Senegalese-born center Pape Faye Mour scored a season-high 21 points, including 9-for-10 at the free-throw line, and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the visiting Yokohama B-Corsairs to a 97-83 victory over the Shinshu Brave Warriors on Saturday night.
The B-Corsairs (23-8) climbed into first place in the 11-team Eastern Conference, and now sit just a few winning percentage points ahead of the Niigata Albirex BB, .742 to .727.
Yokohama, playing only its third game this month, converted 25 of 30 free throws in the series opener in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. Mour has struggled at the line, but capitalized on his scoring chances there in this game. For the season, he’s a 55 percent free-throw shooter.
Shawn Malloy had 17 points and six rebounds, Thomas Kennedy scored 16 points and Masayuki Kabaya added 15 for the B-Corsairs. Takeshi Hotta and Kenji Yamada each scored eight points, with Yamada also contributing five assists and three steals. All-Star Draelon Burns added nine points and four assists, while Kabaya dished out five assists.
“Good road win tonight in a tough environment,” Yokohama coach Reggie Geary told The Japan Times. “We did a better job of limiting our mistakes in the second half to gain some distance.
“Received real nice performances by our two post players, Pape Mour and Shawn Malloy, who combined for 38 points and 17 rebounds to go with a strong performance coming from our bench players led by Takeshi Hotta.”
The B-Corsairs took a 71-63 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Jermaine Green led Shinshu (15-18) with 16 points and Edward Morris pumped in 15. Takanori Goya and Takato Saito each had 10 points. Saito handed out six assists. Big man Michael Fey grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with six points
Big Bulls 75, Albirex BB 70
In Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture, Lawrence Blackledge swatted five shots, making a big difference in a narrow win over Niigata.
Dillion Sneed had 17 points for the Big Bulls (23-10), but continues to struggle at the free-throw line (1-for-6). Reggie Okosa added 15 points, five boards, six assists and five steals and Masato Tsukino scored 14 points. Blackledge had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Iwate forward Carlos Dixon served the first game of his four-game ban, getting reprimanded for untying Chiba star Marquin Chandler’s shoe while both waited for a free throw to be taken last Sunday.
Nile Murry had 20 points for the Albirex (24-9).
Rodney Webb scored 12 with nine rebounds and Shuhei Komatsu added 10. Chris Holm had eight points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
Susanoo Magic 68, Golden Kings 67
In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Koki Yabuuchi had a team-best 16 points and Michael Parker and B.J. Puckett both scored 14 as the hosts defeated the defending champions for the third time in as many games this season.
Center Jeral Davis finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for Shimane (22-11). Parker contributed seven rebounds and two blocks. Kazuya “J.” Hatano had six points in just under 11 minutes playing time.
The two teams combined for only 23 3-pointers, taking 104 shots from inside the arc.
Terrance Woodbury and Dzaflo Larkai both scored 14 points for Ryukyu (24-7), Naoto Kosuge had nine and Anthony McHenry and Narito Namizato eight apiece.
The game was tied at 37-37 at halftime.
Rizing 90, HeatDevils 71
In Fukuoka, Reggie Warren’s double-double, Josh Peppers’ 19-point outing and the hosts’ strong rebounding effort carried them to a lopsided win over Oita.
Warren scored 16 points and pounded the boards for 14 rebounds. As a team, Fukuoka had 53 rebounds to Oita’s 36.
Julius Ashby and Satoshi Ishitai both scored 14 points for the Rizing (21-12) and Justin Jones had 11. Jun Nakanishi chipped in with seven points, four boards and four assists. Akitomo Takeno was sidelined with an injury.
For the HeatDevils (11-22), Taishiro Shimizu topped the scoring chart with 18 points.
Phoenix 90, Evessa 77
In Osaka, Hamamatsu Higashimikawa dominated the fourth quarter en route to a victory over the hosts.
The Phoenix outscored the Evessa 29-13 in the final period, improving to 22-13 on the season.
Osaka slipped to 9-22 overall, 4-3 under new coach Bill Cartwright, the longtime NBA center and ex-Chicago Bulls bench boss.
Former bj-league MVP Wendell White had a splendid all-around game for the Phoenix, finishing with 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. Jeffrey Parmer, another ex-league MVP, had 20 points and seven rebounds. Shoji Nakanishi, a battle-tested veteran who has played in championship games for the now-defunct Tokyo Apache and for Hamamatsu last season, canned 4 of 9 3s in a 14-point performance off the bench.
The Evessa shot 31-for-76 from the field and snapped a two-game win streak.
Mike Bell paced Osaka with 22 points and hauled in seven rebounds. Rick Rickert had 19 points, 16 boards and three steals, Dwayne Lathan scored 10 points and Taizo Kawabe had nine. Veteran guard Masashi Obuchi missed his first game since suffering a dislocated right shoulder last Sunday. He’s expected to be sidelined for six weeks, a team official told The Japan Times on Friday.
Cartwright told reporters after the game that he thought the Evessa defense was strong, but Hamamatsu took control over the final seven minutes of the game.
“In the second half, I wanted us to go with the flow from the first half, but we could not match our opponent’s play,” he said.
Lakestars 74, Hannaryz 67
In Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, balanced scoring and tight perimeter defense paid dividends for Lakestars coach Al Westover’s club in a triumph over Kansai rival Kyoto.
Dionisio Gomez, former Arkansas Razorback, energized Shiga (20-13) with 17 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. Post player Shelton Colwell added 13 points, eight boards and two blocks, Jumpei Nakama scored 12 points and Yutaka Yokoe had 11.
For Kyoto (18-15), Marcus Cousin had 17 points and 13 rebounds. David Palmer scored 14 points, Yu Okada tallied 10 and Jermaine Boyette and Sunao Murakami had eight.
The Hannaryz missed 15 of 19 3-pointers.
Crane Thunders 102, Broncos 81
In Saitama, Jermaine Dixon rebounded from a zero-point performance last Sunday and scored a game-high 30, leading Gunma to a runaway win over the Broncos.
Dominique Keller added 25 points for the expansion Crane Thunders (8-25) and Lewis Witcher scored 16. Shingo Okada (eight points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals) and Yuto Okumoto (eight points) made an impact for Gunma, as did Kenya Tomori, who had six assists and two steals.
Dixon also filled the stat sheet with 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals.
John “Helicopter” Humphrey was Saitama’s top scorer with 22 points on 8-for-23 shooting, including 2-for-11 on 3s. Yuki Kitamuki (3-for-15 on 3s) and Wayne Oliver both had 13 points for the Broncos (4-27). Saitama was 31-for-89 from the field.
“Today we played a complete game on both ends for the most part,” Gunma coach Ryan Blackwell said. “We had a season high in points (102) and assists (26), and we shot the ball well from the field — 42.3 3-point percentage and 53.3 3-point percentage and the free-throw line at 82.4 percent.
“Jermaine and Shingo both had great all-around games and Kenya did a good job controlling things and making plays,” the coach added.
“Saitama didn’t shoot the ball that well, especially their main guys, Yuki and Helicopter. We did a good job forcing them into some tough shots on D, but we can’t expect them to shoot that tomorrow.”
Jets 81, Grouses 72
In Toyama, Joe Werner scored 33 points and raked in 16 rebounds and Marquise Gray had 23 points and 15 boards for Chiba in big win on the road.
D’Andre Bell contributed 16 points and two blocks for the Jets (18-13), who out-rebounded Toyama 50-37.
Ira Brown paced the Grouses (21-12) with 18 points, Takeshi Mito scored 12 and Angel Garcia 11.
89ers 78, Northern Happinets 71
In Akita, T.J. Cummings scored a game-high 20 points and Takuya Komoda poured in 16 as Sendai beat the hosts, giving former Happinets coach Bob Pierce a win against his ex-club.
Sam Willard had 13 points and 15 rebounds and Takuya Komoda scored 16 points with seven rebounds and five assists. Takehiko Shimura added nine points, seven rebounds and 10 assists with zero turnovers for the 89ers (12-19), and Maurice Hargrow scored 12 points with four assists.
Anthony Kent led Akita (17-14) with 16 points and Marshall Brown had 13. Mike Anderson scored 12 in his Happinets debut, as did Yuki Kikuchi. Rookie Yuki Togashi added 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
“We did a good job sharing the ball, and stayed focused on defense and rebounding,” said Pierce. “But the game was really won in the practices last week, in the rebounding and defensive drills, and by a player like Spike (Atsushi Nogami), who showed he deserved to be on the court.”
Shining Suns 83, Five Arrows 81
In Miyazaki, Yuto Otsuka buried 5 of 8 3-pointers and scored 21 points and Larriques Cunningham had 18 as the Shining Suns snapped a seven-game losing streak and made a winner of acting head coach Kimitoshi Sano for the first time.
Dexter Lyons paced Takamatsu (12-21) with 24 points and Paul Williams had 20.
Miyazaki improved to 5-28.