Basketball / B. League

Naoya Kumagae's shooting touch pivotal for Evessa in victory over Lakestars

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

As a scorer, Naoya Kumagae is having his best stretch of the season.

Kumagae scored a game-high and season-best 26 points in the Osaka Evessa’s 76-71 victory over the visiting Shiga Lakestars on Saturday.

He had 16 points last Sunday versus the Tochigi Brex, then put 19 on the board against the Ryukyu Golden Kings. In both games, Kumagae knocked down four 3-pointers.

In this game, the Fukuoka Prefecture native canned 8 of 12 3s and was 9 of 18 from the floor. All told, he’s reached double figures in five straight games. The veteran forward is averaging 9.7 points per game this season.

The Evessa, winners of two straight, drained 13 of 26 3s.

Josh Harrellson provided 16 points and 20 rebounds for Osaka (11-16) and Rei Goda had 12 points and six assists.

For Shiga (6-21), D’or Fischer scored 21 points and hauled in 15 boards and newcomer Marqus Blakely, a University of Vermont alum, also had 21 points along with five assists and seven steals in his Lakestars debut, while Yusuke Karino added 12 points.

Sunrockers 67, Rizing Zephyr 61

In Tokyo, Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre combined for 48 points as Shibuya edged Fukuoka.

Kelly led the way with 28 points, making 5 of 8 3-point shots, and corralled 14 rebounds. He handed out four assists.

Sacre scored 20 points and matched Fukuoka’s Benjamin Lawson for game-high total in rebounds (17).

Sunrockers point guard Leo Vendrame contributed seven points and four assists.

Shibuya (13-15) led 50-47 entering the fourth quarter.

Eric Jacobsen had 19 points and 12 boards and Lawson matched his team’s point output.

Yasuhiro Yamashita added nine points for the Rizing Zephyr (7-21).

Alvark 83, Levanga 67

In Sapporo, Tokyo recovered from a slow start by thoroughly dominating in the second half to trounce the hosts.

The Alvark (19-9) trailed 39-28 at halftime, then outscored the Levanga 31-16 in the third quarter and 24-12 in the fourth.

Tokyo went on a 10-0 run to take its largest lead (83-63) of the contest.

Alvark center Alex Kirk, a University of New Mexico alum, had a team-high 15 points. Jawad Williams poured in 14 points, Zack Baranski added 13 and Seiya Ando and Daiki Tanaka each scored 12. Tanaka dished out seven assists.

For Hokkaido (7-21), veteran big man Byron Mullens finished with 20 points and 13 boards. Takehiko Orimo contributed 15 points and David Doblas had 14. Yoshitake Matsushima handed out nine assists.

Tokyo capitalized on its 10 steals and Hokkaido’s miscues, scoring 23 points from turnovers.

Albirex BB 81, Grouses 67

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, the hosts held Toyama to 27 first-half points and took a 15-point cushion into the third quarter.

Albirex star Davante Gardner notched a double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) with six assists and three blocks, while frontcourt mate Lamont Hamilton chipped in with 11 points and 12 boards and also rejected three shots.

Shinsuke Kashiwagi drained four 3s in a 19-point effort and Yuki Ueta had 13 points for Niigata (18-10).

Leo Lyons led the Grouses (16-12) with 35 points and 13 rebounds.

Brex 82, Diamond Dolphins 75

In Nagoya, Ryan Rossiter’s 25-point, 19-rebound performance helped guide Tochigi past the struggling hosts.

The Diamond Dolphins (16-12) lost for the seventh time in their past 10 games.

Yusuke Endo added 16 points for Tochigi (23-5) and Jeff Gibbs provided 14 points, 10 boards and two blocks. Ryo Yamazaki poured in nine points and Hironori Watanabe had eight.

Nagoya’s Craig Brackins put 30 points on the board and snared 11 rebounds. Markeith Cummings had 22 points and Shuto Ando, held to 2 of 10 from 3-point range, added eight points.

NeoPhoenix 65, Northern Happinets 45

In Akita, William McDonald’s 15-point outing and Shota Watanabe’s 12 points helped steer San-en past the Happinets.

Tatsuya Suzuki had 11 points for the NeoPhoenix (10-18) and Josh Childress, who was held to four points on 2-for-9 shooting, put his stamp on the game with 12 rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.

Justin Keenan was the top scorer for Akita (10-18) with 14 points and Kadeem Coleby had 10 and blocked four shots.

Jets 98, Hannaryz 46

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Kyoto shot a woeful 26.2 percent from the floor in a lopsided loss to the title-chasing hosts.

Yuki Togashi had 18 points and five assists for the Jets (23-5) and Trey Jones also scored 18 points. Gavin Edwards made a big impact with 13 points and 17 rebounds and Michael Parker added 11 points and nine boards as Chiba extended its winning streak to five.

The Jets were ahead 40-26 after two quarters, then put the game out of reach in the third stanza, outscoring Kyoto 24-7.

David Simon and Julian Mavunga scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Hannaryz (15-13).

Brave Thunders 93, SeaHorses 67

In Kawasaki, former NBA bigs Nick Fazekas and Vernon Macklin sparked the hosts in a bounce-back victory over Mikawa.

Fazekas had game-high totals of 32 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists for the Brave Thunders (17-12), while Macklin supplied 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Ryusei Shinoyama scored 12 points and doled out six assists and Yasunori Aoki finished with a season-high 11 points, including 3 of 3 from long range, in nearly 15 minutes off the bench. Entering the series finale, Aoki, a 23-year-old point guard, had scored a total of four points in 20 games.

Kawasaki limited Mikawa to 4-for-16 shooting from beyond the arc on Saturday. In the series opener on Friday night, the SeaHorses canned 15 of 21 attempts in a 106-98 triumph.

Kennedy Meeks paced the SeaHorses (14-15) with 21 points and 18 rebounds. James Southerland and J.R. Sakuragi had 19 and 13 points, respectively.

Mikawa trailed 46-32 at halftime.

B2 update

Here are Saturday’s second-division scores:

Fighting Eagles 99, Earthfriends 73

Brave Warriors 74, Wyverns 53

Orange Vikings 114, Bee Trains 78

Susanoo Magic 83, Volters 76

Storks 87, Samuraiz 66

Firebonds 97, Bambitious 67

89ers 84, Robots 77