Sun, Feb 21, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Townes leads Pure Youth in rally to defeat Luxgens

By Paul Huang  /  Contributing reporter

Pure Youth Construction last night took advantage of a brilliant third quarter by Darian Townes and Keh Chi-hao to overcome a halftime deficit in an 84-65 win over the Yulon Luxgens at the Banciao Gymnasium in New Taipei City for their first “W” in the Year of the Monkey.

The victory not only upped top-ranked Pure Youth Construction’s lead over second-placed Taiwan Beer back to a full game following their upset loss to the Brew Crew the night before, but also restored some much-needed confidence for the four-time defending champions as they look to close out the final weeks of regular-season play in grand fashion to get ready for the post-season.

Heading into the contest with a three-game win streak, the Automakers showed no sign of slowing down by holding the Builders to 16 points in the opening frame for a slim 18-16 advantage.

They would add to their lead by two in the second quarter, with four three-pointers from downtown, a pair of which from long-range threat Lu Cheng-ju, to lead Pure Youth 39-35 at the half.

The narrow lead proved short-lived, as Townes followed an 11-point first half with a nine-point scoring spree during a 27-point third quarter for the Builders to blow the game wide open, leaving the outcome of the game a foregone conclusion long before the final buzzer sounded.

By the time all was said and done, the US big man would lead all scorers with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while Doug Creighton chipped in 13 points to go along with six boards.

As for the Luxgens, Hu Kai-hsiang’s team-best 17 points led a trio of double-digit scorers who were outplayed and outgunned in a dismal second half to end their three-game win streak.

KINMEN KAOLIANG 60, BRAVES 69

The Fubon Braves last night also bounced back from a tough loss earlier in the week with a 69-60 win over Kinmen Kaoliang in the second game in New Taipei City to reclaim the fifth spot in the standings.

Paul Butorac finally found his range from the field after a horrendous zero-for-seven outing in his Taiwan debut on Thursday, in which he went scoreless in nearly 16 minutes of play. The emergency replacement for an injured Earl Barron, who is still fighting off jet lag from his recent arrival from the US, netted 19 points and as many rebounds to miss a double-20 performance by a tad.

“The jet lag is not a problem for me as much as the previous game,” Butorac said after the game.

Joseph Lin also had a big game for the Braves in the final five minutes of play, when he poured in five of his team’s final nine points to turn a small two-point lead into an insurmountable eight-point cushion.

“We executed down the stretch, that was the difference in the game,” Lin said after the hard-fought battle that saw them let a double-figure lead dwindle to two twice in the second half before putting the game away in the final minute of play.

Kinmen Kaoliang kept their poise to remain within striking distance, but never found the knockout punch that could turn the tide, with several missed opportunities in the second half to fall short in the end.

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