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Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007

BJ-LEAGUE

Niigata rallies in 4th, wins in OT

Staff report

The Niigata Albirex BB made a big fourth-quarter comeback and then routed the host Saitama Broncos in overtime, earning a 97-86 triumph on Saturday in bj-league action.

The Albirex, who trailed 69-56 after three quarters, outscored the Broncos 27-14 in the fourth to tie it at 83-all. Matt Garrison (27 points), Jack Hartman (22) and Naoto Kosuge (19) were Niigata's top scorers, while Marcus Toney-El (29) and Taishiro Shimizu (19) paced Saitama.

Ex-NBA forward David Benoit, who didn't play in his team's last four games, returned to the rotation and made a big impact on the boards -- 10 rebounds in 18 minutes. Elsewhere, the Sendai 89ers grabbed a 77-68 triumph over the host Toyama Grouses. Michael Chappell (25 point and 10 rebounds), Ryan Blackwell (23 and eight) and Mamadou Diouf (13 and a game-best 14 boards) had banner games for Sendai.

Nile Murry's 21 points led Toyama. The host Takamatsu Five Arrows routed the Osaka Evessa 92-67. Kazuyuki Nakagawa, playing his third game for Takamatsu, scored 22 points, raising his scoring output for the third straight contest.

The Five Arrows' Reggie Warren added 13 points and 16 rebounds, Julius Ashby had 16 and 11 and Rasheed Sparks dished out a game-high seven assists.



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