Basketball / B. League

Niigata outplays Mikawa in series opener

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Niigata Albirex BB star Davante Gardner received an abundance of Christmas presents from the SeaHorses Mikawa on Saturday afternoon.

The B. League’s leading scorer was repeatedly sent to the free-throw line, and the Marquette University product drained 12 of 13 attempts in an 86-77 road victory.

Gardner leads the B. League top flight in scoring (27.0 points per game). An 83.3 percent free-throw shooter, he finished with a game-high 34 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Teammate Lamont Hamilton chipped in with 13 points and 13 rebounds, Shinsuke Kashiwagi scored 12 points, Yuichi Ikeda had nine and Kei Igarashi added eight with nine assists.

The Albirex (16-9) led 39-30 at halftime in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture.

Kosuke Kanamaru paced the SeaHorses (12-13) with 27 points and J.R. Sakuragi scored 15 and snared nine boards.

Lakestars 68, Hannaryz 62

In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, the hosts scored 21 points off turnovers and eked out a win over Kansai rival Kyoto.

D’or Fischer led the Lakestars (6-19) with 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Gani Lawal had 14 and 11 to complete the double-double. Yusuke Karino added 15 points and Taishi Ito scored 13 with four assists and three steals. Koyo Takahashi also made three steals.

For the Hannaryz (14-11), David Simon scored 23 points and hauled in 10 boards and Kevin Hareyama knocked down five 3s in an 18-point outing. Floor leader Julian Mavunga finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and eight turnovers.

Brex 74, Evessa 70

In Osaka, MVP candidate Ryan Rossiter’s 24-point, 15-rebound, four-steal performance energized Tochigi in a down-to-the-wire triumph over the hosts.

Jeff Gibbs, who scored 17 points, sank a pair of free throws with 7 seconds remaining to seal the win. He also contributed 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals. Kosuke Takeuchi chipped in with 10 points and Hironori Watanabe had seven and five assists for the Brex (21-4). Seiji Ikaruga also handed out five assists.

Rei Goda paced the Evessa (9-16) with 18 points and Xavier Gibson scored 16.

Levanga 82, Rizing Zephyr 80

In Fukuoka, Hokkaido’s Kohei Sekino scored a go-ahead basket with 8 seconds remaining, then made 1 of 2 foul shots with before the final buzzer sounded against the hosts.

Marc Trasolini had 29 points and David Doblas scored 20 and collected 14 rebounds for the Levanga (7-18). Asashi Tajima finished with eight points and 10 assists.

Benjamin Lawson led Fukuoka (5-20) with 18 points and nine boards, while Dexter Pittman had 13 points.

Jets 89, Northern Happinets 86

In Akita, six Chiba players reached double digits in points as the title-chasing Jets defeated the Happinets.

Gavin Edwards had 20 points and seven assists for Chiba (20-5). Shigehiro Taguchi canned 4 of 6 3s in a 14-point outing, while Kosuke Ishii made 4 of 5 long-range shots for his 12 points. Yuki Togashi, Michael Parker and Trey Jones all had 11 points, with Parker rejecting four shots and Taguchi making five steals.

Akita had 24 turnovers; Chiba committed 19.

Justin Keenan led the Happinets (10-15) with 36 points. Takuya Nakayama handed out nine assists.

Making his Akita debut, 206-cm forward Dwight Coleby, whose older brother Kadeem stars for the team, had 11 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three steals in 34-plus minutes. The younger Coleby, who is 24, played college ball at the University of Kansas.

Golden Kings 77, Sunrockers 71

In Okinawa City, Jeff Ayres and Josh Scott both notched double-doubles in Ryukyu’s well-rounded team performance against Shibuya and former coach Tsutomu Isa.

Ayres had 17 points and 16 rebounds with six assists and Scott provided 15 and 11. Ryuichi Kishimoto and Narito Namizato scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Golden Kings (19-6).

Ryukyu used an 11-0 run bridging the second and third quarters to take its biggest lead of the game, 42-32.

Robert Sacre was the top scorer for the Sunrockers (12-13) with 22 points. Leo Vendrame had 17 and Ryan Kelly 15.

Grouses 83, NeoPhoenix 79

In Hamamatsu, Toyama’s Big Three set the tone in a win over San-en.

Leo Lyons put 31 points on the board and grabbed 10 boards. Joshua Smith added 24 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for the Grouses (14-11), while Naoki Uto supplied 16 points.

William McDonald had 20 points and Josh Childress added 17 with 14 rebounds for the NeoPhoenix (9-16). Hayato Kawashima scored 14 points.

Alvark 88, B-Corsairs 56

In Yokohama, defending champion Tokyo held the hosts to 35.6 percent shooting and pulled away in the second half.

Daiki Tanaka had a team-high 15 points along with five assists and four steals for the Alvark (16-9), who led 72-45 entering the fourth quarter.

Tokyo’s Milko Bjelica scored 14 points and Joji Takeuchi and Alex Kirk both had 12. Shohei Kikuchi also dished out five assists.

Yokohama (6-19) finished with 10 assists and 17 turnovers.

Arthur Stepheson led the B-Corsairs with 17 point and 11 rebounds and Ryo Tawatari had 11 points

Brave Thunders 101, Diamond Dolphins 91 (OT)

In Kawasaki, Nick Fazekas scored a game-high 33 points and corralled 19 rebounds as the hosts earned a bounce-back victory in overtime over Nagoya.

Yuma Fujii contributed 23 points and nine assists and three Brave Thunders teammates also scored in double figures, with Vernon Macklin adding 19, Ryusei Shinoyama 13 and Bamba Diouf 11.

Kawasaki (15-11) outrebounded Nagoya 48-34, including 13-6 on the offensive glass.

Markeith Cummings and Craig Brackins each had 26 points for the Diamond Dolphins (15-11) and Shuto Ando poured in 24.

B2 update

Here are Saturday’s second-division scores:

Crane Thunders 80, Bee Trains 58

Dragonflies 74, Earthfriends 54

Susanoo Magic 92, Orange Vikings 82

Fighting Eagles 85, Volters 83

Robots 71, Five Arrows 63

Bambitious 79, Samuraiz 77

Firebonds 79, Wat’s 66

Notes: Gunma (17-8) has won nine straight games, while Hachioji (3-22) has dropped 14 in a row.

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