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Akita sends Tokyo to 28th straight defeat

by

Staff Writer

The Akita Northern Happinets jumped out to a 16-point lead by the end of the first quarter and cruised to a lopsided win over the host Tokyo Cinq Reves on Friday night.

The Northern Happinets recorded a clinical 100-78 victory, condemning Tokyo to its 28th straight loss, a league record. (Entering this season, the Takamatsu Five Arrows held the league record for consecutive defeats — 25 straight to close out the 2011-12 campaign, when they lost 50 of 52 games.)

Akita (24-11) took a 53-37 advantage into halftime.

Richard Roby paced the visitors with 27 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out seven assists in Hachioji. He shot 10-for-16 from the field and 5-for-5 at the foul line.

Happinets star Shigehiro Taguchi added 17 points, including four 3-pointers. Scott Morrison scored 16 points and hauled in nine boards. Ray Turner added 12 points and seven rebounds, while Akita native Kenichi Takahashi contributed nine points.

Guard Akitomo Takeno made his third start in as many games for Akita since returning from a year’s absence after tearing the ACL in his left knee. He played 21 minutes, finishing with three points, two steals and one assist.

For Tokyo (1-34), Andre Murray finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Du’Vaughn Maxwell had 16 points and six blocks and John Florveus chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Akita out-rebounded Tokyo 50-35, including 22-8 on the offensive glass.

Phoenix 118, Lightning 48

In Yamaguchi, balanced scoring guided defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa in a comprehensive thrashing of Hiroshima in their series opener.

The Lightning (1-32) lost their 27th game in a row. They trailed 55-24 at the half.

Guard Hiroki Furuhashi paced the Phoenix (25-10) with 25 points and raked in 11 rebounds. DeAngelo Kirkland added 19 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Shuto Tawatari matched Kirkland’s scoring total and doled out a game-high eight assists. Atsuya Ota and Toshifumi Kawamitsu each scored 15 points, with Ota grabbing 14 rebounds.

Hamamatsu shot 71.7 percent (33 of 46) from inside the arc.

Hiroshima had more turnovers (20) than baskets (19).

Ayumu Osawa led the Lightning, who used no foreign players, with 18 points. Tetsuya Maemura scored 16 points.

Noteworthy: Former Oita and Fukushima guard Verdell Jones III had a 40-point, seven-rebound, four-assist performance for the Santa Cruz Warriors on Thursday in an NBA Development League game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.