Though he struggled from the field (2-for-10), forward Mike Hall’s two baskets proved to be a difference maker for the Shiga Lakestars in their 66-64 home win over the Osaka Evessa on Saturday.
The former BYU player put his team ahead 64-63 with 47 seconds left in the game, and coach Bob Pierce’s squad held on for a two-point win against its Western Conference rival.
Ex-Evessa guard Masashi Joho, who entered the game averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds for Shiga, which improved to 5-2. Teammate Bobby Nash added 11 points, while Gary Hamilton scored seven and collected a game-best 12 rebounds.
Lakestars point guard Takamichi Fujiwara stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, six boards and six assists and two steals.
For Osaka (3-2), Lynn Washington was the top scorer with 23 points and had nine rebounds, while David Palmer added 11 and eight boards and Ryan Blackwell chipped in with a 10-point effort.
Elsewhere in the bj-league, the host Kyoto Hannaryz trounced the Oita HeatDevils 97-71.
Led by Taizo Kawabe’s 24 points and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf’s 22, the expansion Hannaryz improved to 3-2. Rookie Josh Bostic had a 19-point, six-rebound, five-assist performance and center Reda Rhalimi contributed 14 points and 12 boards for the victors.
Kyoto seized control of this game by outscoring Oita 50-26 in the second and third quarters.
Ricky Woods paced the HeatDevils (1-2) with 30 points.
Veteran big man Nick Davis scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Tokyo Apache’s 71-68 road win over the winless Saitama Broncos.
Julius Ashby added a double-double (18 points, 13 boards), Rasheed Sparks scored 14, Cohey Aoki dished out eight assists and Takanori Goya poured in nine points as Tokyo improved to 3-4.
For the Broncos (0-5), Mario Jointer scored 21 points.
Antonio Burks had a 23-point performance and Tyrone Levett added 16 points in the Niigata Albirex BB’s 92-65 win over the visiting Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.
Twelve players put points on the board for the Albirex (2-3) in their runaway victory.
Niigata led 34-8 after the first quarter.
William Knight was the No. 1 scorer for the Phoenix (4-1), finishing with 14 points.
In a wild game in Kyushu, the Toyama Grouses outlasted the Rizing Fukuoka 126-116 in triple overtime.
Kirby Lemons led Toyama (2-1) with 42 points and 30 rebounds. Four teammates also scored in double figures.
Fukuoka’s Marlyn Bryant also scored 42 points and Michael Parker had 39, but the Rizing fell to 1-4.