The SeaHorses Mikawa are on a roll.
After an 0-5 start this season, longtime coach Kimikazu Suzuki’s club now has a .500 winning percentage.
The SeaHorses built a large lead and withstood a late rally by the Shiga Lakestars on Tuesday, winning 78-75.
Isaac Butts had 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists for Mikawa (5-5) and Kosuke Kanamaru scored 15 points. On his 42nd birthday, former NBA forward J.R. Sakuragi finished with 13 points, seven boards and eight assists, while James Southerland also scored 13 points. Masaya Karimata contributed 10 points in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.
The game was tied 28-28 at halftime.
The SeaHorses took a 51-44 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Toshikazu Kato’s 3-pointer gave Mikawa a 65-60 lead with 5:54 left in the game.
Shiga big man D’or Fischer had 15 of his 17 points in the fourth. He was 5 of 5 from the floor and sank all five of his free throws in the final period. Fischer also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Yusuke Karino led the Lakestars (2-8) with 20 points, including four 3s. Koyo Takahashi added 14 points and Gani Lawal notched a double-double (14 points, 13 boards).
Shiga has lost six straight contests.
In Monday’s series opener, the SeaHorses routed the Lakestars 77-56, with Kanamaru knocking down 4 of 6 3s in a 25-point performance. Lawal led Shiga with 22 points and 13 boards.
Brex 85, Levanga 60
In Sapporo, Ryan Rossiter had 25 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Hironori Watanabe poured in 12 points as Tochigi completed a two-game sweep.
Kosuke Takeuchi and Ryo Yamazaki both scored 11 points for the Brex (9-1).
Marc Trasolini paced Hokkaido (3-7) with 21 points and nine rebounds.
Tochigi improved to 6-0 in road games.