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Shimizu leads HeatDevils past Hannaryz

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Taishiro Shimizu owns a well-recognized name wherever he travels around the bj-league. After all, the popular guard has played in the upstart circuit since its inception in 2005.

After productive stints with the Saitama Broncos (2005-10) and his hometown Miyazaki Shining Suns (2010-12), one thing remains the same: When Shimizu starts hitting long-range shots with regularity, it’s best to keep feeding him the ball.

That’s precisely what the HeatDevils did during a 76-71 win over the Kyoto Hannaryz on Sunday.

Shimizu sank 6 of 10 3-point shots and scored a game-high 27 points for Oita (14-12).

Kyoto (16-10) lost its third straight game.

HeatDevils star Verdell Jones III provided a spark for the team’s passing game, finishing with seven assists. Jones also scored 10 points. Devonne Giles chipped in with 16 points and 16 rebounds and Manabu Umemiya netted 12 points.

Oita trailed 33-19 at halftime and stormed back by scoring 34 third-quarter points in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture. The Hannaryz were unable to stave off the HeatDevils’ momentum.

Edwin Ubiles paced Kyoto with 17 points, Yu Okada scored 12 and Shun Watanuki had 10. Chris Holm provided nine points and nine rebounds for the hosts.

Five Arrows 86, Crane Thunders 81

In Takamatsu, 208-cm center Paul Williams gave Gunma defenders fits for the second game in as many days to lead the Five Arrows to a series sweep.

Williams, a St. Bonaventure (New York) University product, scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He made 10 of 12 shots from the field on Sunday. In the series opener, he converted 11 of 12.

Takamatsu improved to 13-11, solidifying its playoff hopes. Gunma fell to 4-20, the second-worst record in the league.

Five Arrows floor leader Dexter Lyons finished with 16 points, five assists and three steals and Andrais Thornton had 14 points and nine rebounds. Tsubasa Yonezawa scored 13 points and Sean Smith had 11.

For the Crane Thunders, Carlos Dixon had a team-high 24 points with six assists. Shingo Okada added 15 points and Kenya Tomori netted 14.

Lakestars 87, Bambitious 71

In Nara, Marshall Brown scored 28 points, Dionisio Gomez had 17 and Brandon Fields went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line as Shiga bounced back from a loss on Saturday.

Fields, a University of Nevada alum, finished with 16 points.

The Lakestars (12-14) built a 48-29 advantage by halftime.

Joe Chapman had six 3-pointers and 22 points to lead Nara (6-18). Tatsuya Suzuki added 11 points, six assists and four steals, while Jamar Abrams scored 10 points.

Grouses 82, Rizing 70

In Fukuoka, Takeshi Mito, Tatsunori Fujie and Masashi Joho each dished out five assists and Toyama’s offense clicked in a series-closing win.

The Grouses (20-6) recorded a series split and shot 30-for-49 (61.2 percent) from 2-point range.

Mito finished with 19 points, Fujie scored 18 and Ira Brown had 16 points and nine rebounds. Sam Willard supplied 14 points and 20 rebounds for Toyama, which owned a 52-39 advantage on the boards.

Reggie Warren led Fukuoka (9-15) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Michael Dale scored 14 points and Cohey Aoki, Akitomo Takeno and Masahiro Kano had 10 apiece.