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Ryukyu hands Saitama 19th consecutive defeat

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Ryukyu Golden Kings outscored the Saitama Broncos by 14 points in the first 10 minutes of Friday afternoon’s bj-league game. That set the tone for what followed, and they were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

Ryukyu blasted the Broncos, winning 77-57, in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, before a spirited crowd of 3,485 spectators.

Saitama (2-22) suffered its 19th straight defeat. The streak began on Oct. 20. During the streak, first-year coach Takatoshi “Big Bashi” Ishibashi’s club has lost games by 20 (twice), 21, 27, 33 and 36 points, and only five games have been decided by single digits in that span. Saitama has been outscored by 295 points, an average of 15.5 per game, during its lengthy skid. (The Takamatsu Five Arrows lost a league-record 25 straight games to close out the 2011-12 season, when they went 2-50, another league record.)

Sixth man Draelon Burns paced the Golden Kings (19-3) with 20 points, including 8-for-10 at the free-throw line. The DePaul University product dished out six assists and grabbed six rebounds in 28 productive minutes off the bench.

Morihisa Yamauchi scored 13 points and canned 3 of 6 3s for Ryukyu, which led 40-23 at halftime. Teammates Jeff Newton and Kibwe Trim both scored 10 points.

Trim hauled in 11 rebounds and Anthony McHenry grabbed 10 boards. The Kings finished with 52 rebounds, 12 more than the visitors.

John “Helicopter” Humphrey led Saitama with 22 points on 8-for-22 shooting and Mark Dawson had 14 points. The Broncos, who shot 22-for-67 from the field, had six players finish with two or fewer points.

Big Bulls 88, Susanoo Magic 68

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Josh Peppers scored a team-high 22 points and Gyno Pomare had 21 on 10-for-14 shooting to ignite Iwate to a series sweep over the hosts.

Pomare added 14 rebounds (five offensive) and two blocks and Lawrence Blackedge filled the stat sheet with 14 points, six assists, five steals, four rebounds and one block for the Big Bulls (15-7). Scootie Randall poured in 11 points, knocking down 3 of 4 3s, for coach Dai Oketani’s team.

Masato Tsukino scored nine points for Iwate, which led 48-31 at halftime. Tsubasa Yonamine handed out five assists and Kenichi Takahashi and Tsukino each dished out four. Iwate converted 52.7 percent of their 2-point shots (29 of 55).

Shimane (5-19) shot 4-for-17 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Big man Jeral Davis paced the Magic with 27 points on 13-for-18 shooting. He had 11 rebounds and four blocks on the afternoon. Teammate Shawn Malloy had 13 points and 16 rebounds, while Edward Yamamoto scored nine points. Koki Yabuuchi had eight assists.

In the paint: The New York Knicks signed former Tokyo Apche big man Jeremy Tyler on Tuesday. Tyler was cut by the Knicks in the preseason after he suffered a broken foot in September.

Tyler, 22, worked his way back into shape playing for the NBA Development League’s Erie BayHawks. He averaged 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds in six games for Erie. …

Ex-Apache assistant coach Casey Hill has guided the D-League’s Santa Cruz Warriors to a 9-6 start this season. Hill is in his first season as Santa Cruz’s head coach.

Feedback: Got a story idea about the bj-league? Send an email to: edward.odeven@japantimes.co.jp