Defensive intensity propels B-Corsairs past Shining Suns


Staff Writer

Justin Burrell scored 17 points and hauled in 18 rebounds as the Yokohama B-Corsairs routed the Miyazaki Shining Suns 81-64 on Sunday afternoon at Yokohama International Pool.

Masayuki Kabaya contributed 14 points and Marcus Simmons and Draelon Burns had 10 apiece to give Yokohama a split of its weekend series with the Kyushu team and move the B-Corsairs (18-18) back to .500 for the season.

Reggie Geary’s club is in sixth place in the bj-league’s Eastern Conference after the win, and looks a solid bet to make the playoffs in its inaugural campaign.

The Suns dropped to 16-20 with the loss. They remain in the seventh spot in the Western Conference.

Dexter Lyons paced Miyazaki with 24 points, while O’Neal Mims added 14 and 11 boards.

Balanced scoring and good team defense propelled Yokohama to the victory against a Suns team that appeared fatigued following its 78-66 triumph on Saturday night.

Miyazaki tallied just 10 points in both the second and third quarters of the defeat.

“We came out with a lot of energy today after the way we played last night,” said Geary. “I didn’t have us prepared well enough yesterday.”

The B-Corsairs out-rebounded the Suns 55-43 in the win.

“Our energy showed on defense and that’s why we got the victory,” added Geary. “We got a good contribution from our bench in the second quarter.”

“It was a good defensive effort all around,” said Simmons, who had eight rebounds and four assists, and was named the player of the game. “We had good support from our fans again.”

Burrell canned a 3-pointer as time expired in the first quarter to give Yokohama a 23-18 lead.

Lyons scored 12 points in the opening quarter for Miyazaki.

A pair of free throws by Simmons gave the B-Corsairs a 31-20 edge early in the second quarter.

Minoru Kimura hit a baseline jumper to boost the margin to 40-26 for Yokohama with 3:10 left in the second.

A Kimura layup made it 44-28 for the B-Corsairs with 55 seconds remaining in the first half.

Simmons, a USC product, scored on a nifty spin move in the waning seconds of the half and was fouled by Mims. He converted the free throw and Yokohama took a 19-point advantage into halftime at 47-28.

“Our Japanese players didn’t play well in the second quarter,” said Miyazaki coach Koto Toyama. “Everything went down hill from that point.”

Lyons had 17 points at the intermission, almost single-handedly keeping the Suns in the contest.

A windmill dunk by Burrell made it 51-28 with seven minutes left in the third quarter as the rout continued.

Yokohama led 61-38 after three quarters.

Miyazaki employed a full-court press throughout the fourth quarter, but was unable to make up the deficit.

The start of the game was delayed for approximately 10 minutes due to a problem with the alignment of one of the baskets.

Elsewhere in the bj-league on Sunday, the Ryukyu Golden Kings improved to a league-best 29-7 by beating the Iwate Big Bulls 79-69.

The Toyama Grouses edged the Shinshu Brave Warriors 79-76, the Niigata Albirex BB topped the Akita Northern Happinets 91-81 and the Chiba Jets outlasted the Shiga Lakestars, winning 101-100 in overtime.

The Oita HeatDevils, meanwhile, prevailed 80-73 over the Shimane Susanoo Magic, while the Sendai 89ers whipped the Takamatsu Five Arrows 72-54.

The two-time defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix defeated the Osaka Evessa 89-81 and the Saitama Broncos beat the Kyoto Hannaryz 77-68.