The Iwate Big Bulls improved to 3-1 against the Akita Northern Happinets, winning back-to-back weekend games by three points apiece.
On Sunday, Iwate handed the hosts an 81-78 defeat, stretching its winning streak to six games.
The Big Bulls improved to 34-12. The Happinets fell to 36-12.
Josh Peppers had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the win and Masato Tsukino scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Lawrence Blackledge provided 15 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block, while Scootie Randall had 12 points and 11 rebounds. Gyno Pomare chipped in with nine points.
Iwate’s defense held Akita’s starting guards, Yuki Togashi and Shigehiro Taguchi, to a combined six points on 3-for-16 shooting from the field. They are averaging a combined 26.8 points per game.
Yuto Otsuka scored 20 points to lead the Happinets and Deshawn Stephens poured in 17. Richard Roby had 15 points and Ruben Boykin also scored 15 and hauled in 15 rebounds.
Golden Kings 84, Albirex BB 65
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Ryuichi Kishimoto drained six 3s and scored a game-high 28 points as Ryukyu salvaged a series split against the hosts.
Draelon Burns had 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in a rare start for the Golden Kings (38-8), and Naoto Kosuge (nine points) Narito Namizato (seven points, eight assists) and Jeff Newton (seven points, nine boards) made significant statistical contributions.
Nile Murry paced the Albirex (28-20) with 20 points. Thomas Kennedy poured in 14 and Yuichi Ikeda had 13 points.
Niigata trailed 66-39 after three quarters.
Grouses 82, Wat’s 67
In Toyama, Masashi Joho scored 31 points to match his jersey number and also reached the 5,000-point career milestone as the Grouses swept Aomori.
Joho buried six 3s and shot 11-for-18 from the field. He also made three steals for Eastern Conference-leading Toyama (38-10).
Takeshi Mito added 14 points for the Grouses, Sam Willard had 12 points and 15 rebounds and Ira Brown scored 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Tatsunori Fujie dished out six assists.
For the Wat’s (23-23), Gordon Klaiber was the top scorer with 17 points. Anthony Kent had 15 points and nine rebounds, with four assists and two steals. Abdullahi Kuso had 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.
Brave Warriors 95, Broncos 82
In Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, Patrick Sanders had a team-high 22 points and balanced scoring carried Shinshu past Saitama.
Xavier Gibson added 19 points for the Brave Warriors (29-17), Jeff Parmer had 16 and Shota Konno scored 13. Parmer and Dwight Burke raked in 12 and 11 rebounds, respectively.
Michael Joiner led the Broncos (5-41) with 34 points. Mark Dawson had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Saitama’s John Humphrey, the league’s leading scorer (24.0 points per game), was sidelined with an injury.
89ers 101, Cinq Reves 63
In Inagaki, Tokyo Prefecture, Sendai’s aggressive defense produced 14 steals in a blowout victory over the hosts as coach Shuto Kawachi’s club bounced back from a series-opening loss.
Dzaflo Larkai and DeAngelo Hamilton scored 21 points apiece, the latter adding 20 rebounds, six blocks, four assists and three steals. Travele Jones had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Takehiko Shimura provided 13 points and 11 assists for the 89ers (23-23).
Ricky Woods scored 20 points for Tokyo (13-33). Edward Morris added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Kenji Kanai scored 13 points.
The Cinq Reves shot 24-for-74 from the field.
Susanoo Magic 63, Rizing 62
In Hamada, Shimane Prefecture, T.J. Cummings and Adrian Thomas had 15-point games and the hosts snapped a 13-game slide.
Shawn Malloy chipped in with 14 points and four blocks and Edward Yamamoto had eight assists for Shimane (8-38).
Reggie Warren, who scored 22 points, was Fukuoka’s lone double-digit scorer. Cohey Aoki and Seth Tarver added eight points apiece for the Rizing (24-22).
B-Corsairs 87, Crane Thunders 77
In Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Marquise Gray scored 18 points and four teammates also reached double figures in points as Yokohama topped the hosts in the series opener.
Omar Reed had 17 points and five assists and Wayne Marshall scored 16 on 7-for-10 shooting, Marcus Simmons poured in 15 points and Kenji Yamada had 10. Masayuki Kabaya supplied eight points and five assists for the B-Corsairs (20-25).
Dillion Sneed had 27 points and 14 rebounds for Gunma (12-33) and Carlos Dixon scored 21 points. Kenya Tomori added 11 points.
Phoenix 92, Lakestars 89
In Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, Hamamatsu’s Cyrus Tate capitalized on repeated trips to the charity stripe and sank 12 of 13 free throws in a game-high 26 point effort.
Jermaine Dixon added 20 points for the Phoenix (26-20) and Ray Nixon notched a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds). Shinnosuke Oishi scored 12 points, registered seven assists and collected four steals as the visitors earned a series split.
For Shiga (25-23), Brandon Fields was the high scorer with 24 points and Marshall Brown added 20 points and eight assists. Dionisio Gomez and Yutaka Yokoe both had 11 points.
Bambitious 73, HeatDevils 67
In Oita, Oklahoma State alum Anthony Brown’s season-best 34-point effort sparked Nara to its second victory in as many days over the HeatDevils.
The teams played four times in five days in Oita, with both squads winning once in the Wednesday-Thursday series.
Joe Chapman had 10 points for the Bambitious (17-31) and Tatsuya Suzuki scored nine. Adrian Moss added eight points and Jamar Abrams had six.
Posting on Facebook after the game on Sunday, Chapman wrote of his expansion team’s busy stretch of days: “Just finished our sixth game in 10 days. We went 4-2, three (wins) in a row, all road games. Proud of my young team. Let’s keep it going, fellas.”
Devonne Giles paced Oita (20-28) with 21 points and 13 rebounds and Shuichi Takada scored 12 points. Verdell Jones III had 10 points.
Hannaryz 74, Five Arrows 66
In Itano, Tokushima Prefecture, David Palmer and Yu Okada combined for eight 3-pointers and 36 points and Kyoto improved to 31-17 by beating Takamatsu.
Okada drained five 3s in an 18-point afternoon and Palmer hit 3 of 6 in an 18-point outing.
Chris Holm had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Hannaryz.
The Five Arrows fell to 18-28. Center Paul Williams had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
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Saturday rewind: Ten games were on the docket in the first weekend of the season’s seventh month.
Grouses 89, Wat’s 82
In Toyama, coach Bob Nash’s victorious team grabbed sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference by beating Aomori on the same day that Akita fell to Iwate.
Masashi Joho and Ira Brown scored 19 points apiece for the Grouses, who were tied with Akita for the top spot entering the weekend. Tatsunori Fujie scored 16 points, Sam Willard had 12 points and a game-best 15 rebounds and Josh Gross added 11 points.
Gordon Klaiber led the Wat’s with 20 points, knocking down five 3-pointers. Stanley Ocitti had 15 points and Anthony Kent scored 14. Makoto Sawaguchi finished with 10 points and seven assists and Yuta Kojima matched Sawaguchi’s scoring total.
Big Bulls 78, Northern Happinets 75
In Akita, Scootie Randall had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Lawrence Blackledge scored 18 points for Iwate in a down-to-the-wire win over its East rival.
Josh Peppers contributed 11 points off the bench and Masato Tsukino scored eight. Veteran point guard Tsubasa Yonamine chalked up six assists.
The Big Bulls held the Happinets to 4-for-23 shooting from 3-point range.
Richard Roby scored 23 points to lead Akita. Deshawn Stephens had 17 points and Yuki Togashi 15.
Brave Warriors 105, Broncos 65
In Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, Shota Konno drained 11 of 14 shots in an electrifying 29-point performance to lead Shinshu past Saitama.
Konno was 9-for-11 from inside the arc.
Patrick Sanders scored 21 points and Xavier Gibson and Jeff Parmer had 15 apiece for the Brave Warriors, who led 32-9 after one quarter.
John Humphrey paced Saitama with 19 points.
Rizing 79, Susanoo Magic 50
In Hamada, Shimane Prefecture, Reggie Warren’s 19 points and 16 rebounds and Seth Tarver’s 19 points steered Fukuoka past the struggling hosts.
The Rizing’s David Palmer, a strong newcomer, added 13 points and 12 rebounds and Julius Ashby had 12 points and a pair of blocks.
Adrian Thomas was Shimane’s lone double-digit scorer (11 points). T.J. Cummings finished with nine and Edward Yamamoto and Koki Yabuuchi both had eight.
Cinq Reves 91, 89ers 87
In Inagaki, Tokyo Prefecture, the host increased their scoring total in each of the four quarters en route to a victory over Sendai.
Tokyo put 15 points on the board in the opening stanza, followed by 21, 25 and 30 — a key trend in the game for coach Motofumi Aoki’s club.
Yuji Ide paced the hosts with 24 points, including 12-for-13 at the line. Ricky Woods scored 18 points, Edward Morris tossed in 17 and Kenji Kanai had 14. Anthony Stover protected the rim and dominated on defense, grabbing 11 boards and blocking nine shots.
Dzaflo Larkai had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and teammates Travele Jones (17 points, 15 boards) and DeAngelo Hamilton (18 points, 15 rebounds) also added double-doubles. Fumiya Sato scored 13 points.
Hannaryz 70, Five Arrows 62
In Itano, Tokushima Prefecture, Kyoto’s Yu Okada and longtime league star David Palmer had 17 points apiece, while Chris Holm scored 14 points and grabbed a franchise-record 29 rebounds against Takamastu.
Dexter Lyons had 21 points for the Five Arrows, Andrais Thornton scored 11 and Tsubasa Yonezawa 10.
Bambitious 78, HeatDevils 76
In Oita, rookie guard Tatsuya Suzuki’s 21-point effort sparked Nara to a narrow victory over the hosts.
Jamar Abrams and Joe Chapman had 13 points apiece and Taishi Kasahara chipped in with 10 points and six assists for the Bambitious. Adrian Moss added eight points and 13 rebounds, while Chapman dished out five assists.
For Oita, Gabe McCulley provided 25 points, 11 boards and four blocks and Devonne Giles had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Taishiro Shimizu scored 10 points.
Lakestars 86, Phoenix 81
In Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, Brandon Fields and Marshall Brown both had 23-point outings and Dionisio Gomez poured in 11 points for the Lakestars.
Fields handed out eight assists in the win over Hamamatsu. Shelton Colwell scored nine points and Daiki Terashita had eight. Yutaka Yokoe contributed seven points and four steals.
For the Phoenix, Jermaine Dixon was the top scorer (24 points). Teammates Ray Nixon and Cyrus Tate had 21 and 18 points, respectively. Tate led his club with 11 rebounds.
Albirex BB 79, Golden Kings 68
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Albirex floor leader Nile Murry made a big difference at the free-throw line, scoring 12 of his 23 points with the game clock stopped.
Murry also grabbed 14 rebounds for Niigata. Thomas Kennedy added 21 points, Yuichi Ikeda had 11 and Shuhei Komatsu 10.
All told, the Albirex were 25-for-31 at the line. Ryukyu shot 15-for-19.
Draelon Burns had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the West-leading Golden Kings. Morihisa Yamauchi scored 13 points and Kibwe Trim had 10 points and 14 rebounds. Making his first appearance since March 13 due to an elbow injury, Ryuichi Kishimoto scored nine points.
The Golden Kings missed 20 of 25 3s and had eight assists against 16 turnovers.