Mikey Marshall has quietly made a big impact since he joined the Shiga Lakestars in early March.
The Lakestars, in their second season, picked up their 10th victory in 14 games with Marshall in uniform, topping the Kyoto Hannaryz 83-78 on Sunday.
Oh, and by the way, Marshall scored a team-high 20 points for Shiga, which improved to 28-22 by sweeping visiting Kyoto.
Gary Hamilton finished with 15 points and Ray Schafer had 11, while Takamichi Fujiwara and Luke Zeller each scored 11 for the Lakestars.
A day after Hannaryz forward Josh Bostic torched Shiga for 40 points and 15 rebounds, the rookie standout was held to 14 points on 3-for-14 shooting and six boards.
John Clifford paced Kyoto (16-32) with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf added 19 points and Sunao Murakami scored a season-high 12.
Elsewhere in the bj-league, the Sendai 89ers jumped out to a 19-4 lead en route to an 86-83 triumph over the visiting Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.
The 89ers (33-15) led 25-9 after one quarter and by 21 points with 4:33 to play in the second quarter.
Hamamatsu (38-10), which trailed by eight at halftime, tied it at 41-41 on Wayne Arnold’s 3-pointer with 7:42 remaining in the third, but never took the lead.
Josh Peppers knocked down 12 of 18 shots in a 33-point outing. Sendai teammate Gyno Pomare scored 12 and Demetrius Guions had 11. Sendai guard Kenichi Takahashi missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle injury.
Arnold was the Phoenix’s top scorer (29 points), followed by William Knight with 15, Wendell White with 14 and Jermaine Green with 13.
Julius Ashby scored 19 points and Michael Chappell had 16 in the Tokyo Apache’s 79-72 road win over the Niigata Albirex BB, who lost their fourth straight game.
Cohey Aoki scored 13 points and Jumpei Nakama added 12 for Tokyo (21-27) and Rasheed Sparks had nine points and 11 rebounds. Aoki and Spark both dished out four assists.
For the Albirex (22-26), Tyrone Levett scored a team-high 26 points and Uche Echefu and Paul Butorac both scored 13.
Dynamic duo Mike Bell and Ricky Woods teamed up with heady guard Matt Lottich to lead the Oita HeatDevils to a 91-88 road win over the Osaka Evessa.
Bell had 24 points and 15 rebounds and Woods posted a double-double (23 points, 12 boards), while Lottich, a member of three Evessa championship squads, had 20 points.
Yukinori Suzuki and Kimitake Sato each scored 10 points for Oita (24-24), which earned a series split.
Lynn Washington paced the Evessa (30-18) with 43 points. He made 17 of 23 field-goal attempts and was 7-for-11 at the foul line. Nile Murray had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists. David Palmer added 14 points.
In the Saitama Broncos’ final home game of a disappointing season, the hosts earned a 74-67 victory over the Toyama Grouses.
Mario Jointer finished with 23 points for Saitama (15-33). Terrence Woodyard added 13 to go along with 11 boards, while Kazuya Hatano scored 12 and Kirby Lemons had 10.
For Toyama (16-32), which won the series opener, Bilal Abdullah had 18 points and Takeshi Mito scored 15.
In Sunday’s late game, the Ryukyu Golden Kings beat the Takamatsu Five Arrows 87-80.