 nationally-ranked opponent last week. The Naperville, Illinois, native threw for 265 yards and set a career-best with four touchdown passes as the Redbirds downed No. 11 Western Illinois on the road.  Kolbe has combined to throw for six touchdowns the past two weeks in wins for ISU.
 
The Bears are 4-5 on the season and have posted a 2-4 record in Missouri Valley Football Conference play so far in 2016. MSU began the season 2-0, but have won just two of its past seven games with victories at Indiana State and two weeks ago at home against Southern Illinois.
 
Saturday's game time is noon.
 
>>Eastern Illinois on Bye
 
The Eastern Illinois Panthers get a week off after dropping their third straight game last week to Tennesee-Martin.
 
The Panthers fell in their home finale, losing 33-17, their third straight defeat and all but do remain alive for a playoff spot.
 
Eastern returns to action next week as Eastern Kentucky awaits. That game is in Richmond, KY and is set for a noon start time. 

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Illini Basketball Opens Season Hosting Southeast Missouri State

The Illinois Fighting Illini opens its season tonight hosting Southeast Missouri State.
 
Illinois returns six of its top seven scorers and will be strengthened by the addition of a number of key players who were limited last year with injuries. 
 
With seven players combining to miss a total of 101 games and 14 different starting units, lineup changes existed throughout last season. One constant though for the Illini was the stellar all-around play of Malcolm Hill. 
 
Hill led the team in practically every statistical category while becoming the first player in school history to record 600 points, 200 rebounds and 100 assists in a single season.
 
Following back-to-back season-ending injuries, senior Tracy Abrams has recovered from those setbacks and will take the court for his final collegiate campaign after receiving a medical hardship waiver for a sixth-year of eligibility. Abrams missed the entire 2014-15 season after tearing his ACL in September, then missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles tendon in July. 
 
Senior Mike Thorne Jr. also received a medical hardship waiver to extend his eligibility to a sixth season. 
 
The Illini coaching staff felt it had recruited one of the nation's top shooters in the class of 2015 in Jalen Coleman-Lands. And JCL delivered in his inaugural season, torching the nets with 87 three-pointers to break the Illinois freshman record. Coleman-Lands was fourth in the Big Ten with an average of 2.6 treys while shooting 42.2 percent behind the arc to rank eighth in the league. He was the team's third-leading scorer with an average of 10.3 points per game.
 
The Illini will look for strong contributions from redshirt sophomores Michael Finke and Leron Black with their contrasting frontcourt styles. After redshirting his first season on campus, Finke had a number of bright moments last year. He started 16 games and averaged 7.5 points. A stretch-four with good passing skills, Finke shot 36.7 percent from 3-point range while knocking down 40 treys. He scored in double figures 10 times, led by a 24-point outing vs. Western Carolina.
 
Black was slowed following October surgery for a torn meniscus. He was limited to seven games, averaging 4.4 points and 4.4 rebounds, before sitting out the rest of the season and taking a medical redshirt. The Illini missed his presence on the glass, and he will be counted on for his rebounding ability this year. Black is suspended through the first four regular season games and will return to the court on Nov. 21 vs. Winthrop. 

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Illini Signs Three on National Signing Day

Coach John Groce announced the signing of three student-athletes to national letters of intent in guards Trent Frazier (Wellington, Fla.) Javon Pickett (Belleville, Ill.) and Da'Monte Williams (Peoria, Ill.).
 
Frazier is a four-star recruit ranked No. 78 by Scout, No. 101 by Rivals and No. 102 by 247Sports composite. He averaged 21 points, six assists and 2.2 assists as a junior at Wellington High School.
 
Picket is a three-star recruit who averaged 23.5 points and 6.4 rebounds as a junior at Belleville East High School, shooting 55 percent from the field. 
 
Williams is a four-star recruit ranked No. 92 by ESPN, No. 106 by Rivals and No. 107 by 247Sports composite. He led Peoria Manual High School to its first IHSA large-class state finals appearance since 1997, where the Rams finished third. Williams averaged 15.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals as a junior, scoring a career-high 37 points vs. Joliet West. He earned first-team All-State honors by the Associated Press and IBCA. Williams is the son of Illini all-time great point guard Frank Williams, the 2001 Big Ten Player of the Year and two-time All-American.

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Rizzo, Arrieta Awarded Silver Slugger Awards

On Thursday, MLB announced the winners in each league of the 2016 Silver Slugger awards. 
 
Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo and starting pitcher Jake Arrieta were received Silver Slugger awards in the National League. 
 
National League Silver Slugger winners:
 
C - Wilson Ramos, Nationals (1)
1B - Anthony Rizzo, Cubs (1)
2B - Daniel Murphy, Nationals (1)
3B - Nolan Arenado, Rockies (2)
SS - Corey Seager, Dodgers (1)
OF - Charlie Blackmon, Rockies (1)
OF - Christian Yelich, Marlins (1)
OF - Yoenis Cespedes, Mets (1)
P - Jake Arrieta, Cubs (1)
 
American League Silver Slugger winners:
 
C - Salvador Perez, Royals (1)
1B - Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (7)
2B - Jose Altuve, Astros (3)
3B - Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays (2)
SS - Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox (2)
OF - Mike Trout, Angels (5)
OF - Mookie Betts, Red Sox (1)
OF - Mark Trumbo, Orioles (1)
DH - David Ortiz, Red Sox (7)
 
Coaches and managers of Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in the field in both the American and National Leagues.
 
Managers and coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own team.
 
There were 11 first time Silver Slugger recipients this year. 

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Bulls Down Heat

Dwyane Wade got a win in his return to Miami, with Jimmy Butler scoring 20 points and Rajon Rondo adding 16 points and 12 assists as the Chicago Bulls topped the Heat 98-95 on Thursday night.
 
Robin Lopez had 16 points for Chicago, which prevailed in a game that had 14 ties and 19 lead changes.
 
Wade scored 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting in his first game at Miami as an opponent, after spending his first 13 NBA seasons with the Heat.
 
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 20 points and 20 rebounds. Dion Waiters and Josh Richardson each scored 16 for the Heat, who lost point guard Goran Dragic to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.
 
Justise Winslow scored 15 and Tyler Johnson added 14 for Miami.

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Nashville Downs St. Louis

Calle Jarnkrok scored twice to lead the Predators over the St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Thursday night.
 
James Neal also scored and Pekka Rinne made 23 saves for Nashville, which has won two straight for its first winning streak of the season.
 
Jaden Schwartz had the lone goal and Carter Hutton made 25 saves for the Blues.
 
Schwartz scored the game's first goal at 3:59 of the opening period.
 
From the right corner, Vladimir Tarasenko found Schwartz in the lower part of the right faceoff circle, where he beat Rinne on the short side with a wrist shot just inside the post.
 
Nashville drew even at 18:26 of the second on Jarnkrok's second goal of the season.
 
In the right corner, Colin Wilson's spinning backhand pass glanced off the skate of Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and landed on Jarnkrok's stick in the slot. Jarnkrok double-clutched and then beat Hutton high to the glove side.
 
Hutton spent the last three years as Rinne's backup in Nashville before signing with the Blues in the offseason.
 
Jarnkrok's goal came just minutes after Nashville failed to convert on a two-man advantage that lasted 1 minute, 17 seconds.
 
The Blues return to action Saturday when they take on the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

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Panarin Score in Overtime Lifts Blackhawks Past Blues

Artemi Panarin scored 25 seconds into overtime and Corey Crawford made 27 saves, leading the Chicago Blackhawks over the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Wednesday night for their seventh straight win.
 
Crawford won his sixth consecutive game and improved to 15-5-5 against the Blues. Chicago has earned a point in nine straight games.
 
Panarin scored on a wrist shot from the slot for his sixth goal of the season.
 
St. Louis' Alex Pietrangelo tied it with 2:11 left in the third on a drive from the point that squeezed past Crawford, who got a piece of the shot.

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Bulls Lose, Pacers Win

Thabo Sefolosha scored 20 points, Dwight Howard added 18 and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Chicago Bulls 115-107 on Wednesday night for their third consecutive victory.
 
Paul Millsap had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hawks, and Dennis Schroder scored 13. Howard grabbed 10 boards as Atlanta outrebounded the Bulls 49-30.
Jimmy Butler finished with 39 points and Dwyane Wade had 25 for the Bulls, who have lost four of five.
 
The output was Butler's highest since he scored a career-high 53 points against Philadelphia on Jan. 14 last season.
 
Atlanta carried over some momentum from Tuesday's rare victory at Cleveland. The defending NBA champion Cavaliers had won 11 straight in the series, including two playoff sweeps.
 
Sefolosha sparked the Hawks when he entered late in the first quarter, scoring 16 of their 21 points in a 3:44 stretch that spanned the first two periods to help Atlanta take a 45-31 lead.
 
>>Pacers Outlast Bulls in Overtime
 
Paul George finished with 28 points and eight rebounds while scoring seven of the Pacers' 13 points in overtime to defeat the Sixers 122-115.
 
The 76ers led by as many as six points with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game before Jeff Teague hit a floater in the lane to give Indiana a one-point lead. With 6 seconds remaining in regulation, Gerald Henderson hit a 3-pointer to give Philadelphia a 2-point lead. But on the ensuing Pacers' possession, George hit a baseline jumper with 3 seconds left to tie it at 109.
 
On the Pacers' first possession of overtime, George set the tone with a 3-pointer to give Indiana the lead. And it was George who threw down an emphatic dunk that gave Indiana a six-point lead, ultimately sealing the win for the Pacers.
 
Teague finished with a season-high 30 points and added nine assists. Teague and George combined to score Indiana's final 15 points of the fourth quarter. Myles Turner finished with 15 points and nine rebounds for Indiana.
 
Robert Covington led the Sixers with 23 points. Henderson finished with 17 points and five rebounds while Dario Saric had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
 
Joel Embiid did not travel with the team to Indiana, remaining in Philadelphia for rest.
 
The two squads meet in Philadelphia Friday. 
 
>>Bulls Send RJ Hunter to D-League
 
The Chicago Bulls have assigned guard R.J. Hunter to the Windy City Bulls of the NBA D-League.
 
Hunter was signed by Chicago on Oct. 27, and has not played in a game.
 
The Bulls announced the move on Tuesday. 

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Jordan Spieth Cutting Back on Fall Schedule

Jordan Spieth is one of golf's greatest ambassadors. That's an undeniable fact that doubles as a weighty reality for a 23-year-old who wants to be a 23-year-old.
 
He is aware of this of course, and because of that, he probably bit off more than he could chew last year when he jetted all over the world to every manner of country to tee it up.
 
Many speculated whether the grueling schedule wore him down in the lead-up to the Masters. That might not have been a totally fair question, but it was certainly an earnest inquiry. And Spieth's recent revelation about his end-of-2016 and beginning-of-2017 schedule tell me he's thought about it a lot too.
 
There are no trips planned to Singapore and Abu Dhabi this time around, although Spieth will still head to Australia for the Australian Open. The seeds of this were planted after a worn-out Spieth discussed the labor of globetrotting earlier in 2016.
 
Spieth told ESPN quote- "It's been a wild schedule. And what I've learned is that I won't bounce back and forth from the States over here as often as I did. It's just tough."
 
"I just wanted an offseason. I needed some time off," Spieth told Golf.com.

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Illinois Scraps Soldier Field Games With Northwestern

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman says the Illini will no longer play Northwestern at Soldier Field in Chicago.
 
Illinois in recent years has played Northwestern every other season at the stadium. The Illini gave up on-campus games against the Wildcats to gain visibility in Chicago.
Northwestern's home dates in the series are played at its campus in Evanston. The teams will meet there Nov. 26.
 
Whitman said Tuesday the school prefers "rivalry games" be played in Champaign.
 
Illinois will instead play what he described as a "major non-conference opponent" at Soldier Field every four years.
 
The next game will be against South Florida in 2018.
 
Spokesman Kent Brown said the school's deal with the Chicago Park District for Soldier Field does not require any financial penalty for the change.
 
>>Big Ten Friday Night Football Games Announced
 
The Big Ten has announced its schedule of Friday night football games for 2017.
 
The conference said Tuesday that the games would be televised by ESPN and Fox. Game times will be announced later.
Two games will be played on Sept. 1: Washington at Rutgers and Utah State at Wisconsin.
 
Other games are Ohio at Purdue on Sept. 8, Nebraska at Illinois on Sept. 29, Northwestern at Maryland on Oct. 13, and Michigan State at Northwestern on Oct. 27.
 
Big Ten officials said last week there would be six Friday night football games a year starting in 2017 and continuing through at least 2022. The games are being added to the conference's new television agreements with ESPN/ABC and Fox.
 
The Big Ten already has had Friday night games on Labor Day weekend.

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Rizzo, Heyward Win Gold Gloves

The 2016 Gold Glove Awards were presented on Tuesday night, some week-plus after Rawlings announced the finalists for each position across the two leagues.
 
Some 75 percent of the voting is comprised of coaches and managers' picks -- though they're limited to their league and cannot pick their own players. The rest of the voting is derived from a statistical component.
 
CATCHER
 
AL: Salvador Perez, Royals
NL: Buster Posey, Giants
 
FIRST BASE
 
AL: Mitch Moreland, Rangers
NL: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
 
SECOND BASE
 
AL: Ian Kinsler, Tigers
NL: Joe Panik, Giants
 
THIRD BASE
 
AL: Adrian Beltre, Rangers
NL: Nolan Arenado, Rockies
 
SHORTSTOP
 
AL: Francisco Lindor, Indians
NL: Brandon Crawford, Giants
 
LEFT FIELD
AL: Brett Gardner, Yankees
NL: Starling Marte, Pirates
 
CENTER FIELD
 
AL: Kevin Kiermaier, Rays
NL: Ender Inciarte, Braves
 
RIGHT FIELD
 
AL: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
NL: Jason Heyward, Cubs
 
PITCHER
 
AL: Dallas Keuchel, Astros
NL: Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks
 
Awards season is far from over. The BBWAA awards will be announced next week. The finalists were announced earlier this week.

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White Sox Might Make Sale Available This Winter

The Chicago White Sox might be prepared to deal Chris Sale.
 
Not even a week has passed since the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title in more than a century, and teams already are involved in trade talk as they position themselves for 2017 and beyond.
 
The White Sox sprinted to a 23-10 start, creating visions of a Windy City World Series against the Cubs, then sank to a 78-84 record. After winning the 2005 title, the White Sox have not even reached the playoffs since 2008.
 
Sale, a left-hander who turns 27 in March, was an All-Star in each of the last five seasons and has a contract that pays him $12 million next year and includes club options at $12.5 million for 2018 and $15 million for 2019.
 
White Sox GM Rick Hahn said other teams ask him about Sale, but Hahn also discusses the future with owner Jerry Reinsdorf and executive vice president Kenny Williams.

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Bears Waive OL Edison

The Chicago Bears have waived offensive lineman Cornelius Edison.
 
Edison has appeared in one game this season. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State with the Bears in 2015 and spent part of that season on Chicago's practice squad.
 
The Bears announced the move Tuesday.

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Cubs, Sox Notes

>>Epstein Executive of the Year From TSN
 
Theo Epstein has been voted The Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year for revitalizing the Chicago Cubs.
 
Balloting by 56 big league executives took place before the postseason. The Cubs led the majors with 103 wins during the regular season and beat Cleveland in a seven-game World Series last week for their first title since 1908.
 
Epstein was presented with the award Monday night at the start of the annual general managers meeting. He received 13 votes, followed by Cleveland's Chris Antonetti (nine), the New York Yankees' Brian Cashman (eight), Texas' Jon Daniels (seven), Cleveland's Mike Chernoff and Washington's Mike Rizzo (three each), and Baltimore's Dan Duquette and the Cubs' Jed Hoyer (two apiece).
 
>>Several Cubs Up For Major Awards
 
Slugger Kris Bryant, pitchers Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks, and manager Joe Maddon of the World Series champion Chicago Cubs are among the finalists for baseball's major postseason awards.
 
The Baseball Writers' Association of America announced the top three vote-getters in each category Monday.
 
The honors will be announced next week on MLB Network. Voting was completed by the end of the regular season.
 
Bryant, Daniel Murphy of Washington and Corey Seager of the Dodgers are up for NL MVP. Jose Altuve of Houston, Mookie Betts of Boston and Mike Trout of the Angels are on the AL side.
 
The AL Cy Young Award is between Cleveland's Corey Kluber, Boston's Rick Porcello and Detroit's Justin Verlander. In the NL, it's Lester, Hendricks or Washington's Max Scherzer.
 
Detroit's Michael Fulmer, the Yankees' Gary Sanchez and Cleveland's Tyler Naquin are finalists for AL Rookie of the Year. Seager, Dodgers teammate Kenta Maeda and Washington's Trea Turner are on the NL side.
 
Maddon, Washington's Dusty Baker and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers are up for NL Manager of the Year. Cleveland's Terry Francona, Texas' Jeff Banister and Baltimore's Buck Showalter are the AL candidates.
 
>>Chicago Announcers Up For Frick Award
 
Longtime Chicago baseball announcers Ken Harrelson and Pat Hughes are among the eight finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award that rewards broadcasting excellence.
 
The list was presented Monday by the baseball Hall of Fame. The winner will be announced Dec. 7 at the winter meetings and honored on July 29 during the Hall's enshrinement weekend.
 
The other candidates are Gary Cohen, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Mike Krukow, Ned Martin and Dewayne Staats. King and Martin are deceased.
 
Harrelson has spent the last 27 years doing White Sox games on television. Known as Hawk, he was an All-Star outfielder for Boston in 1968, when he led the majors with 109 RBIs.
 
Hughes has called Cubs games on radio for 21 seasons.
 
Doucet started with the Montreal Expos during their expansion season in 1969 and spent 34 years doing play-play on their French network.
 
>>White Sox SP Shields Opts To Stay With ChiSox
 
James Shields is keeping his contract with the Chicago White Sox rather than become a free agent after tying for the big league lead in losses.
 
The 32-year-old right-hander was acquired from San Diego on June 4 for pitcher Erik Johnson and shortstop prospect Fernando Tatis Jr.
 
An All-Star in 2011, Shields was 13-7 in his first season with the Padres in 2015, then went 2-7 this year before the trade. He finished 6-19 with a 5.85 ERA, tying Tampa Bay's Chris Archer for the most defeats.
 
Shields agreed in February 2015 to a $75 million, four-year deal with the Padres that called for a $10 million salary in the first season and $21 million in each of the next three years. The agreement includes a $16 million club option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout.
 
As part of the trade, San Diego sent Chicago $8,770,492 this year. Because he kept the contract, the Padres must send the White Sox an additional $11 million in each of the next two years, raising the total to $30,770,492.

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Bulls Rout Magic

Jimmy Butler scored 20 points, Taj Gibson had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls routed the Orlando Magic 112-80 on Monday night.
 
Dwyane Wade also scored 16 points and Doug McDermott finished with 11 for Chicago, which had dropped three straight. Wade went 7 for 12 from the field in 25 minutes, bouncing back nicely from a dismal four-point performance in Saturday's 111-94 loss at Indiana.
 
Orlando had won three straight, but it played listless defense as Chicago pulled away in the third quarter. Aaron Gordon scored 15 points for the Magic, and Evan Fournier added 13 on 6-for-12 shooting.
 
Butler was a perfect 10 for 10 as the Bulls went 25 for 31 at the free throw line, compared to 5 for 6 for the Magic. The Bulls have made at least 20 free throws in their last four games and five of their first seven.
 
>>Hornets Pound Pacers
 
Kemba Walker had 24 points and 10 assists, and the Hornets scored on their first 12 possessions to build a 21-point lead in the first quarter on their way to a 122-100 rout of the listless Pacers on Monday night.
 
Charlotte scored on every possession until Marvin Williams missed a jumper with 5:48 left in the first. By that point, the Hornets led 30-14 and were already on their way to a lopsided victory.
 
Charlotte scored 35 points off 18 Indiana turnovers.
 
Charlotte's starters were 17 of 25 from the field before halftime as the Hornets established a 20-point lead and never looked back.
 
C.J. Miles led the Pacers with 23 points, while Al Jefferson had 12 points and nine rebounds in his return to Charlotte.
 
The Pacers return home to face Philadelphia on Wednesday night, where they are 3-0 this season.

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Sages Start Time For Saturday Set

The Monticello Sages will host Farmington in third round action of the IHSA Class 3A football playoffs Saturday and game time has been set.
For the third straight week, game time will be 2 pm as the Sages take on another undefeated Farmington squad from the Prairieland Conference.
 
The Sages beat Westville 41-14 Saturday afternoon in Westville.
 
While Farmington is the higher seed, Monticello will host the game Saturday as the Farmers have already hosted two playoff games to date.
 
Hear Saturday's action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Colts Hold On, Beat Packers

Jordan Todman set the tone early for the Indianapolis Colts on special teams and Andrew Luck made the clutch throws late.
 
In between, the defense made just enough plays to hold off Green Bay despite the Packers' frantic fourth quarter.
The Colts survived for a 31-26 win on Sunday after letting an 18-point lead with 9:35 left nearly disappear.
 
Todman had a 99-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, Frank Gore rushed for two touchdowns and Luck shook off two interceptions in the first quarter to finish with 281 yards passing and a touchdown.
 
Todman added a 61-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.
 
Rodgers' 3-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb with 3:29 left got Green Bay (4-4) within five, capping a 14-point spurt in four-plus minutes. Rodgers finished 26 of 43 for 297 yards with three scores and an interception.
 
Luck then dodged a potential sack by blitzing safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to throw a 20-yard pass on third-and-10 with 3:07 left to tight end Jack Doyle.
 
Luck also found T.Y. Hilton for a 27-yard completion on third-and-2 with 2 minutes left to put the game away. He finished 23 of 36, throwing both interceptions to safety Clinton-Dix.
 
The Packers defense gave up at least 30 points for a second straight game, and special teams also hurt them.
 
Green Bay begins a stretch of three straight road games with a trip to Tennessee on Nov. 13.

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Illinois, Illinois State Win; EIU Falls To UT-Martin

Jeff George Jr. and the Illini defense pulled off a comeback that no doubt made the elder George's day.
 
George Jr. threw a touchdown pass with 1:25 left to take the lead, and with 19 seconds left Illinois' defense came up with a fourth-down stop at its own 15 to pull out a 31-27 win.
 
George was just 13-29 for 140 yards, but he had two touchdown passes. The second touchdown was the 16-yard strike to Sam Mays that sealed the win.
 
Kendrick Foster had 17 carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns, the second a 64-yarder. He has three scores of 56 yards or more this season, all of that after almost leaving the program last November.
The victory was Illinois' (3-6, 2-4 Big Ten) first over the Spartans since 2006, and ended a two-game losing streak.
 
The Spartans (2-7, 0-6) have lost seven straight, are off to their worst Big Ten start ever and are assured of a losing season. They dominated the game on paper, outgaining Illinois 490-304. Eight times Michigan State moved the ball to the Illinois 36-yard line or further, but turned those possessions into just two touchdowns and four field goals. Michigan State's 10 penalties for 89 yards hurt.
 
The Illini head to Madison to face the No. 8 Badgers on Saturday.
 
>>Illinois State Holds On To Beat Western Illinois
 
Jake Kolbe threw a career-best four touchdown passes and Anthony Warrum had two TD catches for the second consecutive game, helping Illinois State outlast Western Illinois 31-26 on Saturday.
 
After an opening three-and-out, Kolbe found Warrum, who had seven receptions for 152 yards, for a 58-yard score. Later he connected with Anthony Fowler from 15 yards out as the Redbirds (5-5, 3-4 Missouri Valley) led 14-0 after the first quarter.
 
Western Illinois (6-3, 3-3) scored on Lance Lenoir's 54-yard punt return and a Sean McGuire TD pass to Jamie Gilmore in the second, sandwiched between Warrum's second TD catch, this one for 50 yards.
 
After a Western Illinois field goal cut Illinois State's lead to 21-19, Kolbe's fourth TD pass - a 7-yarder to Christian Gibbs with 3:20 left in the third - increased the Redbirds' cushion to 28-19.
 
McGuire's second TD pass in the fourth quarter cut the lead 31-26. He finished with 312 yards passing.
 
>>Southern Illinois Beats South Dakota
 
Southern Illinois made two game-ending stops on Saturday to hold off South Dakota 35-28 and win its first Missouri Valley Football Conference game of the season.
 
It also gave sophomore quarterback Sam Straub a win in his first starting assignment for the Salukis. Straub threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a team-high 68 yards and a score. He completed 19 of 34 passes without an interception.
 
After stopping the Coyotes (4-5, 3-3) on third-and-goal as time ran out, players from both teams left the field and coaches were doing interviews before being called back and one second put back on the clock.
 
Chris Streveler's fourth-down pass was also incomplete and the Salukis escaped with the win.
 
Playing in his third game of the season, Straub had completed just one of five passes for 20 yards in two previous games.
 
Straub threw TD passes of 31 yards to Israel Lamprakes and 7 yards to Hans Carmien.
 
>>UT-Martin Rolls Eastern Illinois
 
As heard on WHOW Saturday afternoon, Ladevin Fair and Jaimiee Bowe combined for 122 yards rushing and three touchdowns and UT Martin beat Eastern Illinois 33-17 on Saturday.
Fair, who had a pair of 5-yard touchdown runs, rushed for 60 yards on 17 carries and added four receptions for 24 yards. Bowe's 2-yard scoring run capped a 10-play, 79-yard drive and gave the Skyhawks (6-4, 5-1 Ohio Valley) the lead, 13-7, for good with 5:18 left in the first half.
 
Devin Church scored on a 27-yard run that trimmed the Eastern Illinois (5-5, 3-4) deficit to 23-17 with 6:32 remaining. But UTM answered with a nine-play drive that lasted 3 minutes, 57 seconds and resulted in a 42-yard field goal by Mitch Mersman.
 
On Eastern Illinois' next offensive play from scrimmage, Kahlid Hagens intercepted a pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown that made it 33-17.
 
The Panthers outgained UTM 297-253 but committed seven turnovers, including four interceptions.
 
Church finished 13 carries for 101 yards.

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Blackhawks, Blues Win

Marian Hossa scored at 4:31 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Dallas Stars 4-3 on Sunday night for their sixth consecutive victory.
Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists and NHL MVP Patrick Kane scored for the third time in four games, helping the Blackhawks sweep the home-and-home set with the Stars. Kane had a goal and an assist in Saturday night's 3-2 victory in Dallas.
 
The Stars had a power-play opportunity in overtime, but Scott Darling made a great kick save on Patrick Eaves to help kill it. Hossa then drove one by Kari Lehtonen for his sixth of the season.
 
>>Blues Blast Avalanche
 
Robby Fabbri and Jori Lehtera each scored in the first 3:35 and the Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-1.
 
St. Louis entered with 26 goals in 12 games this season and hadn't scored more than two goals in any of its past six games.
 
Jake Allen stopped 22 shots for St. Louis, and the Blues killed off five power plays.
 
The Blues have won 10 of their last 12 games against Colorado dating to April 2011.
 
Matt Duchene got his sixth goal for Colorado. Semyon Varlamov had stopped 20 of 25 shots, and Calvin Pickard had three saves in the third period for the Avs.
 
Fabbri scored 1:37 into the first on a 2-on-1 break with Dmitrij Jaskin, beating Varlamov to the short side.
 
Lehtera scored from the slot off a pass from Carl Gunnarsson, getting his first goal 3:35 in.
 
David Perron scored with 54 seconds left in the second on a shot that deflected off Varlamov's glove and shoulder.
 
The Blues host Chicago on Wednesday.

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Ohio State Makes Top Five in Latest Coaches Poll; Louisville Back in Top Five of AP Poll

With the first college football weekend of November in the books, the critical stretch of the season begins. Key conference games will shape divisions along with the playoff field.
 
Following Week 10, we've already seen examples of that with Texas A&M losing at Mississippi State and Washington taking care of business against Cal. The Aggies fell out of the Coaches Poll top 10 while Ohio State cracked the top five after throttling Nebraska.
 
Outside of that, the top four didn't change much outside of Clemson and Michigan swapping spots at No. 2 and No. 3. Penn State had the biggest leap Sunday, jumping up nine spots to No. 14 after beating Iowa. Baylor fell 12 spots -- but not out of the top 25 -- after losing to TCU.
 
The Associated Press Top 25 may not affect the College Football Playoff race, but it might preview an interesting top 25 by the selection committee this week.
 
Auburn and Oklahoma, two teams previously outside the AP top 10, came in at No. 8 and No. 9 this week. If the selection committee mirrors these sentiments, the playoff race could get a lot tighter with just weeks remaining in the season.
 
Still, Alabama is an overwhelming No. 1 with Michigan sitting at No. 2 and holding the only other first-place vote.
 
The biggest leap belongs to Penn State, which jumped from No. 20 to No. 12 -- more closely resembling the first playoff rankings. Baylor fell 12 spots from No. 13 to No. 25 after getting housed by TCU, but remained ranked all the same. Nebraska also fell from No. 9 to No. 21 after losing to Ohio State.

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Cubs Decline Option on Hammel

The Chicago Cubs have declined Jason Hammel's option for the 2017 season, making the pitcher a free agent.
 
The World Series champions announced the move on Sunday. The option was worth $12 million, and Hammel gets a $2 million buyout.
 
The 34-year-old Hammel went 15-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 30 starts this year. The 6-foot-6 right-hander is 33-22 with a 3.59 ERA in 78 starts over two stints with the Cubs.
 
Hammel did not pitch in the playoffs. The Cubs got Mike Montgomery in a July trade with Seattle, and he likely will replace Hammel in the rotation.
 
Hammel first signed with the Cubs in February 2014. He went 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts before he was traded to Oakland in the deal that sent shortstop Addison Russell to Chicago.
 
He re-signed with Chicago for a $20 million, two-year contract in December 2014.

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Sages Win Big Over Westville

The Monticello Sages scored the game’s first two scores, opening a 12-0 lead and never looked back in a 41-14 rout of Westville Saturday afternoon in Class 3A IHSA playoff football action from Westville.

 

Leading 28-7 with under a minute to play in the half, the Sages allowed an 80-yard kick return for a touchdown to Cameron Nicholas, allowing Westville to cut the lead 28-14 going into the half, but the Sages got the ball to start the second half and went on an 11 play drive that lasted 4:13 for 58 yards, capped by a Lucas Lieb 1 yard touchdown run, putting Monticello ahead 35-14. The Sages would control the ball and continue to keep a powerful Westville offense in check the rest of the way.

Caleb Hanson was efficient all day, finishing 28 for 40 with 284 yards with four touchdowns. Hanson only put the ball in the air eight times in the second half, capping the day with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Alek Bundy.

 

Hanson also finished with 53 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

 

Lieb finished with 36 yards rushing.

 

Johnny Dawson led all Sages receiver with eight receptions for 86 yards. Nathan Graham grabbed seven catches for 88 yards.

 

Isiah Florey had two touchdown receptions on six grabs and 34 yards.

 

Bundy finished with five catches for 39 yards.

 

Westville finishes their season at 10-1.

 

Monticello moves to 11-0 and will play Farmington next week.

 

Farmington beat Elmwood-Brimfield.

 

Game time has yet to be determined.

 

Hear next week’s action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

 

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Monticello Heads To Westville

The Monticello Sages football squad will head to Westville Saturday afternoon for a second round Class 3A IHSA playoff showdown.
 
Monticello routed Chicago Clark 49-8 Saturday in Monticello. The Sages, who improved to 10-0, were able to rest most of their starters in the second half and move on to the second round of the post season for the fifth time in the six years und head coach Cully Welter.
 
 
The Tigers from the Virmillion Valley League are 10-0 on the season after a 57-0 win over Chicago Marine last Saturday. Welter says Westville is a big physical group that will pose a lot of challenges for his team Saturday.
 
 
Welter says the team is starting to regain it's health, which was a concern early in the season. 
 
Game time from Westville Saturday afternoon is 2 pm. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com. 
 
Class 3A second round playoff games:
 
#5 Williamsville (9-1) at #4 Carlinville (9-1) Sat. 3:00 pm
#2 Mt. Carmel (10-0) at #10 Tolono Unity (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 1A second round playoff games:
 
#4 Freeport Aquin (9-1) at #12 LeRoy (7-3 Sat. 3:00 pm
#1 Tuscola (10-0) at #9 Carrollton (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#2 Decatur St. Teresa (9-1) at #10 Athens (7-3) Sat. 1:30 pm
#6 Brown County (8-2) at #14 Warrensburg-Latham (6-4) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 2A second round playoff games:
 
#5 Chicago Hope (9-1) at #4 Dee-Mack (9-1) Sat. 2:00 pm
#2 Kewanee Wethersfield (9-1) vs. #7 Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (8-2) Sat. 2:00 pm
#8 DuQuoin (8-2) at #1 Tri-Valley (10-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#5 Maroa-Forsyth (9-1) at #4 Eldorado (9-1) Sat. 1:00 pm
#2 Mendon Unity (10-0) at #10 Shelbyville (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
#6 Bismarck-Henning (8-2) at #14 Champaign St. Thomas More (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 4A second round playoff games:
 
#1 Althoff Catholic (10-0) at #9 Taylorville (8-2) Sat. 4:00 pm
#5 Rochester (9-1) at #4 Mt. Zion (9-1) Fri. 7:00 pm
 
Class 5A second round playoff games:
 
#8 Decatur Eisenhower (7-3) at #1 Peoria (9-1) Fri. 7:00 pm
#5 Centralia (8-2) at #4 Washington (8-2) Sat. 3:00 pm
#2 Highland (9-1) at #10 Metamora (7-3) Sat. 2:00 pm
 
Class 6A second round playoff games:
 
#7 Galesburg (8-2) at #2 Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin (10-0) Sat. 1:00 pm
 
Class 7A second round playoff games:
 
#11 Benet Academy (8-2) at #6 Normal Community (9-1) Sat. 3:00 pm

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Cubs Notes

The Chicago Cubs' curse-breaking victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 reached 40 million viewers, making it the most-watched World Series game since 1991.
The Nielsen company said the World Series as a whole averaged 23.4 million viewers. That was the most popular World Series since another curse-breaking year, when the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 to end a long drought.
 
The victory early Thursday marked the team's first World Series championship since 1908. The Cubs did it in thrilling fashion, topping the Indians 8-7 in 10 innings for their third straight victory.
 
It was another epic Game 7, between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves in 1991, that reached 50.3 million viewers, Nielsen said.
 
Last year's World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets, which lasted five games, averaged 14.7 million viewers per game.
 
>>Cubs World Series Parade This Morning
 
Wednesday night, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years.
 
This morning, the Cubs will celebrate with the rest of Chicago as they partake in a victory parade that'll stretch from Wrigley Field to Grant Park, where a rally will be held, per mayor Rahm Emanuel's edict.
 
Per the Chicago Sun Times, the parade will begin at 11 a.m. (local time), with team buses leaving Wrigley Field at 10 a.m.
 
The official procession will travel along Michigan Avenue between Oak and Ohio and then along Columbus between Monroe and Balbo. Fans who want to catch the downtown parade are encouraged to see them along this route.
 
Grant Park is the same place where the Chicago Blackhawks, of the National Hockey League, held their trio of championship rallies. 

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Illinois Hosts Michigan State; ISU At Western; EIU At UT-Martin

One of the toughest stretches of the season starts Saturday for the Illionis Fighting Illini who will host Michigan State at Memorial Stadium.
 
Early turnovers doomed Illinois last Saturday when they lost 40-17 at home against Minnesota. 
 
Illinois hosts Michigan State tomorrow, followed by a road test against Wisconsin and a home game hosting Iowa. 
 
Game time Saturday is 11 am.
 
>>ISU At Western Saturday
 
The Illinois State Redbirds picked up a much needed win last Saturday at Hancock Stadium when they beat South Dakota State 38-21.
The Redbirds get a late season test when they head to Macomb to take on the resurgent Western Illinois Leathernecks.
 
At No. 11 in the country, Western has been most led by quarterback Sean McGuire and likely All-American Lance Lenoir. 
 
Game time from Macomb Saturday is 1 pm.
 
>>Eastern Draws UT-Martin for Home Finale
 
It's the final home game of the season for the Eastern Illinois Panthers as Tennessee-Martin looms.
After last week's 47-14 rout at the hands of Jacksonville State, the Panthers will look to rebound and finish the season strong.
 
Both squads are 5-4 on the year and trying to muster any momentum into a postseason birth they may have. 
 
Game time Saturday is 1 pm.
 
Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Packers, Colts Meet Sunday Afternoon

Andrew Luck against Aaron Rodgers.
 
Two of the NFL's best quarterbacks will take center stage on Sunday at Lambeau Field, However, neither Luck's Colts nor Rodgers' Packers have played to expectations at the season's midpoint. Sunday's game could be a turning point for the winner.
Indianapolis is 3-5. After opening with back-to-back losses, it's alternated wins and losses the next six weeks and is coming off a 30-14 home drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs.
 
Green Bay is 4-3. It's lost two of its last three games, with the lone win coming against Chicago, which played most of the game with its third-team quarterback.
 
There is a feeling of optimism, however, for the injury-plagued Packers. They lost on a last-second touchdown at Atlanta last week despite not having their top two running backs (Eddie Lacy and James Starks), top three cornerbacks (Sam Shields, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins), two of their wide receivers (Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery), premier defender (Clay Matthews) and their primary tight end (Jared Cook).
 
Much of the optimism revolves around Rodgers. After an unproductive start to the season, Rodgers over the past two weeks ranks third in passer rating, second in completions and first in touchdown passes.
 
Rodgers will face a Colts defense that has proven vulnerable against the pass. Indianapolis ranks 31st with 287.8 passing yards allowed per game. While former Packers linebacker Erik Walden has six sacks, the Colts just haven't made enough plays defensively. They've allowed a 66.8 percent completion rate with 14 touchdowns vs. two interceptions.

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Crawford, Blackhawks Blank Avalanche; Blues Lose

Corey Crawford made 38 saves in his second shutout in three games, helping the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 on Thursday night for their fourth straight victory.
 
Marian Hossa had two goals, Jonathan Toews also scored and the Blackhawks killed off three more penalties to run their streak to 12 after an awful start to the season for their penalty-killers.
 
Artemi Panarin added his fifth of the season off a slick pass from Patrick Kane in the third, closing out Chicago's seventh win in nine games overall.
 
Colorado dominated parts of the first and second periods, but Crawford was on top of his game again. He stopped Tyson Barrie about 5 minutes into the first, and denied Matt Duchene on a breakaway in the second. He also had a sharp glove save on Barrie at 9:34 of the third.
 
The Blackhawks visit Dallas on Saturday night, and then host the Stars on Sunday.
 
>>Stars Blast Blues
 
Tyler Seguin matched his career high with four assists - on Dallas' first four goals - to help the Stars beat the St. Louis Blues 6-2 in a rematch of their playoff series last season.
 
John Klingberg had two goals for the Stars, including an empty-netter. Patrick Eaves, Stephen Johns, Jason Spezza and Jordie Benn also scored for Dallas. Jamie Benn had three assists.
 
Paul Stastny and captain Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, which is 1-3-1 with only five goals in the last five games. The Blues have allowed 11 goals in the last two.
 
Stars goalie Antti Niemi made 28 saves. Jake Allen had 21 for the Blues.
 
St. Louis will return home to face Columbus on Saturday.

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White Sox Decline Option on RP Albers

The Chicago White Sox declined a $3 million club option on reliever Matt Albers and exercised a $250,000 buyout, making the right-hander a free agent.
 
The club also released right-hander Daniel Webb, reinstated third baseman Matt Davidson and reliever Jake Petricka from the 60-day disabled list, and outrighted outfielder J.B. Shuck to Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday.
 
Albers was 2-6 with a 6.31 ERA over 58 appearances (one start) last season, his second with the White Sox.
 
Webb pitched in one game before season-ending surgery on his right elbow in June. Davidson broke his right foot running the bases against Minnesota on June 30 in his lone appearance for the White Sox. Petricka, who had a right hip impingement, appeared in nine games.
 
Shuck hit .205 in 80 games.

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Bucks Drop Pacers

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker had 27 points each to lead the Bucks past the Indiana Pacers 125-107.
 
Antetokounmpo had nine assists and seven rebounds and his running mate, Parker, made a career-high four 3-pointers and grabbed eight rebounds.
 
Greg Monroe added 16 points, 16 rebounds and six assists, and Tony Snell, the newcomer acquired from the Chicago Bulls for Michael Carter-Williams, had 14 points, including a 3 at the buzzer that gave Milwaukee a 63-57 lead at halftime.
 
Paul George scored 23 points, reserve C.J. Miles added 19, Jeff Teague had 16 and Myles Turner 15, but it wasn't enough as the Pacers slipped to 0-3 on the road.
 
Malcom Brogdon, the Bucks' second-round draft pick from Virginia, scored 12 points.
 
On Saturday, the Pacers look for payback against the Bulls who beat them 118-101 on Oct. 29 in Chicago.

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Big Ten Schools Refuse To Play Friday Home Games

As part of the Big Ten's new television deal with ESPN and Fox beginning in 2017, the conference will start playing games on Friday night next season. Not all the members of the Big Ten are excited about the deal, however.
 
Michigan flat-out told the Big Ten it's not interested in playing on Fridays at all, and on Thursday night, Jim Harbaugh tweeted out that he's "disappointed" in the conference's decision to play on Fridays because it "infringes" on high school football's night.
 
On Wednesday afternoon, Penn State released a statement saying it isn't interested in hosting games on Friday night, though it will consider playing the occasional Friday night road game.
 
Michigan and Penn State weren't alone, either. Ohio State is willing to host games on Friday nights, but only under certain conditions, and the same can be said about Wisconsin and Michigan State. Wisconsin released a statement of their own on Wednesday night, essentially stating that it will play on Friday nights, but only before Labor Day, and not every year.
 
Michigan State already plays one home game on a Friday night during the season, and it doesn't plan on playing any more than that.

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Cubs End 108-Year Drought, Win World Series

Ending more than a century of flops, futility and frustration, the Chicago Cubs won their first title since 1908, outlasting the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings of a Game 7 thriller early Thursday.
 
They even had to endure an extra-inning rain delay to end the drought.
 
All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman blew a 6-3 lead with two outs in the eighth when Rajai Davis hit a tying, two-run homer.
 
But the Cubs, after tormenting their fans one more time, came right back after a 17-minute rain delay before the top of the 10th.
 
Series MVP Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double and Miguel Montero singled home a run to make it 8-6. Davis delivered an RBI single with two outs in the bottom half, but Mike Montgomery closed it out at 12:47 a.m., and the celebration was on.
 
World Series favorites since spring training, Chicago led the majors with 103 wins this season.
 
Zobrist got a Series-high 10 hits, a year after he helped the Royals win the championship. Zobrist was among the players brought to the Cubs by Theo Epstein, the baseball guru who added another crown to his collection. He also assembled the Red Sox team that broke Boston's 86-year drought by winning in 2004.
 
Dexter Fowler homered on Corey Kluber's fourth pitch of the game, 23-year-old Javier Baez and the 39-year-old Ross - set to now retire - also went deep for the Cubs, who led 5-1 in the fifth inning and 6-3 in the eighth.
 
 
Chapman wound up with the win, and Montgomery got one out for his first save in the majors.
 
Bryan Shaw, who gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Schwarber in the 10th, took the loss in just the fourth Game 7 that went to extra innings.
 
Albert Almora Jr., pinch-running for Schwarber, alertly took second on Bryant's long fly to center. Rizzo was intentionally walked, and Zobrist slapped an opposite-field double past a diving third baseman Jose Ramirez. Montero singled to make it a two-run lead.
 
Then in the bottom half, Carl Edwards Jr. struck out Mike Napoli, Ramirez grounded out, Brandon Guyer walked and Davis hit an RBI single. Montgomery took over, and helped set off a wild celebration on Chicago's North Side.

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Big Ten To Introduce Six Friday Night Games Starting Next Year

The Big Ten will play six Friday night football games a year starting in 2017 and continuing through at least 2022.
 
Senior Associate Commissioner Mark Rudner says the games are being added as part of the conference's new television agreements with ESPN/ABC and Fox. The six games will be spread over September and October and allow more Big Ten schools to get national exposure.
 
The Big Ten already has had Friday night games on Labor Day weekend. Those games will continue and be counted among the six each year.
 
Rudner said the conference expects to announce the 2017 Friday night schedule within the next week.
 
Michigan and Penn State already have declined to host Friday night games on their campuses.

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Celtics Down Bulls

Isaiah Thomas had 23 points and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics handed the Chicago Bulls their first loss of the season, 107-100 on Wednesday night.
 
Amir Johnson also finished 23 points, including four 3-pointers, to help the Celtics avenge their lone loss of the season.
 
Boston played without center Al Horford, who was placed in the concussion protocol Tuesday after exhibiting concussive symptoms during practice.
 
Johnson helped pick up the slack without him, scoring 16 points in the third quarter. The Bulls managed just 18 points in the period, their lowest scoring quarter of the season.
 
The Bulls cut into what had been a 16-point Boston lead in the fourth quarter and tied it at 100 on two free throws by Nikola Mirotic. But Boston regained the lead 101-100, then went up five on a driving layup by Thomas and basket by Marcus Smart.
 
Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 23 points and nine rebounds.

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College Basketball's Preseason All-America Teams Announced

The Associated Press released its preseason All-America team in men's basketball on Wednesday.
 
The honorees: Josh Hart of Villanova, Grayson Allen of Duke, Dillon Brooks of Oregon, Monte Morris of Iowa State and Ivan Rabb of Cal comprise the First Team.
Allen's 61 votes (out of 65) led the way, while Rabb had 57, Hart had 53, Brooks had 30 and Morris had 24.
 
The AP reports that Indiana sophomore big Thomas Bryant, Washington freshman guard Markelle Fultz and Kansas freshman forward Josh Jackson were the closest cuts.
 
Hart is leading a Villanova team that will try to become the first men's college basketball team to repeat as champion since Florida in 2006 and '07. He's also the first Villanova player since Kerry Kittles 21 years ago to earn preseason All-America status.
 
Morris makes for the second straight Iowa State player to be named a preseason All-American. Georges Niang earned the honor last year. The selection of Brooks and Rabb mark the first time Oregon and Cal have earned distinction with a preseason All-American pick.

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Cubs Bash Tribe, Force Decisive Game Seven

Addison Russell hit a grand slam and drove in a record-tying six runs, leading the Chicago Cubs over the Cleveland Indians 9-3 Tuesday night and forcing the World Series to a deciding Game 7.
 
Indians ace Corey Kluber, dominant while winning Games 1 and 4, starts again on short rest Wednesday night at home against big league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks.
 
The Cubs are trying to overcome a 3-1 Series deficit for their first championship since 1908. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948.
 
Kris Bryant had four hits for Chicago and homered for the second straight game. Anthony Rizzo also homered.
 
The Cubs got two gift runs in the first inning when Russell's pop fly dropped between two outfielders.
 
Jake Arrieta cruised to the win, adding to his victory in Game 2. Closer Aroldis Chapman got four outs before exiting in the ninth.
 
Russell's slam in the third made it 7-0. He tied Albert Pujols, Hideki Matsui and Bobby Richardson for most RBIs in a Series game.
 
>>Mets Closer Familia Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges
 
Mets closer Jeurys Familia was arrested on a domestic violence charge Monday, according to a complaint filed with the municipal court in Fort Lee, New Jersey. According to Andrew Wyrich and Abbott Koloff of the Bergen Record, the complaint says Familia caused "bodily injury to another" person.
Familia was charged with simple assault after police were called to his residence at 2:22 a.m. Monday. Police found reason "to believe that domestic violence had occurred."
 
Police said in the complaint that Familia caused "bodily injury to another" and that they observed a scratch to the chest and a bruise to the right cheek of the victim, whose name was redacted in the court papers provided to The Record on Tuesday.
 
In a statement, the Mets said, "The matter was brought to our attention and we are monitoring the situation."
 
Familia was recently part of an ad campaign featuring athletics condemning domestic violence. In the ad, Familia speaks Spanish and also says, "I am not a fan of domestic violence."
 
Familia, 27, led MLB with 51 saves in 2016. He had a 2.55 ERA and struck out 84 batters 77 2/3 innings.

 

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Kane Leads 'Hawks Over Calgary; Blues Blasted

Patrick Kane had a goal and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.
Kane scored his third of the season on a dazzling play in the first, and then set up Artem Anismov's tiebreaking power-play goal at 7:44 of the third. Anisimov extended his career-best point streak to eight games with his team-best seventh goal of the season.
 
With Sam Bennett in the penalty box for tripping, Kane made a perfect pass to Anisimov in front for the redirect. Tyler Motte added his third of the season on a nice rush, making it 3-1 at 12:44, and Kane assisted on Artemi Panarin's sliding empty-netter with 3:01 left.
 
Corey Crawford finished with 33 saves after posting his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.
 
>>Rangers Rout Blues
 
Jimmy Vesey had a goal and two assists, and Dan Girardi, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes also scored for New York, which has won seven of its first 10 games.
Chris Kreider, who missed the previous four games due to neck spasms, had two assists as 11 Rangers players recorded at least one point.
 
Jake Allen started in goal for St. Louis and allowed four goals on 19 shots until he was replaced by Carter Hutton after Zuccarello made it 4-0 with 7:05 remaining in the second. Hutton stopped eight of the nine shots he faced. The Blues lost for the third time in five games.
 
Henrik Lundqvist, who entered the game with a .901 save percentage and 2.45 goals-against average, wasn't consistently tested by the Blues, but was strong when called upon and got his first shutout of the season. Lundqvist's toughest save was a sprawling pad stop on Robby Fabbri late in the first period.
 
The Blues head to Dallas on Thursday night to take on the Stars.

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Bulls Lose Carter-Williams For 4-6 Weeks; Pacers Beat Lakers

The Chicago Bulls expect guard Michael Carter-Williams to miss 4-6 weeks because of a bruised left knee and sprained left wrist.
 
The team said Tuesday that an MRI showed no structural damage.
 
Carter-Williams took a hard fall contesting a layup in the second quarter of Monday's win at Brooklyn. Acquired in a trade with Milwaukee on Oct. 17, he is averaging 4.0 points.
 
The Syracuse product was the 2014 Rookie of the Year after being drafted 11th overall by Philadelphia and was traded to Milwaukee during the 2014-15 season.
 
>>Pacers Storm Back, Beat Lakers 
 
Paul George scored 30 points, including Indiana's final 12 of the game to rally the Pacers to a 115-108 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
 
The Lakers trailed by as many as 16 points, but rallied and had their final lead at 108-107 before George put it away.
 
George made consecutive 18-foot jumpers for a 111-108 lead, then followed through on the opposite end of the floor with the biggest defensive rebound of the game. The Lakers' Jordan Clarkson missed an almost uncontested layup, and it was George who came down with the rebound, sending him to the free throw line to close out the contest.
 
Monta Ellis had 17 points and CJ Miles scored 16 for the Pacers. Thaddeus Young finished with 14.
 
Lou Williams scored 19 points for the Lakers and Clarkson had 15.
 
The Pacers travels to Milwaukee on Wednesday.

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First College Football Playoff Rankings Released

With four weeks left in the regular season, the first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2016 were released Tuesday night with Alabama taking the No. 1 spot followed by Clemson, Michigan and Texas A&M from 2-4. Undefeated Washington checked in at No. 5.
 
There have been only three weekly rankings in the first two seasons of the CFP in which all of the unbeaten Power Five teams were atop the rankings. Those were the first two of 2014 (Mississippi State and Florida State) and the final one last year (Clemson).

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World Series Game Six Tonight

The Cubs force a 6th game in the World Series and tonight they need to win to push it to a deciding game seven. The team’s starter is last years CY Young award winner Jake Arrieta. He says that the weather won’t be an issue.
 
 
Arrieta starts on full rest while the Indians bring Josh Tomlin back on short rest.
 
Cubs Manager Joe Maddon says he’s glad that he can pencil in the 
teams October surprise Kyle Schwarber in the lineup as the designated hitter.
 
 
A Cubs win forces a winner take all game 7 tomorrow night in Clevelend. 
 
Game time tonight is 7 pm central time and can be seen on FOX.
 
>>NBA Game Time in Cleveland Altered For World Series
 
The NBA has moved up the start time for Tuesday night's Cleveland Cavaliers game because of the World Series.
 
The game against Houston at Quicken Loans Arena will now begin an hour earlier at 6 p.m. EDT.
 
The champion Cavaliers requested the change to avoid an extended overlap with Game 6 of the World Series, which starts at 8:08 p.m. at neighboring Progressive Field.
 
The Cleveland Indians lead the Chicago Cubs 3-2 and can win their first World Series since 1948. In June, the Cavaliers defeated Golden State in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to end the city's championship drought after 52 years.

 

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Bears Win on MNF; Packers Cut Traded RB

Jay Cutler threw for 252 yards and a touchdown after missing five games with a thumb injury, rookie Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 153 yards and a TD, and the Chicago Bears stunned the Minnesota Vikings 20-10 on Monday night.
 
The Bears (2-6) sacked Sam Bradford five times while handing the NFC North-leading Vikings (5-2) their second straight loss.
 
Cutler was on target in his return from a sprained right thumb. Howard easily surpassed his previous high of 118 yards. Alshon Jeffery got his first touchdown reception of the season, and Chicago outgained Minnesota 403 yards to 258.
 
Cutler had not played since he exited against Philadelphia in the second game of the season. But with his future up in the air after coach John Fox wavered in his commitment to him as the starter, he made a triumphant return.
 
Cutler completed 20 of 31 passes, including an 11-yard touchdown to Jeffery early in the third that made it 20-3. Whether he quieted fans who thought the Bears were better off with Brian Hoyer is another issue. But that became a moot point when Hoyer broke his left arm last week in a Thursday night loss at Green Bay.
 
Howard had a 69-yard run, the longest for Chicago in seven years. Zach Miller added 88 yards receiving as the Bears stopped a three-game losing streak.
 
Bradford, playing behind a porous line, had another rough game after getting sacked six times the previous week against Philadelphia. He was 23 of 37 for 228 yards.
 
Matt Asiata ran for 42 yards with Jerick McKinnon sidelined by an ankle injury.
 
The Bears have a bye before going to Tampa Bay on Nov. 13. 
 
>>Packers Cut RB Davis After Trading For Him
 
The Packers offense started to get back on track over the last two weeks, but the running game is still noticeably absent. Knile Davis wasn't the solution, and just 13 days after trading for him, the Packers have released the running back.
 
Green Bay gave up a late-round pick to the Chiefs in order to land Davis before Week 7, but he saw minimal action while playing with the Packers. And according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the compensation conditions of the trade ultimately were not met, so the Packers will not have to give up anything to the Chiefs.
 
Davis ran just two times for 1 yard against the Bears on Thursday night in Week 7 and then saw just three rushes for 4 yards against the Falcons in Week 8.

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Bulls Route Nets, Open Season 3-0

Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Dwyane Wade had 12 in the first road game of his career not played for Miami, and the Chicago Bulls improved to 3-0 by beating the Brooklyn Nets 118-88 on Monday night.
The Bulls had seven players in double figures, with Wade becoming the last of them when he left Bojan Bogdanovic behind with a crossover and was fouled on a drive to the basket in the fourth quarter.
 
Nikola Mirotic had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Taj Gibson added 14 points and 11 boards for the Bulls.
 
After home victories against Eastern Conference playoff teams Boston and Indiana to open the season, the Bulls easily handled their road opener, leading by as many as 33 points.

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Blackhawks, Blues Return to Action

The NHL took a brief hiatus from play Monday night as the country celebrated Halloween.
 
As the league returns to action today, a 12-game slate awaits hockey fans tonight including the Blackhawks at home against Calgary and the Blues on the road at Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers.
 
The Flames downed Chicago 3-2 in a shootout last week in Calgary.
 
At 5-3-1, the Blackhawks are off back-to-back wins, their latest a 3-0 shutout of the Kings Sunday.
 
The Blues beat the Rangers in St. Louis early in October, but the Rangers have hit their stride in recent weeks, averaging a league-best 3.89 goals per game. The balance has been there too, with seven players scoring at least three goals.
The Blues have just four players with at least three goals.
 
The offense has dried up for the Blues with three goals over their past three games, but one was enough in a shutout victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Goaltender Jake Allen made 27 saves. 
 
Puck drops in New York tonight at 7 ET and in Chicago at 7:30 CT.

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White Sox Want Guaranteed Rate Logo Changed

On Tuesday, U.S. Cellular Field will be officially become Guaranteed Rate Field as part of a new naming rights agreement the Chicago White Sox signed earlier in the year.
 
If that name and the White Sox's recent play wasn't embarrassing enough, turns out there's another potential punchline involved -- Guaranteed Rate's logo is a red arrow pointing downward. The White Sox tried getting Guaranteed Rate to change the logo presented at the stadium to something else, albeit to no avail, per ChicagoBusiness.com (H/T Yahoo Sports):
 
The White Sox have two winning season in its last 10 tries.

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Duke No. 1 in AP Hoops Poll

The Associated Press released its preseason men's Division I basketball poll Monday afternoon.
 
Duke is the overwhelming pick. Kentucky was the only other team to receive first-place votes.
 
Kansas, defending national champion Villanova and Orgeon round out the top 5. 
 
National runner-up North Carolina is ranked sixth followed by Xavier, Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona.
 
Indiana and Michigan State out of the Big Ten are ranked 11th and 12th respectively with Purdue at 15.
 
Louisville and Gonzaga come in at 13 and 14.
 
Maryland was the final Big Ten team in the top 25 at 25th.

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