As has been the case throughout the season, defense fueled the Yokohama B-Corsairs’ win on Saturday, a 66-59 road triumph over the Osaka Evessa.
St. John’s product Justin Burrell, the top reserve in the Big East Conference last season, had a 21-point outing for Yokohama (19-18) and Draelon Burns, one of the bj-league’s top newcomers, poured in 17 points along with six rebounds and four assists. Masayuki Kabaya, the B-Corsairs’ captain, had nine points.
“We hope good road wins like this will go a long way as we make this push to make the playoffs,” Geary told The Japan Times after the game.
Lynn Washington led Osaka (24-11) with 19 points with seven rebounds and seven assists and Wayne Marshall scored 11. Mike Bell added eight points and Satoshi Takeda and Cohey Aoki netted six points apiece.
The Evessa, who are in second place in the Western Conference, fell to 9-8 at home despite shooting 20-for-22 at the free-throw line. They shot 18-for-53 from the field and loss the battle on the boards (42-35).
Northern Happinets 105, Rizing 94
In Odate, Akita Prefecture, Kazuo Nakamura’s offense ran like a well-oiled machine in a high-scoring win over Fukuoka.
Eight Happinets players had two or more assists, and Ricky Woods scored 29 points and raked in 13 rebounds in the series opener. Kyle Swanston scored 26 points and Yuki Kikuchi had 18 and flushed 4 of 8 3-pointers.
Akita improved to 23-14.
Kevin Palmer had 33 points and 10 rebounds for Fukuoka (22-13), Akitomo Takeno scored 17, Jun Nakanishi had 14 and Gary Hamilton and Jermaine Dearman each had 12. Hamilton grabbed 14 rebounds.
Phoenix 96, Hannaryz 81
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Wayne Arnold scored 19 points and Jermaine Dixon had a 17-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist effort to lead Hamamatsu Higashimikawa to a win over Kyoto.
Lawrence Blackledge had 16 points, two steals and two blocks for the Phoenix (25-12). Reigning MVP Jeffrey Parmer scored 14 points and Masahiro Oguchi had 12. Center Gyno Pomare hauled in 10 rebounds in 17:45.
Former NBA center Lance Allred paced the Hannaryz (23-12) with 20 points with 11 rebounds. Ex-Minnesota Timberwolves draft pick Rick Rickert had 15 points, 20 boards and five assists and Naoto Nakamura scored 13 points. Jermaine Boyette had 12 points and Lee Cummard added 10.
Brave Warriors 88, Jets 79
In Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Shinshu outscored the hosts 25-13 in the fourth quarter, winning a showdown of expansion clubs.
Derek Raivio led the Brave Warriors (14-23) with 22 points, and was 10-for-10 at the charity stripe for the third time in the past five games. Edward Morris scored 14, Lee Roberts had 13 and Yosuke Saito scored 11. Shinshu had 53 rebounds to Chiba’s 35, including 23 offensive boards.
Jamel Staten had 28 points and six assists for Chiba (13-22), while Maurice Hargrow scored 23 and Hiroki Sato had 10.
Shining Suns 79, Big Bulls 73
In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Dexter Lyons had 31 points, seven rebounds and five steals, Darryl Dora scored 17 points and O’Neal Mims poured in 11 as the hosts topped Iwate in the series opener.
Miyazaki improved to 17-20.
Gordon Klaiber had a team-high 22 points, including 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, for the expansion Big Bulls (9-28). Thomas Kennedy notched a double-double (17 points, 10 boards), Jamal Boykin scored 15 and Shawn Malloy added nine points and 13 boards. The Bulls committed 22 turnovers.
Grouses 85, Broncos 71
In Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, Ira Brown and Brian Harper both had double-doubles as the hosts hammered Saitama.
Brown finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds and Harper had 23 and 12. Larry Turner, who grabbed 15 rebounds, and Masashi Joho each scored 15, and the Grouses improved to 20-15, the first time in franchise history the team has recorded 20 wins in a season. Toyama entered the bj-league for the 2006-07 season.
Yuki Kitamuki scored a team-high 17 points for the Broncos (10-25), who were 26-for-66 from the field. Kenny Satterfield finished with 15 points and eight assists, John “Helicopter” Humphrey had 12 points and Yasuaki Arai added nine.
Toyama out-rebounded Saitama 56-33.
HeatDevils 89, 89ers 83
In Beppu, Oita Prefecture, point guard Naoto Takushi outplayed his counterpart Takehiko Shimura as the hosts recorded a victory.
Takushi had 18 points, 10 assists and two steals for Oita (13-24). T.J. Cummings scored 25 points and Taj Finger had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds, while Matt Lottich added 12 points and Wendell White had seven.
For Sendai (18-17), Dan Fitzgerald was the leading scorer (26 points) and Johnny Dukes had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Shimura had 13 points and four assists. Takuya Komoda scored 10 points.
After the loss, Sendai coach Bob Pierce summed it up this way: “Too much Taj and Takushi to go along with T.J. They couldn’t miss in the first quarter. We fought back to cut the lead to two points a couple of times late in the fourth quarter, but always Taj or Takushi made big plays on the next possession.”
Golden Kings 81, Susanoo Magic 63
In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Shimane star Michael Parker, the three-time reigning scoring champion, was held to a season-low 12 points on 4-for-16 shooting as Ryukyu rolled to victory.
Anthony McHenry and Narito Namizato both pumped in 14 points for the league-leading Golden Kings (30-7). Namizato also had nine boards and seven assists. Dzaflo Larkai scored 12 and Jeff Newton had 10 points and 12 boards. David Palmer scored eight points and Morihisa Yamauchi finished with seven.
Reggie Golson had 18 points for Shimane (20-17) and Jumpei Nakama scored 11.
Albirex BB 81, Five Arrows 73
In Takamatsu, Yuichi Ikeda scored 15 points and four teammates reached double figures in scoring as Niigata prevailed over an undermanned Shikoku squad.
Chris Holm (12 points, 23 boards) and Shohei Komatsu and Kimitake Sato (12 points apiece) and Erron Maxey (10) helped the Albirex improved to 20-17, while Nile Murry contributed eight points and four assists.
Nyika Williams led Takamatsu (2-33) with 29 points, Kevin Smith scored 25 and Hiroyuki Kikuchi added 14, including four 3s. After Michael Nunnally’s departure earlier this week and big man Paul Butorac’s injury, the Five Arrows suited up only two imports for this game, and the rest of the team scored a combined 19 points.