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Grouses hand Evessa rare defeat

by Ed Odeven

The Toyama Grouses earned their third victory of the season, handing the Osaka Evessa an 84-74 defeat on Sunday in the bj-league. The host Grouses outscored the visitors 24-9 in the fourth quarter. Shooting guard Robby Joyner scored 29 points, power forward Jamar Brown added 19 and Takanori Goya 17 for Toyama (3-19). Jeff Newton had a team-best 24 points for Osaka (16-4). The host Saitama Broncos earned a two-game split with the Oita HeatDevils, recording a 78-71 win. Forwards Mamadou Diouf and Gordon James both scored 21 points to help the Broncos improve to 9-11. Jason Braxton had a 23-point outing for Oita, which fell to 9-11. Despite 33 points from Joshua Peppers, the visiting Rizing Fukuoka lost 90-83 to the Takamatsu Five Arrows. Fukuoka (8-12) fell a game behind third-place Oita in the Western Conference standings. Reggie Warren and George Leach paced the Five Arrows (13-7) with 21 points apiece and sharpshooter Yu Okada contributed 16. The Niigata Albirex BB, meanwhile, earned a two-game sweep over the visiting Tokyo Apache with a 116-80 blowout win. The Albirex (13-9) scored 60 second-half points to secure the victory. Forward Andre Smith, who joined the team in January, scored a game-best 26 points, frontcourt mate Andrew Preston added 25 and five other Niigata players topped the double-digit mark.