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Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Joho finds form to lead Lakestars past Rizing


Staff Writer

Masashi Joho rediscovered his shooter's touch on Sunday.

A day after misfiring on all four of his 3-point shots, the Shiga Lakestars shooting guard drained 4 of 5 3-pointers in an 84-77 triumph over the host Rizing Fukuoka.

Joho finished with a game-high 23 points to help Shiga earn a series split. He leads the Lakestars (9-11) with 16.4 points per game. On Sunday, he also made an impact at the free-throw line, with a 5-for-5 effort to go along with two steals.

Shiga power forward Gary Hamilton and Luke Zeller added 16 points apiece, Mike Hamilton scored 11 and Chris Schlatter had 10. Hamilton grabbed 13 rebounds and Hall dished out six assists.

For Fukuoka (12-8), Michael Parker scored a team-best 21 points with eight rebounds. Kohei Mitomo added 19 points.

Also Sunday, the Ryukyu Golden Kings defeated the visiting Oita HeatDevils 74-70.

Bryan Simpson paced the Golden Kings with a season-high 21 points. He was 10-for-14 from the field, including four dunks, as the defending champions improved to 13-3.

Jeff Newton had 15 points and nine rebounds, Tsubasa Yonamine scored a season-high 14, Yosuke Sugawara had 12 and Anthony McHenry added seven points, six rebounds and eight assists. George Leach hauled in eight boards.

Ryukyu put the game out of reach by outscoring Oita 32-12 in the third quarter.

Ricky Woods led the HeatDevils (7-11) with 19 points. Mike Bell had a double-double (17 points, 17 boards) and Matt Lottich contributed 15 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Michael Gardener put 32 points on the board to lead the Takamatsu Five Arrows to a 97-90 road win over the Kyoto Hannaryz.

Gardener added seven rebounds and eight assists as Takamatsu raised its record to 7-13. Yu Okada poured in 21 points and Antoine Broxsie had an 11-point, 15-rebound effort for coach John Neumann's club.

Josh Bostic had 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Kyoto, which slipped to 5-11. Kyosuke Setoyama was 4-for-7 from 3-point range and scored a season-high 18 points for the expansion team. John Clifford and Naoto Takushi added 14 points apiece. Ex-NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, the league's biggest offseason signing, didn't play for the Hannaryz.

Tyrone Levett had 20 points and Paul Butorac contributed 17 as the Niigata Albirex BB earned an 87-82 home win over the Osaka Evessa.

Reserve guard Shuhei Komatsu scored a season-best 14 points in 15 minutes, while floor leader Akitomo Takeno had 11 points, six assists and sank all five of his shots from the charity stripe, displaying poise far beyond his 24 years. Calvin Chitwood had a 10-point effort as the Albirex (6-8) won their fourth straight game.

Nile Murry had a 30-point outing for Osaka (8-10). Ryan Blackwell added 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Lynn Washington posted his 10th double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) of the season, but it wasn't enough to keep the Evessa from falling to 3-9 on the road.

Gyno Pomare's 21 points led the Sendai 89ers in a 91-86 home win over the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.

The 89ers (11-7) dropped the series opener 83-82, but made enough big plays to pull out a victory in the rematch.

Sendai center Chris Holm had 16 points, 16 rebounds and six assists and Kenichi Takahashi poured in 16 points. Michael Peeples chipped in with 15 points and six boards and Takehiko Shimura (12 points, four rebounds, four boards) and Hikaru Kusaka (nine points) also made solid contributions in the win.

William Knight was the top scorer (25 points) for Hamamatsu, which sits atop the Eastern Conference with a 15-3 record. Wendell White added 24 points and Shingo Okada had 16 for coach Kazuo Nakamura's squad.

Takeshi Mito had his second straight game with 20-plus points, sparking the Toyama Grouses to a 75-61 win over the visiting Tokyo Apache.

Mito finished with 26 points on 7-for-12 shooting and 8-for-8 from the foul line. Brandon Thomas added 12 points, while Makoto Kato and Kirby Lemons had 10 apiece. Lemons also collected 18 rebounds as Toyama improved to 7-7.

Tokyo (5-11) dropped its fourth straight game and now has only two off-days to prepare for the defending champion Golden Kings, who visit Tokyo for a midweek series at Yoyogi National Gymnasium No. 2. Tipoff for Wednesday and Thursday night games is set for 7:30 p.m.

Rasheed Sparks led the struggling Apache with 16 points and Julius Ashby had 11. Reina Itakura and Michael Chappell scored 10 apiece.



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