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Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

BJ-LEAGUE

Woods heats up in Oita's win over Niigata


Staff writer

Oita HeatDevils swingman Ricky Woods got into a rhythm, making basket after basket in Saturday's game against the Niigata Albirex BB.

As the game progressed, the HeatDevils were smart enough to keep feeding the ball to Woods, the bj-league's fourth-leading scorer.

Woods scored 44 points, six points shy of Jeff Newton's league single-game record set last season for the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the Western Conference final against the Osaka Evessa, to lead the hosts to an 84-83 win over Niigata. He made 19 of 28 shots from the field, grabbed 13 rebounds and made collected three steals, two assists and two blocked shots.

All in all, it was a banner for Woods, who scored the game's final two points with 13 seconds remaining. His last basket helped Oita improve to 10-15.

Prior to Woods' game-winning shot, the score was tied at 72-72, 74-74 and 76-76. Niigata forward Yuichi Ikeda's basket gave his club an 83-82 lead with 1 minute remaining. With 20 seconds to play, Albirex point guard Akitomo Takeno missed a 3-pointer, setting the stage for Woods' late-game heroics.

For the HeatDevils, Mike Bell added 17 points and eight rebounds and Matt Lottich had a 13-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist effort. Rashaad Singleton hauled in eight boards in 14 busy minutes.

Antonio Burks paced the Albirex (11-12) with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Butorac finished with 18 points and seven rebounds and Ikeda chipped in with 11 points and five boards. Takeno contributed nine points and seven assists and power forward Uche Echefu had eight points and six rebounds off the bench.

Also Saturday, Demetrius Guions and Josh Peppers scored 20 points apiece in the Sendai 89ers' 83-65 road win over the Shiga Lakestars.

Center Chris Holm added 16 points and 13 rebounds, Gyno Pomare scored 10 points and Kenichi Takahashi supplied eight points and three assists for Sendai (15-10).

For Shiga (13-14), Masashi Joho finished with 13 points and four assists, Ray Schafer scored 12, Bobby Nash had 11 and Gary Hamilton scored 10 and pulled down nine board for coach Bob Pierce's club.

All-Star forward Michael Parker, the league's leading scorer, put 39 points on the board (matching his season high), grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out seven assists and made five blocks in Rizing Fukuoka's 105-78 road thrashing of the Saitama Broncos.

Parker also had two steals in 40 action-packed minutes, helping Fukuoka improve to 17-10 overall, 9-4 on the road.

Marlyn Bryant chipped in with 19 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals, while Richard Ford Jr. had 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Kohei Mitomo's 12 points and Thiago Cordeiro's nine-point effort helped the Rizing rout the hosts.

Saitama trailed 48-27 at halftime and never recovered.

Terrence Woodyard was the Broncos' leading scorer (19 points). Center Terrence Roberts added 14 points and Yuki Kitamuki and Yasuaki Arai scored 12 points apiece for Saitama (10-13, 4-7 at home).

The Broncos' lousy free-throw shooting (5-for-13) didn't help matters, either.

Elsewhere, the Toyama Grouses held the defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings to 19 first-half points in a 77-60 home victory.

Veteran forward Kirby Lemons had team-high totals in points (22) and 3-pointers (four) to lead the Grouses (10-11) to a morale-boosting victory. Makoto Kato poured in 15 points and Takeshi Mito scored 12 for Toyama.

The Grouses committed just six turnovers while the Golden Kings had 18.

Ryukyu shot 23-for-66 (34.8 percent) from the field, including 7-for-24 on 3-point attempts.

Center George Leach scored a team-best 13 points for the Golden Kings, who slipped to 18-7. Anthony McHenry and Yosuke Sugawara each had 12 points and Bryan Simpson and Tsubasa Yonamine scored eight points apiece. Newton finished with seven points and 16 boards.

Ryukyu had a season-low point total in the series opener.



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