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Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Red-hot Evessa earn fifth straight victory


Staff writer

Nile Murry scored 29 points, Lynn Washington added 28 and the Osaka Evessa defeated the visiting Takamatsu Five Arrows 94-91 on Saturday, stretching their winning streak to five games.

Naoto Nakamura chipped in with 16 points, two fewer than his season-high total, and Justen Naughton had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Washington also pulled down 10 boards as the Evessa improved to 15-8.

Gordon James led the Five Arrows (14-9) with 26 points, while George Leach had 15, Rasheed Sparks 13, Hiroyuki Kikuchi 12 and Yu Okada 11.

Osaka trailed 72-67 with 8:38 to play in the fourth quarter, but took a 75-74 lead on a Murry 3-pointer at the 5:57 mark and never trailed again.

Elsewhere in the bj-league, the host Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix trounced the Saitama Broncos 98-71. Fourteen players put points on the board for Hamamatsu (13-10). Michael Gardener was the top scorer with 27 points, followed by Marcus Morrison's 15 and Levonn Jordan's nine. Sun Ming Ming contributed eight points on 4-for-4 shooting.

Reggie Warren paced the Broncos (11-12) with 32 points and 15 boards, and Kazuhiro Shoji added 13 points. Saitama shot 23-for-68 (33.8 percent) from the field.

Michael Parker's double-double lifted the Rizing Fukuoka to a 67-63 road win over the Shiga Lakestars.

Parker, the league's leading scorer at 25.7 points per game, had a 22-point, 11-rebound effort, while Marlyn Bryant contributed 19 points and 10 boards as Fukuoka improved to 9-14 and pulled within one game of fourth-place Shiga in the Western Conference standings.

For the Lakestars (10-13), Ryan Rourke was the top scorer (24 points). Brayden Billbe (14 points) and Ray Schafer (10) also reached double figures in points, while Takamichi Fujiwara dished out six assists.

The Niigata Albirex BB, meanwhile, earned an 87-78 home triumph over the Toyama Grouses. Big man Dokun Akingbade provided the inside muscle (22 points, 13 rebounds) and veteran point guard Makoto Hasegawa, 37, gave a turn-back-the-clock performance, scoring a season-high 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting.

Forward Antonio Burks, playing only his third game of the season, added 13 points, Yuichi Ikeda had 12 and newcomer Emmanuel Little chipped in with eight points and 10 boards as the Albirex improved to 9-14.

Toyama fell to 7-16 despite strong efforts from Rodney Webb (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Babacar Camara (21 points, 14 boards).

Six players scored in double figures and the Ryukyu Golden Kings cruised to a 95-61 win over the host Oita HeatDevils.

Ryukyu (19-4) held a 63-41 advantage after three quarters.

Jeff Newton and Naoto Takushi scored 15 points apiece to pace the Golden Kings, who collected 13 steals in the runaway victory.

James Wilkinson (19 points) and Kimitake Sato (11) were the lone double-digit scorers for Oita, which slipped to 5-18, the worst record in the league.

John "Helicopter" Humphrey's game-high 25 points helped the Tokyo Apache record an 83-72 win over the host Sendai 89ers.

Masashi Joho ended a three-game scoring slump with 14 points for Tokyo (16-7), while Tizzo Johnson (11 points), Nick Davis and Cohey Aoki (10 apiece) helped Joe Bryant's club used a well-balanced offensive attack to defeat its Eastern Conference rival.

Chris Holm had a 20-point, 20-rebound effort for Sendai (10-13).



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