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Sunday, April 25, 2010

BJ-LEAGUE

Phoenix edge 89ers, collect 20th road win of season


Staff writer

In a clash of Eastern Conference heavyweights, the first-place Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix handed the host Sendai 89ers a 76-69 defeat on Saturday.

William Knight's 25 points led all scorers and helped the Phoenix collect their 20th win in 25 road contests. Hamamatsu improved to 38-9 overall.

Wendell White added 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals and Wayne Arnold scored 13.

Josh Peppers and Gyno Pomare both scored 17 points for second-place Sendai (32-15). Demetrius Guions had 15 points and Chris Holm pulled down 17 rebounds and added nine points.

Peppers was 1-for-7 from 3-point range.

It was the first meeting between the playoff-bound bj-league teams since Dec. 13.

Hamamatsu has won four of the five meetings this season, and four of those games have been decided by single digits.

Elsewhere Saturday, the Western Conference-leading Osaka Evessa defeated the visiting Oita HeatDevils 92-84.

Lynn Washington had a game-best 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting, 13 rebounds and four assists. Jun Nakanishi and David Palmer chipped in with 17 points apiece. Nakanishi knocked down 5 of 7 3-point attempts. Nile Murry had a 15-point effort and Ryan Blackwell scored 10.

Osaka raised its record to 30-17, while Oita fell to 23-24.

Mike Bell paced the HeatDevils with 28 points and 16 boards and Ricky Woods also had a double-double (23 points, 12 rebounds). Yukinori Suzuki and Kimitake Sato each scored nine.

The HeatDevils lost the game at the free-throw line, where they were 20-for-38.

Steady Mikey Marshall scored 30 points, grabbed 11 boards, dished out four assists and made two steals and Masashi Joho poured in 24 points on his 28th birthday in the Shiga Lakestars' 103-95 home victory over the Kyoto Hannaryz.

Lakestars point guard Takamichi Fujiwara ran the offense with verve, handing out 10 assists to go along with seven points and three steals.

Gary Hamilton (12 points, eight boards, five assists, two steals, one block), Ray Schafer (15 points), Luke Zeller (12 points, eight rebounds) also made solid contributions for Shiga, which improved to 27-22.

For Kyoto (16-31), forward Josh Bostic had a season-high 40-point performance, raked in 15 rebounds and also had enough energy to hand out five assists. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 19 and John Clifford added 11. Naoto Takushi had six assists for the Hannaryz.

Balanced scoring carried the Tokyo Apache to an 84-72 road triumph over the Niigata Albirex BB.

Rasheed Sparks was Tokyo's high scorer with 18 points, Julius Ashby and Cohey Aoki had 15 points apiece and Jumpei Nakama and Michael Chappell both finished with 12 points.

Aoki, coming off a pair of zero-point games, earned his paycheck at the charity stripe; he canned 10 of 12 foul shots (83.3 percent), which for him is a low percentage.

The Apache (20-27) held an 11-point advantage after three quarters.

Tyrone Levett led the Albirex (22-25) with 19 points, while Paul Butorac scored 13 and Yuichi Ikeda 10.

The Toyama Grouses erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, forced overtime and outlasted the host Saitama Broncos 91-89 in the bonus period.

Brian Harper, who scored 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, was the leading point-getter for Toyama (16-31). Makoto Kato chipped in with 21 points, Takeshi Mito and Brandon Thomas each had 11 and Bilal Abdullah scored 10.

Fan favorite Taishiro Shimizu lit up the scoreboard for 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc, while Mario Jointer, Kirby Lemons and Terrence Roberts had 18 points apiece for the Broncos (14-33).

The Ryukyu Golden Kings, meanwhile, cruised to a 95-62 win over the visiting Takamatsu Five Arrows.

Bryan Simpson finished with 17 points for Ryukyu (30-19), followed by Kevin Steenberge and George Leach with 16 apiece and Jeff Newton with 14. Anthony McHenry stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in 28 action-packed minutes and Masashi Obuchi had an eight-point outing. Newton also hauled in 14 rebounds and Steenberge collected 12 boards and Ryukyu's superior depth in the frontcourt paid off.

Michael Gardener led the Five Arrows (12-35) with 23 points.

Takamatsu's Yu Okada was 0-for-12 from the field.



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