The worst team in bj-league history suffered another setback on Saturday.
The Sendai 89ers handed the visiting Takamatsu Five Arrows an 86-78 defeat, and coach Kenzo Maeda’s club slipped to 2-31.
Dan Fitzgerald, a Marquette University product, paced the 89ers (17-16) with 24 points and added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Croatian big man Filip Toncinic had 19 points and 10 boards and center Rashaad Singleton added nine points and five blocked shots in 23 minutes. Johnny Dukes finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Takehiko Shimura handed out nine assists and contributed four steals.
Nyika Williams scored 26 points with 11 rebounds for the Five Arrows. Paul Butorac had a 17-point game and Kevin Smith scored 16.
“Everything (Kyoto standout) Lance Allred said about them is true, Takamatsu plays hard and has talented players,” Sendai coach Bob Pierce said. “Our lack of concentration almost cost us the game. Dan played really well, but was plagued by foul trouble.
“Fortunately, Filip came through with 19 points and 10 rebounds. And in one of the biggest plays of the game (Takuya) Komoda drove to the basket with the shot clock winding down and found Rashaad for a huge basket that made it 82-78 at the 0:53 mark, and that allowed us to escape with a tough win.”
Shining Suns 78, B-Corsairs 66
In Yokohama, Miyazaki made 12 of 25 3-point shots in a series-opening win over the hosts.
Taishiro Shimizu was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and scored 16 points for the Shining Suns. Dexter Lyons also scored 16, dished out nine assists and registered four steals for Miyazaki, a second-year franchise which improved to 16-19.
Draelon Burns, Kenji Yamada, Justin Burrell and Pape Mour Faye all scored 10 points apiece for Yokohama (17-18), which shot 4-for-22 on 3s. Yokohama out-rebounded the Shining Suns 53-34.
Susanoo Magic 98, HeatDevils 81
In Yasugi, Shimane Prefecture, Michael Parker scored 33 points, Reggie Golson had a 20-point, nine-assist, seven-rebound performance and the hosts trounced Oita.
B.J. Puckett poured in 15 points, Jeral “Stretch” Davis had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks and Edward Yamamoto dished out six assists. Jumpei Nakama scored six points for Shimane (20-15).
For the HeatDevils (11-24), T.J. Cummings scored 28 points, Wendell White added 23 and Matt Lottich had 13. The rest of the team scored a combined 17 points. Naoto Takushi had seven assists for Oita.
Hannaryz 81, Broncos 67
In Ise, Mie Prefecture, Kyoto outscored Saitama 24-5 in the fourth quarter en route to a win.
Babacar Camara had 25 points and Lance Allred, a former NBA center, added 13 points and 13 boards for the Hannaryz (23-10). Sunao Murakami scored 14 points and Lee Cummard had 10 points and five assists.
John Flowers led the Broncos (9-24) with 28 points and John “Helicopter” Humphrey had 23. Ex-NBA point guard Kenny Satterfield, the league’s assist leader, spent most of the game on the bench. In 4-plus minutes, he had zeros across the board in the stat book, and thus had no impact on the game.
Lakestars 96, Jets 78
In Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, Yu Okada sank seven 3-pointers and had a game-high 31 points to lead the hosts past Chiba.
Ray Nixon and Josh Peppers scored 15 points apiece. Peppers made his return to the Lakestars lineup after missing six games due to a calf injury. Julius Ashby scored 11 points and Dionisio Gomez scored 10 points and raked in 16 rebounds. Shinya Ogawa had eight assists for Shiga (21-14).
Jamel Staten had a team-best 20 points for the Jets (12-21) and Takaki Ishida scored 16.
Happinets 64, Albirex BB 58
In Akita, Ricky Woods scored 24 points and E.J. Drayton had 17 as Kazuo Nakamura’s club edged Niigata in an ugly shooting game that saw the teams miss 37 of 41 3-point shots.
Kyle Swanston added 13 points for Akita (22-13).
Chris Holm was Niigata’s lone double-digit scorer (11 points, 22 rebounds) and Yuichi Ikeda, who was 1-for-10 from long range, had nine points. Niigata fell to 18-17.
Grouses 77, Brave Warriors 65
In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Toyama’s Brian Harper scored 24 points and Takeshi Mito had 17 in a win over Shinshu.
Larry Turner notched a double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks) and four-time All-Star Masashi Joho had 14 points for the Grouses (18-15).
Derek Raivio was the top scorer (23 points) for the hosts. Edward Morris chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Lee Roberts scored 13 and Takato Saito had six assists for the Brave Warriors (13-22).
Phoenix 92, Evessa 77
In Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, Jermaine Dixon had a game-high 25 points, Wayne Arnold scored 15 and Shoji Nakanishi added 11 as two-time defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa defeated Phoenix forward Lawrence Blackledge’s former club.
Two-time MVP Lynn Washington had 19 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists in the loss. Wayne Marshall and Cohey Aoki scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, for Osaka (24-9).
Golden Kings 84, Big Bulls 82
In Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture, Jeff Newton sank a pair of free throws with 2 seconds remaining and Ryukyu improved to 15-4 on the road.
Newton, the only four-time title winner in league history, finished with 21 points for the Golden Kings, who have a league-best 28-7 record. Dillion Sneed and Naoto Kosuge each scored 16 points and David Palmer had eight. Narito Namizato dished out seven assists, while his brother, Tasuku, had two helpers for Iwate.
Jamal Boykin had 21 points and 10 boards for the Big Bulls (9-26) and Yoshiaki Yamamoto also scored 21. Gordon Klaiber added 13 points, Atsushi Nogami scored 11 and Hayato Kantake had 10.