In their first head-to-head matchup of the season, the Iwate Big Bulls took care of business against the visiting Akita Northern Happinets on Saturday.
Coach Dai Oketani’s Big Bulls prevailed 76-74 in overtime and improved to 10-1 on the young season.
Akita (6-1) suffered its first loss against the bj-league’s newest Eastern Conference power.
Reggie Okosa and Carlos Dixon scored 18 points apiece for the Big Bulls, who were 18-for-31 at the free-throw line.
Masato Tsukino had 15 points for Iwate, a second-year franchise that made a serious push for championship contention by overhauling its roster and hiring two-time title-winning bench boss Oketani in the offseason. Iwate Prefecture native Makoto Sawaguchi scored nine points and Kenichi Takahashi scored eight points in the series opener in Mizusawa, Iwate Prefecture.
Iwate dominated on the boards, pulling down 64 rebounds to Akita’s 44. Dixon and Tsukino each had nine rebounds and Okosa had eight.
Big Bulls center Dillion Sneed fouled out after playing 15 minutes, 26 seconds. He finished with six points and three rebounds.
For Akita, T.J. Cummings had a team-high 26 points and 11 rebounds. He also attempted 30 shots from 2-point range, tying a league record shared with three others and a total he attempted on April 7 while playing for the Oita HeatDevils
Dion Harris scored 16 points for the Happinets and dished out nine assists.
Akita collected 13 steals, with five players getting two or more.
Evessa 86, HeatDevils 82
In Oita, Rick Rickert’s 23 points and 17 rebounds sparked Osaka in Takao Furuya’s coaching debut in a victory over the HeatDevils.
Nathan Walkup scored 16 points and Masashi Obuchi had 12 points and six assists for the Evessa (1-4), who were idle since Oct. 21.
The Evessa owned a 56-33 rebounding edge.
Wendell White led Oita (7-2) with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Taj Finger scored 17 points, Taishiro Shimizu had 15 points with eight assists and Cyrus Tate provided 12 points.
Albirex BB 100, Broncos 71
In Niigata, the hosts jumped out to a 51-18 lead by the end of the second quarter in a runaway win over Saitama.
Nile Murry paced the Albirex (6-3) with 18 points and Kimitake Sato scored 17, while Rodney Webb, Yuichi Ikeda, Chris Holm and Yuki Sato all had 10-point outings. Holm raked in 12 rebounds and Webb had 10 boards.
Takuma Yamashiro scored 20 points for Saitama (1-6) and Dameion Baker had 17.
Hannaryz 80, Phoenix 63
In Kyoto, Gyno Pomare scored 27 points on 11-for-13 shooting, David Palmer poured in 16 and the Hannaryz defeated visiting Hamamatsu Higashimikawa to complete a series sweep.
Yu Okada added 12 points for Kyoto (2-8) and Jermaine Boyette had nine.
Jeffrey Parmer paced the Phoenix (7-5) with 19 points and Kevin Galloway scored 13.
Golden Kings 108, Shining Suns 66
In Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Terrance Woodbury scored a team-high 22 points and five teammates scored in double figures as Ryukyu overwhelmed the struggling hosts.
Miyazaki (1-8) has lost eight straight games.
Anthony McHenry and Jeff Newton both had 16 points for the Golden Kings (7-0), the reigning champions and Dzaflo Larkai and Narito Namizato scored 14 apiece, while Morihisa Yamauchi had 10.
McHenry grabbed 13 rebounds. Namizato handed out five assists.
The Golden Kings led 46-33 at halftime, and then put the game out of reach in the third stanza by outscoring the hosts 33-10.
Dominique Keller scored 28 points and Larriques Cunningham had 22 for Miyazaki, while the rest of the third-year franchise’s players combined for 16 total points.
Grouses 99, Crane Thunders 71
In Kamiichi, Toyama Prefecture, Masashi Joho sank four 3-pointers and delivered an 18-point performance to help the hosts rout winless Gunma.
Brandon Cole scored 17 points for Toyama (7-4), Angel Garcia and Ira Brown each scored 12 points and Tatsunori Fujie and Jeremy Jacob had 11 apiece.
The Grouses shot 47.8 percent (11-for-23) from 3-point range.
Lewis Witcher was the top scorer for the Crane Thunders (0-11), finishing with 25 points on 12-for-17 shooting.
Rizing 99, Lakestars 75
In Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture, Josh Peppers topped the scoring charts for the out-of-towners, putting 23 points on the board in a blowout victory over the hosts.
Akitomo Takeno canned 3 of 6 3s and supplied 17 points for Fukuoka (6-3), which has won six straight games. Jun Nakanishi and Julius Ashby added 16 points apiece for the Rizing.
Ray Nixon scored 24 points for Shiga (3-6), which has dropped five straight contests. Shinya Ogawa and Wayne Arnold each had 13 points in defeat.
B-Corsairs 85, Brave Warriors 82
In Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Draelon Burns’ 21-point, seven-rebound, five-assist, two-steal effort guided Yokohama to a narrow win over Shinshu.
Thomas Kennedy chipped in with 16 points and eight rebounds and Paul Butorac had 16 points and seven boards for the B-Corsairs (5-2), Masayuki Kabaya added 15 points and Pape Faye Mour scored 11.
Jermaine Green had 24 points and 22 rebounds for the Brave Warriors (5-4), and Wayne Marshall and D’Mario Curry each had 18 points.
Shinshu shot 38.2 percent from inside the 3-point arc.
Cinq Reves 89, 89ers 68
In Hino, Tokyo, playing their first game in three weeks, Sendai had a listless performance against the hosts.
Jonathan Jones led Tokyo with 23 points and Hirohisa Takada scored 13. Cohey Aoki, making his return to the lineup after a three-game absence (ankle injury), and Rasheem Barrett each poured in 11 points. Newcomer Dennis Carr notched a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards for Tokyo (3-6) before a sparse crowd of 614.
The Cinq Reves out-rebounded the 89ers by 11 boards and held them to 21-for-66 from the field.
Tokyo took a 43-34 lead into the intermission.
Yasuaki Arai had a team-high 17 points for Sendai (2-5) and Kevin Coble scored 13 points. Captain Takehiko Shimura dished out five assists.
Five Arrows 72, Susanoo Magic 61
In Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture, Takamatsu ended Shimane’s two-game winning streak and eclipsed its victory total from last season.
Dexter Lyons and Brandon Penn were the Five Arrows’ joint leading scorers with 16-point nights. Paul Williams had 10 points and 14 boards for Takamatsu (3-4).
The Five Arrows endured a 2-50 campaign last season.
Michael Parker finished with 24 points and 13 boards for Shimane (6-3) and Jeral Davis scored 14.
The Susanoo Magic were 0-for-6 on 3-point shots.