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Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011

BJ-LEAGUE

Johnson sinks Rizing with buzzer-beating shot


Staff writer

Haakim Johnson's work shift ended with an exclamation point on Saturday.

He grabbed an offensive rebound with 1 second remaining and scored on a putback to beat the buzzer and lift the Toyama Grouses to a 74-72 home victory over the Rizing Fukuoka.

Prior to Johnson's rebound, teammate Takeshi Mito had missed a shot with 2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But instead of having to play overtime, Toyama (10-19) celebrated a dramatic victory against one of the bj-league's most dangerous foes.

The 23-year-old Johnson starred at little-known Pikeville (Ky.) College — enrollment: 1,156, according to the latest figures posted on the Mid-South Conference website — before turning pro. And now he has a last-second highlight to include among his personal favorites.

Forward Jerrell Smith led the Grouses with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Brian Harper scored 14 points and John Davis added 11 and nine rebounds. Johnson finished with nine points and four rebounds (two offensive boards, the big one at the end), while Mito, who spent all but 31 seconds on the court, scored eight points, hauled in seven rebounds, dished out five assists and collected three steals.

For Fukuoka (18-15), Nile Murry was the top scorer with a 23-point outing. Abdullahi Kuso, making his Rizing debut, had 14 points and nine rebounds. All-Star Michael Parker added 13 points and Jun Nakanishi had 11.

The Rizing were 11-for-21 at the free-throw line. Toyama made 12 of 22 foul shots.

HeatDevils 88, Phoenix 86

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Matt Lottich canned a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining as Oita stunned the hosts.

HeatDevils coach L.J. Hepp called a timeout with 6 seconds left and his team trailing 86-85 to draw up a play for Oita's final possession.

Cyrus Tate paced Oita with 25 points, including 9-for-12 from the field and 7-for-9 at the charity stripe, and 18 rebounds. Lottich scored 22 points, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range, Kimitake Sato had 18 and Kohei Mitomo added 10 for the HeatDevils (15-18).

For defending league champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa (27-4), Saturday's setback was only its second loss in 15 home games this season.

Jeffrey Parmer paced the Phoenix with 26 points, Jermaine Dixon had 20 and Ray Nixon added 15.

The Phoenix have now lost two straight games for the first time this season.

Susanoo Magic 82, Hannaryz 80

In Mitoya, Shimane Prefecture, Reggie Golson's 33-point, 14-rebound performance led the expansion Susanoo Magic (13-18) to a narrow victory over Kyoto.

With 1:02 remaining, Golson drained a go-ahead 3-pointer to give the hosts an 81-78 lead, and coach Zeljko Pavlicevic's club held on for the win.

Takumi Ishizaki handed out 12 assists, scored seven points and made four steals for Shimane, which got eight points from four players: Edward Yamamoto, Jeral Davis, Forrest Ray Fisher III and Tatsuhiro Yokoo.

Wendell White had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Hannaryz (15-16), followed by Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had a 19-point afternoon. Michael Fey scored 14 and frontcourt mate Kibwe Trim had 13.

89ers 71, Five Arrows 50

In Takamatsu, Mike Bell scored 17 points, Mac Hopson added 16 points and six assists and Chris Holm grabbed 23 rebounds as Sendai completed a sweep over the hosts.

The 89ers improved to 19-11 as Lee Hyecheon added 10 points and Takuya Komoda had eight.

Takamatsu dropped to a league-worst 8-24 under first-year coach Atsushi Kanazawa.

Shuichi Takada paced the Five Arrows with 16 points, Jeffrey Price added 15 points and 11 rebounds and Kirby Lemons scored 12.

Evessa 72, Albirex BB 67

In Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, Wayne Marshall had 19 points and Lawrence Blackledge notched a double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds) as the hosts earned a win in the series opener.

Billy Knight added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Evessa (20-11), Daisuke Tamura scored 13 and newcomer Kevin Tyner, a former Western Oregon University guard, chipped in with seven points and four assists in his Osaka debut.

For Niigata (15-14), Julius Ashby had a team-high 14 points on 7-for-20 shooting and 11 rebounds. Zach Andrews added 10 points and 21 boards and Shuhei Komatsu scored nine.

The Albirex were 6-for-17 at the free-throw line in the loss.

Shining Suns 102, Lakestars 84

In Nichinan, Miyazaki Prefecture, balanced scoring carried the hosts to a runaway win over Shiga.

Jackie Manuel had a game-best 27 points and Brandon Cole scored 22 to pace Miyazaki (10-21), while Elijah Palmer had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Taishiro Shimizu finished with 12 points, seven boards and six assists.

Josh Peppers led the Lakestars (19-12) with 21 points and Gary Hamilton had a 16-point, 17-rebound, seven-assist performance. Lamar Rice supplied the out-of-towners with 13 points and 14 boards and Masashi Joho poured in nine points.

Broncos 94, Golden Kings 89

In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Kenny Satterfield's 23-point, 12-rebound, five-assist effort and Yuki Kitamuki's 20-point game sparked Saitama to win over Ryukyu.

George Leach and Gordon Klaiber each scored 15 points and Daiki Terashita added 14 for the Broncos (13-18).

Satterfield, Kitamuki and Terashita each drained four 3s. The Broncos were 14-for-31 from downtown.

Anthony McHenry led the Golden Kings (18-13) with 21 points, while Jeff Newton had 20 points and 14 boards. Carlos Dixon scored 19 and Shigeyuki Kinjo had 12.

Four Golden Kings players pulled down 10 or more rebounds and the hosts had a 64-38 edge in rebounds. But poor 3-point shooting (4-for-18) hurt Ryukyu's chances of winning.

What's more, Saitama held a 16-point lead entering the fourth quarter.



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