Basketball / B. League

James Southerland’s big fourth quarter seals Mikawa’s victory over Nagoya

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Syracuse University alum James Southerland scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the SeaHorses Mikawa topped the visiting Nagoya Diamond Dolphins 87-71 in Friday’s B. League series opener.

Mikawa (8-8) halted a three-game losing streak, getting a big boost from Kosuke Kanamaru, who delivered a 25-point performance in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.Nagoya (12-4) entering the game with nine wins in its last 10.

Grant Jerrett contributed 17 points and eight rebounds for the SeaHorses, who led 51-36 at halftime. J.R. Sakuragi had nine points, eight boards and five assists.

For the Diamond Dolphins, Justin Burrell supplied 16 points and 12 rebounds and Shuto Ando matched Burrell’s scoring output. Taito Nakahigashi added 14 points and five assists.

Nagoya star Markeith Cummings, who’s averaging 23.9 points a game, missed the contest. He has returned to the United States for a family matter, the team announced this week.

Second-division update

Robots 80, Bee Trains 73

In Hachioji, Atsunobu Hirao drained five 3s in a 23-point night and Carl Baptiste chipped in with 21 points, nine boards, three steals and three blocks as Ibaraki defeated the struggling hosts.

The Bee Trains (3-13) lost their fifth consecutive game.

Alexander Jones paced Hachioji with a 30-point, 16-rebound effort and Hiroya Ogane contributed 18 points, including 4 of 7 on 3s, and seven assists.

The Robots (11-5) built a 47-32 advantage by halftime.

Ibaraki’s Scootie Randall finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Orange Vikings 90, Samuraiz 73

In Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, the hosts dropped 58 points on Kanazawa in the second half to erase an 11-point deficit at the break.

The Orange Vikings (5-11), who snapped a four-game skid, held the Samuraiz to 30 second-half points.

University of Oklahoma product Andrew Fitzgerald led Ehime with 36 points on 17-for-29 shooting and grabbed 22 rebounds, season-high totals in both categories, and dished out six assists against his former team. Keisuke Takabatake poured in 16 points.

The hosts outrebounded Kanawa 55-44.

In Ehime’s previous game on Nov. 10, Fitzgerald had 30 points and 20 rebounds against the Gunma Crane Thunders.

Ryan Reid finished with 16 points and 10 boards for Kanazawa (4-12), while Yuji Ide had a season-high 15 points.

Nash sidelined

High-scoring Bee Trains forward Le’Bryan Nash will be sidelined for an estimated six to seven months after sustaining a left Achilles tendon rupture in an Oct. 28 game, the team recently announced.

The 26-year-old Nash, an Oklahoma State alum, returned to the United States in early November to have surgery, according to a team-issued news release.

Before the injury, Nash was having a stellar all-around season. In 11 games, he averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.5 blocks.