Strong defense lifts HeatDevils

Staff Writer

The Oita HeatDevils’ stellar second-half defense paved the way for a 90-85 win over the host Osaka Evessa in bj-league action on Saturday night.

Oita held Osaka to 28 points after the break and scored 43 in that span to secure the victory. Yukinori Suzuki and Chris Ayer led the HeatDevils with 19 points, while Mikey Marshall scored 14 and Andy Ellis tallied 15 and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Matt Lottich scored 21 points and Jeff Newton had 18 for the Evessa. Elsewhere, the visiting Saitama Broncos topped the Sendai 89ers 91-77.

Kazuhiro Shoji scored a team-high 19 points, Andrew Feeley had 18 and 13 boards and Marcus Toney-El added 17, while Gordon James also posted a double-double with 12 points and 20 rebounds.

Sendai’s Ryan Blackwell scored 25 and teammate Kenichi Takahashi chipped in with 15. Jerod Ward scored 31 points to lead the host Toyama Grouses to a 74-64 victory over the Niigata Albirex BB.

Toyama outscored Niigata 18-6 in the final period. Nate James contributed 17 points and Nile Murry 10 for the Grouses.

Jack Hartman (15) and Nick Davis (14) were the Albirex’s top scorers. Power forward Reggie Warren scored 21 points and led a balanced Takamatsu Five Arrows’ offensive attack in an 84-70 triumph over the visiting Tokyo Apache.

Julius Ashby (16 points), Rasheed Sparks (14) and Isaac Sojourner (10) were also among the team’s six double-digit scorers. John Humphrey’s 24 points led Tokyo.