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Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Fukuoka stops Ryukyu's win streak


Staff writer

All streaks must end.

For the Ryukyu Golden Kings, their nine-game winning streak ended by the slimmest of margins, 73-72, against the host Rizing Fukuoka on Saturday night in the bj-league.

The defending champion Golden Kings had a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime with 2 seconds remaining, when Anthony McHenry stepped to the free-throw line. He sank the first shot, but missed the second.

That gave first-place Ryukyu (15-4) its first road loss of the season in nine games, coming on a night when they shot 15 of 31 from the foul line.

It was the first meeting this season between the Western Conference's top teams.

In a tense fourth quarter, Richard Ford Jr.'s basket tied it at 71-71 with 42 seconds remaining. Teammate Tsuyoshi Kawazura's go-ahead score with 16 seconds left made it 73-71.

Michael Parker scored a team-high 21 points, pulled down nine rebounds and made four steals for the Rizing (15-8). Kohei Mitomo scored 13, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range, and Kawazura had a 10-point, five-rebound, four-rebound, three-steal performance.

George Leach finished with a team-best 23 points for the Golden Kings, McHenry scored 17 and Jeff Newton had 15. Yasufumi Takushi and Yosuke Sugawara scored six points apiece for Ryukyu.

Newton (13 rebounds), McHenry (11), Leach (nine) and Sugawara (seven) all stayed busy chasing down rebounds in a classic hard-nosed contest.

The Niigata Albirex BB, meanwhile, picked up their seventh straight win, trouncing the visiting Shiga Lakestars 96-63.

Tyrone Levett and Antonio Burks paced the hosts with 22 points apiece. Paul Butorac added 17 points and team-bests in rebounds (10) and blocked shots (five), and Calvin Chitwood and Akitomo Takeno scored 13 points apiece for coach Masaya Hirose's squad.

Takeno, starting his seventh straight game at point guard, dished out eight assists, collected four rebounds, made three steals and committed one turnover in 29 solid minutes.

Niigata (9-8) led 66-45 after three quarters.

For Shiga (11-12), Gary Hamilton scored a team-high 15 points. Bobby Nash and Luke Zeller each scored 13. Zeller also raked in 12 rebounds.

Veteran forward Kazuhiro Shoji drained the game-winning basket with 4 seconds left, giving the Takamatsu Five Arrows a 78-77 road win over the Osaka Evessa.

Osaka called a 60-second timeout after Shoji's basket, and Ryan Blackwell's shot was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Takamatsu improved to 8-15; Osaka slipped to 9-12.

Michael Gardener paced the Five Arrows with 28 points and seven assists. Yu Okada had 14 points and three assists and Antoine Broxsie scored nine and pulled down 12 rebounds. Shoji had 11 points, his third double-digit scoring effort of the season and first since a 16-point outing on Nov. 20. Satoshi Takeda chipped in with nine points for John Neumann's club.

Evessa star Lynn Washington had 25 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, Nile Murry scored 16 and collected six rebounds and Blackwell had an 11-point, five-assist effort. Shota Konno scored eight, while Waki Williams hauled in 14 rebounds to go along with four steals and three blocks.

Elsewhere, the host Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix cruised to an 86-70 win over the Toyama Grouses.

Wendell White (24 points, nine boards), Kazutoshi Ota (13 points, six assists), Masahiro Oguchi (12 points, 3-for-4 on 3s) and William Knight (eight points, eight rebounds) had a hand in the victorious effort. In addition, forward Ashley Parham had 12 points, nine boards, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot in 18 minutes in his Phoenix debut. Jermaine Green added five points and 11 boards for Hamamatsu, which arguably has the league's most talented roster.

Parham, a Chicago native, played college ball at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and was drafted by the NBA Development League's Tulsa 66ers last month. He's previously played in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Turkey and Venezuela.

Hamamatsu leads the Eastern Conference with a 16-3 record.

Jason Arbet and Kirby Lemons both scored 20 points for Toyama (8-9), Takeshi Mito scored 14 and Brandon Thomas had 12.

Also Saturday, Josh Bostic's 28-point, 20-rebound performance sparked the injury-riddled Kyoto Hannaryz to an 85-74 home win over the Oita HeatDevils.

Kyoto (6-13) outscored Oita 27-10 in the fourth quarter.

Taizo Kawabe had 19 points, including 7-for-7 at the charity stripe, and five assists for the Hannaryz, and John Clifford chipped in with 17 points and 21 boards. Jun Iwasa scored 13.

Mike Bell led the HeatDevils (7-14) with 24 points, Ricky Woods had a double-double (15 points, 14 boards), Yukinori Suzuki scored 11 and Matt Lottich finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.



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