The Oita HeatDevils set the bj-league’s standard for bad basketball in the 2008-09 season, going 8-44.
For a single-game performance, Saturday’s effort against the host Ryukyu Golden Kings was quite similar
Ryukyu humiliated Oita, winning 103-51 and improving to 10-3.
Rookie coach Yukinori Suzuki’s HeatDevils trailed 55-20 at halftime.
Forward T.J. Cummings paced Oita with 17 points and 18 rebounds and one-time MVP Wendell White had 15 points. Matt Lottich had eight points for the out-of-towners.
The HeatDevils fell to 3-10 after their seventh straight defeat. They had 21 turnovers, one less than their total number of field goals.
For the Golden Kings, Reggie Okosa had 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting and 11 rebounds, while David Palmer, another former league MVP, and Narito Namizato added 15 points apiece. For Palmer, it was his season debut, and the noted sharpshooter made 6 of 9 shots from the field in 19 stellar minutes.
Ryukyu’s Naoto Kosuge scored 11 points, while Dzaflo Larkai and Anthony McHenry each scored 10 points. Former MVP Jeff Newton had nine points and five rebounds. Tsubasa Yonamine, a former HeatDevil, dished out six assists. Namizato had a team-high seven assists.
Ryukyu made 15 of 29 3-point shots.
Jets 89, Grouses 79
In Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, Maurice Hargrow scored 29 points and Jamel Staten had 22 as Chiba edged the hosts.
“We are happy to win, especially on the road,” Jets coach Eric Gardow told The Japan Times.
Forward Reina Itakura had 16 points and eight rebounds and played the most minutes (30:46) of Chiba’s non-starters. Staten raked in a team-high 14 rebounds and the Jets out-rebounded the Grouses 56-48.
“Reina was really big for us off the bench,” the coach added, citing the veteran’s contributions — offensive rebounds and scoring — as keys in the series opener.
Chiba held Toyama’s Masashi Joho to two points before intermission, but trailed by three points entering the third quarter.
“We did a great job on Joho in the first half, and for as good as we were in the first half, we were that bad on him in the second half,” Gardow added. “(He’s a ) great player. Obviously we have not faced everyone yet, but he’s the best Japanese I have season and scouted thus far. (Osaka’s) Cohey Aoki is another one we just have not played yet.”
The Jets (8-5) play host to the Evessa on Thursday and Friday.
After the win, Gardow’s insights shed some light on the expansion team’s rapid development into a legitimate playoff team.
He said the game was “probably our best, no it was our best offensive performance thus far. Let’s hope that trend continues.”
Joho paced the Grouses (5-8) with 17 points and seven assists. Teammates Devin Searcy and Ira Brown each scored 16 and Brian Harper had 15 points.
Phoenix 99, Northern Happinets 92
In Akita, Jermaine Dixon scored 22 points and Wayne Arnold poured in 21 as two-time defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa defeated former coach Kazuo Nakamura’s club.
The Phoenix (8-5) flushed 19 of 32 3-point shots. Nine Hamamatsu players made at least one 3-pointer, including Arnold’s 6-for-9.
Akita guard Michael Gardener, one of the league’s best all-around players, missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
Ricky Woods led the Happinets (10-3) with 25 points and Stanley Ocitti scored 20. Yuki Nobuhira chipped with a 16-point effort, while Kazuhiro Shoji scored 11.
Rizing 84, 89ers 74
In Sendai, Kevin Palmer had 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead Fukuoka to a series-opening win over the hosts.
The Rizing improved to 8-5, while Sendai fell to 8-5.
Carlos Dixon scored 16 points, power forward Gary Hamilton contributed 15 points, nine rebounds and assists and Akitomo Takeno scored 10 points for Fukuoka.
The 89ers turned the ball over 23 times.
“Turnovers killed us,” Sendai coach Bob Pierce said.
Johnny Dukes paced the 89ers with 23 points and Dan Fitzgerald scored 11. Sendai missed 20 of 26 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Albirex BB 88, Big Bulls 75
In Niigata, the hosts outscored Iwate 29-12 in the third quarter en route to a victory.
Dwight Gordon was the Albirex’s top scorer with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, Erron Maxey had 16 and Nile Murry and Yuichi Ikeda scored 15 points apiece. Niigata raised its record to 5-6. Chris Holm grabbed 15 rebounds for the Albirex.
For the Big Bulls (1-12), Thomas Kennedy had a team-high 20 points, Shawn Malloy scored 14, Sean Coleman added 12 and Makoto Sawaguchi 10.
Lakestars 95, Five Arrows 78
In Yasu, Shiga Prefecture, Ray Nixon scored 24 points and the Lakestars shot 31-for-61 from 2-point range in a win over lowly Takamatsu.
The Five Arrows fell to 0-13.
Shiga, one of six teams with 8-5 records, finished with 28 assists, including five apiece for Josh Peppers, Dionisio Gomez and Takamichi Fujiwara. Peppers added 17 points and Yu Okada and Gomez had 14 apiece.
Masaaki Suzuki led the Five Arrows with 27 points and Paul Butorac scored 12.
Hannaryz 90, Susanoo Magic 69
In Kyoto, Rick Rickert’s double-double (23 points, 19 rebounds) sparked the hosts to a win over Shimane.
Former NBA center Lance Allred added 20 points for the Hannaryz (8-5), while Jermaine Boyette scored 16 points and Lee Cummard had 13. Kyosuke Setoyama and Allred both handed out six assists for Honoo Hamaguchi’s club.
For Shimane (7-6), Michael Parker was the leading scorer with 24 points and Reggie Golson had 18. Jeral Davis blocked eight shots in the loss. The Magic shot 27-for-63 from the field.
Shining Suns 70, Evessa 68
In Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture, Miyazaki kept the Evessa offense in check and earned a tough win on the road.
The Shining Suns improved to 5-8, getting 16 points and 14 boards from Darryl Dora and a 14-point effort from Dexter Lyons. Takuro Ito scored 10 points for the second-year franchise and Taishiro Shimizu had eight points and seven assists.
For Osaka (11-2), Lynn Washington had 22 points and hauled in eight rebounds, Wayne Marshall scored 12, Lawrence Blackledge added 10 and Cohey Aoki had nine. The Evessa were 4-for-19 on 3s.