The Ryukyu Golden Kings were the better team in overtime on Saturday. That played a pivotal role in their 101-94 triumph over the visiting Osaka Evessa.
With the win, Ryukyu improved to 28-15, including 2-1 against the Evessa. Osaka fell to 27-16.
Evessa guard Kenny Satterfield, making his debut with the Kansai club after receiving a temporary relief contract following his departure from the Saitama Broncos, made a free throw with 2 seconds left to tie it at 88-88 and force overtime.
In the bonus period, Ryukyu’s Carlos Dixon made back-to-back field goals to put his team ahead 92-88 at the 3:29 mark. Osaka scored the next four points to make it 92-92.
Golden Kings standout Anthony McHenry then drained a 3-pointer with 2:09 left as the hosts regained the lead (95-92). With 5 seconds left, Ryukyu’s Shigeyuki Kinjo nailed two foul shots to account for the final score in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, before a packed house of 3,266 spectators.
Six Golden Kings scored in double figures: Naoto Kosuge (18 points, 4-for-8 on 3s), Dixon (17), McHenry (14), Dillion Sneed (13), Yasufumi Takushi (12, 4-for-6 on 3s) and Kinjo (11). Sneed had a team-best 12 rebounds, while McHenry added 10 rebounds and six assists. Jeff Newton had four of Ryukyu’s eight blocked shots.
Center Wayne Marshall led Osaka with 19 points and 12 boards, Billy Knight scored 17 points and former NBA floor leader Satterfield had 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Lynn Washington added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Evessa.
Northern Happinets 92, Albirex BB 80
In Yuzawa, Akita Prefecture, Will Graves had 22 points, 21 rebounds and five assists to lead the hosts to a series-opening win over Niigata.
Sek Henry scored 16 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed eight rebounds for the Happinets (14-29). Kazuhiro Shoji and Makoto Sawaguchi each scored 10 points, while Yuuki Kitamuki, who has a temporary contract with the Happinets after the Saitama Broncos suspended operations for the rest of the season, added nine points in his first game with Akita.
The Happinets held a 57-42 rebounding edge.
Niigata was 9-for-34 on 3-point shots, including Yuichi Ikeda’s 2-for-9 effort. Hirotaka Kondo led the Albirex (19-18) with 20 points, Ikeda scored 18, Shuhei Komatsu had 11 and Julius Ashby added 10. Big man George Leach, another Bronco on a new team, chipped in with eight points and 10 rebounds. Naoto Takushi dished out six assists for the Albirex, who played without Nick DeWitz, Zach Andrews, Willie Veasley and Issa Konare.
Akita, meanwhile, celebrated point guard Makoto Hasegawa’s 40th birthday with a well-rounded game. Hasegawa finished with two points — he sank a pair of free throws — and played 24 seconds.
Sawaguchi, who shared game MVP honors with Graves, provided a memorable experience for the fans after the game.
“His little speech about being from Iwate (Prefecture), the hurt from seeing all the destruction in his home prefecture and playing hard to help make things better was a great moment,” Akita coach Bob Pierce said of Sawaguchi.
Phoenix 103, Grouses 90
In Toyama, Wayne Arnold scored a game-high 31 points, including 20 through three quarters, and Hamamatsu Higashimikawa bounced back from a loss last Sunday to trounce the hosts.
Ray Nixon added 19 points, Dzaflo Larkai notched a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds), Shingo Okada poured in 14 points and Masahiro Oguchi scored 13 for the Eastern Conference-leading Phoenix (36-5).
For Toyama (12-27), John Davis and Jerrell Smith both had 23 points and eight rebounds, while Makoto Kato and Takeshi Mito each scored 14.
The Grouses were 18-for-20 at the free-throw line; the Phoenix made 14 of 15 foul shots.
Hamamatsu won the game by outshooting Toyama from beyond the 3-point arc, making 15 of 31 3s. The Grouses were 8-for-27 on 3s.
Shining Suns 88, Five Arrows 74
In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Brandon Cole’s 29-point, 10-rebound performance sparked the hosts to a victory over Takamatsu.
Shinnosuke Oishi scored 15 points, Masaaki Takahashi poured in 11 and Taishiro Shimizu had nine for Miyazaki (13-30). Shimizu also had a game-best seven assists. Yuta Kojima collected five steals.
Jeffrey Price paced the Five Arrows (9-32) with 18 points, Shuichi Takeda scored 15 and grabbed six rebounds, Masaaki Suzuki scored 12 points and Satoshi Takada had 10.
Lakestars 99, HeatDevils 90
In Beppu, Oita Prefecture, Shiga won the battle on the boards and prevailed in the series opener.
The Lakestars (25-18) held a 64-37 edge in rebounds, getting 15 from Lamar Rice, 13 from Gary Hamilton and 11 from Mikey Marshall, as well as eight from Ray Schafer.
Takamichi Fujiwara finished with 25 points for Shiga, canning 5 of 9 3-point shots. Marshall scored 22, Rice had 18 and Yu Okada added 11, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Hamilton added seven assists and Fujiwara had six.
For Oita (16-27), Damian Johnson scored 37 points and Matt Lottich had a triple-double (21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, adding five steals for good measure). Hiroki Sato added 16 points and Kimitake Sato had 11 for the HeatDevils, who were held to five free-throw attempts.
Rizing 91, Susanoo Magic 73
In Masuda, Fukuoka Prefecture, the Rizing’s run-and-gun offense overwhelmed Shimane in the second half.
Coach Tadaharu Ogawa’s club outscored the Susanoo Magic 61-35 after intermission.
Michael Parker scored a game-high 28 points with 15 rebounds, Jun Nakanishi added 14 and Abdullahi Kuso had 13 for Fukuoka, which improved to 26-17. Thiago Cordeiro had 12 points, Nile Murry contributed nine and Akitomo Takeno had eight.
Reggie Golson led Shimane (20-23) with 16 points and nine boards, Edward Yamamoto had 13, Terry Evans chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds, Tatsuhiro Yokoo scored 11 and Takumi Ishizaki had 10 points and six assists.