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Northern Happinets breeze past Broncos

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Eastern Conference leaders put on an offensive clinic against cellar-dwelling Saitama on Saturday afternoon.

The result? The Akita Northern Happinets defeated the Broncos 113-96 in Odate, Akita Prefecture.

Not only did the Northern Happinets improve to 34-9, they also shot 67.3 percent (35-for-52) from inside the 3-point arc.

Spearheading the blowout victory, Akita forward Ruben Boykin finished with 17 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and two steals, while Richard Roby poured in 27 points and grabbed nine boards. Shigehiro Taguchi added 22 points, Yuki Togashi contributed 19 points and five assists and Deshawn Stephens provided 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting with nine rebounds. Yuto Otsuka added 10 points in the rout.

The Broncos (4-37) dropped their 10th straight game.

John Humphrey led Saitama with 39 points on 15-for-28 shooting and Michael Joiner scored 15 points.

Hannaryz 92, Lakestars 65

In Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, balanced scoring and team defense guided the hosts to a series-opening win.

Yu Okada and Edwin Ubiles scored 20 points apiece, David Palmer added 11, Chris Holm and Takuya Komoda both scored nine and Shun Watanuki and Hikaru Kusaka had eight and seven, respectively. Watanuki dished out six assists for Kyoto (28-17), which drained 12 of 23 3-point shots.

Holm raked in 17 rebounds and blocked two shots. Three teammates also swatted two apiece: Ubiles, Okada and Sunao Murakami.

The Lakestars (22-21) trailed 48-30 at halftime.

Shiga’s Brandon Fields and Shelton Colwell had 14 points apiece. Dionisio Gomez had a double-double (11 points, 13 rebounds) in the loss.

HeatDevils 73, Susanoo Magic 54

In Oita, Gabe McCulley scored a team-best 21 points, Taishiro Shimizu sank four 3-pointers en route to 18 points and the HeatDevils collected 16 steals to win for the second time in as many days.

Injury-plagued Shimane (7-35) had 28 turnovers, including Shawn Malloy’s eight.

Shimizu contributed five assists and three steals for the playoff-chasing HeatDevils (18-24) and Verdell Jones III added nine points, six assists and four steals.

Oita made 17 of 19 free-throw attempts.

Tatsuhiro Yokoo scored 15 points and Adrian Thomas had 14 points and 10 boards for Shimane (7-35). Malloy had nine points and 12 rebounds and Koki Yabuuchi scored nine points.

Golden Kings 87, Bambitious 72

Kashihara, Nara Prefecture, Kibwe Trim scored 16 points and Naoto Kosuge poured in 14 as Ryukyu beat the Bambitious.

Five Golden Kings scored in double figures as West-leading Ryukyu improved to 35-6.

For Nara (13-28), Joe Chapman was the top scorer with 19 points and Anthony Brown had 17.

Cinq Reves 85, Brave Warriors 82

In Hino, Tokyo Prefecture, Ricky Woods’ 33-point, eight-assist effort guided the hosts past Shinshu.

Edward Morris added 20 points and 12 rebounds for Tokyo (11-30) and Yuji Ide scored 16 points.

Patrick Sanders and Jeff Parmer both scored 19 points for the Brave Warriors (16-15). Parmer also grabbed 17 rebounds.

Wat’s 88, Crane Thunders 80

In Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, Gordon Klaiber had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Yuki Kitamuki scored 19 points and Makoto Sawaguchi added 15 for Aomori.

The Wat’s, a first-year franchise, improved to 21-20.

Carlos Dixon paced Gunma (11-30) with 32 points.

Big Bulls 95, B-Corsairs 80

In Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, Scootie Randall put 19 points on the board and Lawrence Blackledge followed with 17 as the Big Bulls routed the defending champions in the series opener.

Gyno Pomare provided 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals for Iwate (29-12) and Kenichi Takahashi had 15 points.

For Yokohama (18-23), Wayne Marshall scored 19 points.

Grouses 65, Albirex BB 63

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Ira Brown led Toyama with 13 points and Takeshi Mito and Sam Willard both scored 12 in a defensive battle against the hosts.

Willard hauled in 12 rebounds for the Grouses (33-10).

Nile Murry scored 25 points and hauled in 12 rebounds for Niigata (26-17). Albirex star Thomas Kennedy was 0-for-14 from the field in a frustrating two-point effort.

Evessa 87, Phoenix 74

In Osaka, D’Andre Bell’s 17-point effort helped carry the Evessa past rival Hamamatsu Higashimikawa.

Zach Andrews finished with 15 points and Naoto Nakamura scored 14 for Osaka (19-24).

Jermaine Dixon scored 20 points for the Phoenix (25-16) and Cyrus Tate had 18.

Five Arrows 75, 89ers 72

In Takamatsu, the Five Arrows improved to 18-23 by beating Sendai in the series opener.

The 89ers fell to 20-21.

Complete stats were unavailable at press time.