YOKOHAMA – The Yokohama B-Corsairs’ comeback attempt faltered down the stretch on Sunday afternoon.
Coach Taketo Aoki’s scrappy team saw its losing streak stretch to eight games with a 75-66 defeat to the visiting Ryukyu Golden Kings.
Ryukyu’s potent 3-point shooting (11 of 19) proved too much for the hosts to overcome at Yokohama International Swimming Pool, with Shuhei Kitagawa (3-for-4), Ryuichi Kishimoto (3-for-6), Reyshawn Terry (2-for-4) and Shota Tsuyama (2-for-5) providing the bulk of the long-distance scoring.
On offense, things were going so well for the Golden Kings (19-24) from beyond the arc that Shigeyuki Kinjo and Terry knocked down 3s to beat the buzzer at the end of the first and second quarter, respectively.
For Terry, the final play of the first half was a small sampling of his all-around contributions. The University of North Carolina alum, who joined the Golden Kings in November, had team-high totals in points (21), rebounds (12) and assists (six).
Kishimoto and Kitagawa had 11 points apiece, Teammate Naoki Tashiro scored nine points and Tsuyama finished with eight before a packed house of 4,005.
After the Kings completed a weekend sweep on the road to bolster their playoff chances, Terry said, “It feels great. We will enjoy this one, but only for a little while. Next week, we’ll get over it and look for the task ahead and that’s the following games and we’re going to continue to push for a playoff run.”
Reflecting on his own performance, Terry offered this insight: “I try to be an overall complete player and today the pieces to the puzzle were working out, and my teammates made me look good today.”
Ryukyu coach Tsutomu Isa told reporters that he stressed to his players the need to make “one stop” on defense during key B-Corsairs possessions in the second half, particularly down the stretch.
That focus paid off.
Despite closing to within 58-52 on a pair of Kenji Yamada free throws to cap an 8-0 third-quarter spurt, Yokohama never got over the hump.
Takuya Kawamura delivered a spirited 18-point performance, including eight third-quarter points to help ignite the B-Corsairs comeback. Teammate Jeff Parmer scored seven of his 17 points in the third before fouling out late in the game.
Ryukyu led 44-31 at halftime.
Keying the Kings’ first-half dominance was their scorching 3-point shooting (8 of 13). That occurred in part because of the team’s fluid offense, getting everyone involved in passing the ball around the perimeter, which led to good looks. Seven Kings had one or more assists in the opening half.
Conversely, the B-Corsairs had three players with first-half assists: Kawamura (three), Faye Pape Mour and Yamada (one apiece).
Early in the third quarter, Tashiro’s layup extended Ryukyu’s cushion to 51-33.
Parmer’s inside bucket and free throw trimmed the margin to 51-36 with 8:01 to play in the third before Kawamura began to heat up and find his shot on the perimeter.
After Kawamura drained two free throws, he nailed a jumper to make it 51-40. Kishimoto then buried a 3 for the Kings, giving them a 14-point lead. Kawamura followed with a leaner, elevating near the right baseline a difficult shot that sailed through the net.
Moments later, after a turnover — Yokohama finished with 11 giveaways and just nine assists — and a Kazuya “J.” Hatano layup at the other end of the court, the B-Corsairs faced a 58-44 deficit.
But they were energized and hustling on both ends of the floor, looking for a way to rebound from Saturday’s 70-69 loss, which was decided in the final seconds after the B-Corsairs were assessed a technical foul for calling a timeout with 19 seconds left that they didn’t have.
In the fourth quarter, a Kawamura jumper in the lane brought his team to within 62-59. He missed a straight-away 3 on the hosts’ next offensive possession, but after a missed long-range shot by Tsuyama, Kawamura made a layup to make it a 62-61 with 5:16 to play, raising the excitement of B-Corsairs supporters at the same time.
With 3:47 left, Faye sank two foul shots to make it a one-point game (64-63 again), but the B-Corsairs still trailed and never regained the lead.
Isa said he was pleased with Ryukyu’s efficient perimeter shooting, but he noted that its free-throw shooting (16 of 27) was poor.
Overall, though, Isa, who guided the Kings to the final bj-league championship, the fourth in franchise history, last May, said his club made enough “important plays” to seal the victory.
Terry commended his teammates for their strong passing and shooting, citing that as a big part of the series-closing win.
“It was very important,” he said. “I guess they (the B-Corsairs) were kind of keying on me and Lamont (Hamilton) and Mac (Antonio McHenry), pretty much the interior guys, and we just did a great job of finding the open guys on the perimeter. And we did a great job of making shots.”
Aoki said the enthusiastic fan support helped his team mount a second-half comeback, but he lamented that it felt short.
Yokohoma had “a poor start,” Aoki noted, which made the comeback attempt necessary.
The Golden Kings used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to pull ahead 14-5.
It started with a Kishimoto 3-pointer. He added a driving jumper in the lane on Ryukyu’s next possession as the offense began to heat up. Tashiro wrapped up the quick spurt with a layup.
For the game, Ryukyu made 50 percent of its shots (24 of 48) and held Yokohama to 37.9 percent overall (25 of 66).
The Golden Kings had a slight edge in the rebounding department (38-35).
B-Corsairs forward Faye, a native of Senegal, led all players with 14 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, and scored 14 points, making his presence felt around the basket with layups, putbacks and hook shots.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Kawamura was unable to hide his frustration with the team’s failure to snap its losing streak. He said the team’s inconsistent play was a key factor in the series finale, but noted the B-Corsairs performed better in the second half.
“The Kings played well,” Kawamura concluded.
Grouses 80, Diamond Dolphins 70
In Toyama, balanced scoring sparked the hosts in a bounce-back victory over Nagoya.
Masashi Joho canned six 3-pointers in a 22-point outing and Drew Viney had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Grouses (10-33). Naoki Uto added 12 points and five assists, Sam Willard scored 11 points and corralled 10 rebounds and Takeshi Mito and Yu Okada finished with seven points apiece.
For the Diamond Dolphins (22-21), Jerome Tillman scored 26 points. He made 7 of 9 shots from inside the arc. He missed 9 of 10 3-point attempts. Teammate Shuto Ando had eight points.
SeaHorses 107, 89ers 75
In Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, the hosts took a commanding 75-52 advantage into the final stanza and completed a series sweep of Sendai.
Center Isaac Butts provided 22 points and 24 rebounds for the West Division-leading SeaHorses (33-10) and small forward Masaaki Morikawa. Makoto Hiejima contributed 18 points and five assists and J.R. Sakuragi supplied 16 points, six boards and five assists.
Mikawa converted 24 of 31 free throws; Sendai sank 6 of 6.
Led by Butts’ banner performance, the SeaHorses outrebounded the visitors 50-26.
Wendell White was the 89ers’ leading scorer (15 points). Masaharu Kataoka had 14 points and five assists for Sendai (11-32) and Kaito Ishikawa poured in 11 points.
Jets 94, Lakestars 61
In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, the Jets raced out to a 28-11 lead by the end of the first quarter and handed Shiga its second loss in as many days.
Tyler Stone canned 7 of 16 3-point shots in a 29-point performance and Kosuke Ishii sank 6 of 9 from long range and finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Chiba (30-13).
Hilton Armstrong had 14 points, Yuki Togashi scored 11 and dished out seven assists and Ryumo Ono and Michael Parker scored nine points apiece. Parker also contributed nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks, and Ono doled out five assists.
The Jets attempted 40 3s and made 17 in the rout.
Craig Brackins paced the Lakestars (10-33) with 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Julian Mavunga scored 13 points.
Sunrockers 82, Northern Happinets 65
In Akita, the hosts took a 30-22 advantage into the second quarter, then scored only five points during the rest of the first half.
Shibuya, which took control of the contest and led 43-35 entering the third quarter, used its opportunistic defense to disrupt the Akita offense and seal the weekend sweep. Leo Vendrame had a team-high four steals.
Kenta Hirose paced the Sunrockers (22-21) with 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds. R.T. Guinn scored 15 points and Ira Brown had 13 points and 12 boards.
For the Northern Happinets (11-32), Ryosuke Shirahama scored 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting. Seiya Ando and Shigehiro Taguchi added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Levanga 73, NeoPhoenix 71
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Daniel Miller’s 23-point, 18-rebound effort helped carry Hokkaido past San-en, giving the visitors a weekend sweep.
Asahi Tajima and Jahmar Thorpe were also among the Levanga’s five double-digit scorers.
Hokkaido (16-27) outscored the NeoPhoenix 25-15 in the decisive fourth quarter.
Olu Ashaolu led San-en (25-18) with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Shuto Tawatari had 11 points and Junki Kano, Shingo Okada and Josh Childress all scored eight points.
The NeoPhoenix hurt their cause at the free-throw line (14 of 24).
Brex 100, Albirex BB 62
In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, the hosts put 58 points on the board in the second half and defeated short-handed Niigata for the second straight day.
Ryan Rossiter delivered a 20-point, 21-rebound performance for the Brex (34-9) and frontcourt mate Jeff Gibbs had 20 points and nine boards. Kosuke Takeuchi chipped in with 26 points and seven rebounds.
Tochigi dominated on the boards, outrebounding the Albirex 54-28.
Clint Chapman paced Niigata (19-24) with 25 points. Stephan Van Treese had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Albirex big man Davante Gardner, the league’s No. 2 scorer (21.6 points per game), missed the weekend series with an injury.
Second-division results: Here are the results of Sunday’s games: Tokyo Excellence 114, Kagawa Five Arrows 76; Fighting Eagles Nagoya 74, Yamagata Wyverns 71; Shimane Susanoo Magic 77, Shinshu Brave Warriors 58; Hiroshima Dragonflies 98, Iwate Big Bulls 66; Gunma Crane Thunders 92, Nishinomiya Storks 81; Earthfriends Tokyo Z 64, Ibaraki Robots 61; Bambitious Nara 109, Ehime Orange Vikings 99; Kumamoto Volters 92, Fukushima Firebonds 74; and Aomori Wat’s 72, Kagoshima Rebnise 62.
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