Fukushima Firebonds rookie forward Le’Bryan Nash broke the bj-league’s single-game scoring record on Sunday afternoon with a 54-point performance, leading his team to a 91-83 victory over the Shinshu Brave Warriors.
Fukushima (22-14) ended Shinshu’s seven-game winning streak.
Nash, an Oklahoma State product, sank 4 of 7 3-pointers in the series finale in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. He made 15 of 25 shots from the field and converted 12 of 16 free-throw attempts. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
He is the league’s leading scorer (26.3 points per game). He earned All-Star MVP honors on Jan. 24 in Sendai.
Nash’s Sunday scoring total eclipses the old standard of 53 points, which was set by Fukuoka’s Michael Parker on Nov. 7, 2010, against Takamatsu. Before that, Oita’s Ricky Woods had 52 points against the now-defunct Tokyo Apache on Feb. 28, 2010.
In Nash’s fifth game of the season, he torched the Gunma Crane Thunders for 47 points on Oct. 17.
Firebonds guard Masaya Karimata finished with 16 points and five assists on Sunday and Bingo Merriex had 12 points and 11 boards. Stephan Van Treese chipped in with 12 rebounds, three steals and three blocks.
Mike Bell paced Shinshu (18-20) with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Frontcourt mate Xavier Gibson had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Junki Kano scored 12 points and Dai Suzuki had 11.
Bell said Nash’s performance was impressive.
“His offensive performance today was great,” Bell, who was with the HeatDevils when Woods scored 52 points, told The Japan Times on Sunday night. “I was just saying how much his game reminds me of Ricky Woods after playing against them last month. He has a knack for being able to get to the free-throw line more than often and that, of course, puts the opposing team in unfamiliar positions and off balance when key players are watching the game instead of playing due to foul trouble.
“Being that I’ve experienced the scoring record being topped twice, with Ricky Woods as my teammate at the time, I must say it’s much, much funner when it’s your teammate getting it done instead of your opponent.”