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Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007

BJ-LEAGUE

Strong start sparks Apache

Staff report

Balanced scoring carried the Tokyo Apache to a 78-69 victory over the visiting Niigata Albirex BB on Saturday night at Ariake Colosseum.

Michael Jackson had a team-best 21 points and 13 rebounds and Kohei Aoki and John "Helicopter" Humphrey produced 17 apiece as the Apache improved to 8-11 in the bj-league.

Niigata's Jack Hartman had a double-double (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Nick Davis added 15 and 11, but their team couldn't overcome a 42-28 halftime deficit.

In Sendai, the Osaka Evessa topped the host 89ers 81-75, improving to 13-6 and moving into a tie for first place with the Albirex. Jeff Newton led the way with 25 points and 16 boards, while Lynn Washington (20, nine rebounds, five assists), David Palmer (17 points, seven rebounds) and Matt Lottich (13 points, five assists) also played pivotal roles in the win.

Ryan Blackwell had a 25-point, 21-rebound performance for Sendai. At Beppu Arena in Oita Prefecture, the HeatDevils completed their sweep of the Saitama Broncos with an 80-73 win.

Andy Ellis scored 25 points, Chris Ayer added 22 and Mikey Marshall 15 for Oita. Andrew Feeley's 22 points led Saitama.

The host Toyama Grouses defeated the Takamatsu Five Arrows 78-69. Nile Murry (24 points), Jerod Ward (23) and Takanori Goya (10) paced Toyama, while Nate James contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds. For Takamatsu, Yu Okada had a team-high 19 points and center Julius Ashby added 18 and pulled down 11 boards.



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