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Strong second half carries Evessa past Lakestars

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Osaka Evessa took care of business at both ends of the court on Saturday evening, defeating the visiting Shiga Lakestars 79-64.

Rick Rickert led the Evessa (5-18) with 18 points and 13 rebounds and Mike Bell and Masashi Obuchi each scored 13 points. Shota Konno had nine points and five assists and Dwayne Lathan had seven points for Osaka, which has won three of its past four games.

Ray Nixon paced Shiga (14-11) with 16 points, but was 2-for-7 on 3-point shots. The Lakestars were 6-for-31 from beyond the arc, including Shinya Ogawa’s 1-for-7. Dionisio Gomez had 15 points and nine boards and Jumpei Nakama scored eight points in the loss.

Osaka outscored Shiga 47-27 in the second half at Sumiyoshi Sports Center.

Shining Suns 91, Susanoo Magic 90 (OT)

In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Ricky Woods’ 30-point performance carried the hosts to an overtime triumph over Shimane.

Woods shot 11-for-14 at the free-throw line, with six assists, five steals and three assists in a high-energy outing for Miyazaki (4-21).

Abdullahi Kuso added 15 points and 11 boards, Yuto Otsuka scored 13 points and Larriques Cunningham had 11 points for the Shining Suns, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jeral Davis scored 29 points with 16 rebounds and five blocks for the Susanoo Magic (16-9). Brandon Freeman scored 19 points, B.J. Puckett had 14 and Michael Parker, who was limited to 24 minutes due to an injury, scored 10.

Crane Thunders 77, B-Corsairs 74

In Yokohama, Jermaine Dixon scored 17 points and Kenya Tomori dished out eight assists as Gunma recovered from a 22-9 deficit after one quarter to defeat the hosts.

The expansion Crane Thunders improved to 5-20; the B-Corsairs fell to 17-8.

Dominique Keller scored 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds and fellow newcomer Randy Orr had 12 boards along with eight points for Gunma, while Yuto Okumoto scored 15 points.

“Big win for us against one of the top teams in the league,” Crane Thunders coach Ryan Blackwell said. “We got down early but did a good job to fight back in the second quarter. Yuto was the spark offensively in the second. He had another big game for us overall.

“I thought we did a better job covering the pick-and-roll today, which we haven’t been. Hopefully, (on Sunday) we can be consistent and play with the same amount of energy and effort as today.”

Draelon Burns was Yokohama’s high scorer with 17 points, Masayuki Kabaya scored 15, Kenji Yamada had 11 and Pape Faye Mour 10. Burns chipped in with eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

89ers 74, Albirex BB 71

In Sendai, the hosts ended the series with a victory after dropping the first two games in successive days.

T.J. Cummings paced the 89ers (9-15) with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Takuya Komoda scored 20 points. Takehiko Shimura had 11 points, six assists and three steals and Kevin Coble added eight points.

The 89ers made 20 of 21 free throws.

Nile Murry led Niigata (20-8) with 15 points, Chris Holm scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and Kimitake Sato and Yuichi Ikeda each scored 10 points.

“This was a bruising battle between two teams trying to survive this third game in three days,” Sendai coach Bob Pierce said. “T.J. and Taku (Komoda) proved to be a great combination for the second day in a row, only today we also got the win to show for it.”

On Friday, the duo combined for 43 points in an 86-73 defeat to the Albirex.

“We learned from the last two games what to concentrate on, and the effort and intensity on defense carried us through,” Pierce said. “There were contributions from many players, much needed because Hikaru (Kusaka) was out with an illness, and maybe none more important than from Daichi “Jose” Shimoyama. He came in for a crucial couple of minutes when we needed defensive stops, and he also hit two free throws after being fouled on a fast break.

“This was a nice way for us to finish up before the All Star break, with our All Star, Taku, really playing like one for the third consecutive game.”

Northern Happinets 92, Cinq Reves 73

In Tokyo, Akita erupted for 41 fourth-quarter points, outscoring the hosts by 25 points in the final stanza, to salvage a series split.

University of Missouri product Marshall Brown paced the Happinets (14-8) with 35 points and Shigehiro Taguchi poured in 17, burying 5 of 9 3s. Kazuhiro Shoji canned 3 of 6 3s in a 14-point effort, while Dion Harris scored 11 points.

Akita trailed by 10 points at halftime, and turned it up a notch in the third quarter. Coach Kazuo Nakamura’s club was behind 57-51 entering the fourth.

For Tokyo (10-16), Cohey Aoki, who was selected for his seventh consecutive All-Star Game appearance last month, scored a team-high 20 points. Rasheem Barrett added 19 points, Hirohisa Takada finished with 12 and Dennis Carr scored six and hauled in 19 rebounds.

Hannaryz 77, HeatDevils 57

In Muko, Kyoto Prefecture, Yu Okada scored 14 points and Gyno Pomare had 13 points and eight rebounds as the hosts sent Oita to its 12th consecutive loss.

David Palmer scored 11 points and Marcus Cousin added nine points, 16 rebounds and two blocks, and Hayato Kantake also finished with nine points for the Hannaryz (13-12).

Newcomer P.J. Alawoya paced the HeatDevils (9-16) with 14 points, Manabu Umemiya scored 13 and Andre Coimbra had 11. Taishiro Shimizu dished out seven assists.

Phoenix 104, Rizing 89

In Hamamatsu, Wendell White had a game-best 28 points, Jeffrey Parmer scored 17 points and Shoji Nakanishi and Kevin Galloway each had 13 as the hosts trounced Fukuoka.

Galloway added 11 rebounds and seven assists for Hamamatsu (18-9), which put 38 points on the board in the fourth quarter and held Fukuoka to 21. Parmer handed out nine assists for the Phoenix, who collected 12 steals.

Masashiro Oguchi added nine points off the bench for the hosts.

Josh Peppers scored 25 points and Reggie Warren had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Rizing (16-9). Julius Ashby scored 15 points and Akitomo Takeno had eight assists. Fukuoka had 20 turnovers.

Big Bulls 91, Grouses 79

In Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture, Dillion Sneed scored 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting to lead a balanced Big Bulls offense in a win over Toyama.

Masato Tsukino (15 points), Kenichi Takahashi and Lawrence Blackledge (12 apiece) and Naoto Nakamura (10) also reached double figures in points, while Reggie Okosa scored eight and Carlos Dixon had seven.

Tsukino was the team leader in assists (six) and steals (four). Okosa had nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Sneed grabbed 10 rebounds. Blackledge made two blocks for Eastern Conference-leading Iwate (19-6).

For Toyama (15-10), Jeremy Jacob scored 19 points, Masashi Joho had 18, Ira Brown added 15 and Brandon Cole contributed 14 points and 19 rebounds.

The Grouses missed 17 of their 21 3s in the series opener.

Golden Kings 77, Five Arrows 50

In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, the defending champions outscored Takamatsu 22-7 in the second quarter en route to their 20th victory in 23 games.

Anthony McHenry had 21 points and nine rebounds, Tsubasa Yonamine scored 13 points, Jeff Newton notched a double-double (11 points, 14 rebounds) and three teammates (Yosuke Sugawara, Morihisa Yamauchi and Dzaflo Larkai) had eight points apiece for Ryukyu.

Dexter Lyons finished with 19 points and 10 boards for the Five Arrows (9-16) and Paul Williams added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Takamatsu shot 3-for-24 on 3s and 22-for-79 overall from the field.

Jets 90, Broncos 67

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Marquin Chandler canned 4 of 5 3s in a 28-point night and Joe Werner had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the hosts as they clobbered Saitama.

D’Andre Bell scored 12 points and made four steals, while Hiroki Sato had 11 points and four assists for the Jets (11-12).

Nyika Williams led the Broncos (3-20) with 22 points and 16 rebounds.