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Monday, Jan. 7, 2008
Niigata completes two-game sweep
By ED ODEVEN
The Niigata Albirex BB completed a two-game sweep of the Tokyo Apache on Sunday, defeating Joe Bryant's club 89-80. It was the Apache's fourth straight loss. All-Star forward Rodney Webb scored 31 points and cleared 13 rebounds as Niigata improved to 10-8. Fellow All-Stars Matt Garrison and Yuichi Ikeda scored 23 and 10, respectively, and veteran point guard Makoto Hasegawa chipped in with nine. For Tokyo (9-7), Cohey Aoki had a team-best 31 points. Elsewhere, the Saitama Broncos (7-9) bounced back from a Saturday defeat to hand the host Toyama Grouses an 82-64 loss. Takeshi Ando had 18 points and Andrew Feeley 16 in the win, while Masayuki Kabaya's 18-point effort led the Grouses (2-16). The Osaka Evessa, the bj-league's two-time defending champions, improved to 13-3 with a sweep-completing 92-74 home win over the Takamatsu Five Arrows. Mikey Marshall paced the hosts with 32 points. Matt Lottich (25 points), Jeff Newton (13 points, 17 rebounds) and Naoto Nakamura (15 points) also played prominent roles in the win. For the Five Arrows (11-7), Reggie Warren had a double-double (23 points, 20 boards). Ryan Blackwell scored 25 points and Nick DeWitz added 21 as the visiting Sendai 89ers (12-4) edged the Ryukyu Golden Kings 82-77. Eric Walton had a team-best 25 points and Naoto Takushi scored 14 for the Golden Kings, who dropped to 4-14. The Rizing Fukuoka improved to 8-8 by beating the host Oita HeatDevils 85-81. A strong fourth quarter — the Rizing scored 28 points to the HeatDevils' 15 — fueled the win. For Fukuoka, Joshua Peppers scored 28 points, Jeffrey Price contributed 27 and Tsuyoshi Kawazura handed out six assists.