The Tochigi Brex sit a game behind the East Division-leading Chiba Jets Funabashi, and demonstrated again on Saturday that they intend to make it a spirited chase for the division crown until the season wraps up.
The Brex rolled past the short-handed SeaHorses Mikawa, winning 98-77 as the visitors played without longtime stars J.R. Sakuragi and Kosuke Kanamaru.
Ryan Rossiter sparked Tochigi (35-8) with a triple-double performance. The Siena College alum finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Teammate Hironori Watanabe put 29 points on the board, including 6 of 9 from 3-point range at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.
The Brex outscored the SeaHorses 48-28 in the second half.
Tochigi led 50-49 entering the third quarter.
Jeff Gibbs chipped in with 15 points and 11 boards for the hosts and Makoto Hiejima had 11 points and a team-high three steals. Yusuke Endo added 10 points and six assists and Kosuke Takeuchi scored nine points off the bench.
The Brex used a 14-0 run to take a 75-58 lead on a Watanabe 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining in the third quarter.
Isaac Butts and Yuta Okada led the SeaHorses (23-20) with 19 points apiece. Butts also grabbed 12 rebounds. Kennedy Meeks had 14 points and seven assists.
Evessa 77, Hannaryz 75
In Ise, Mie Prefecture, Faye Pape Mour’s 19-point effort helped guide Osaka past host Kyoto.
Trevor Mbakwe contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds and Hiroyuki Kinoshita scored 12 points, with Satoshi Nagano adding 10 points and five assists for the Evessa (17-26). Josh Harrellson finished with eight points and 17 rebounds.
David Simon had 27 points and 10 boards for the Hannaryz (24-19) and Julian Mavunga scored 21 points and handed out seven assists. Tatsuya Ito contributed 13 points and six assists.
Brave Thunders108, Rizing Zephyr 105 (OT)
In Fukuoka, Kawasaki outlasted the hosts in a high-scoring duel, getting all but two of its points from four players.
Nick Fazekas paced the Brave Thunders (27-16) with 34 points, followed by Ryusei Shinoyama with 26 (8 of 8 on 3-pointers), Vernon Macklin with 24 and Shane Edwards with 22.
Shinoyama and Edwards both handed out eight assists, while Macklin collected 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.
Fukuoka’s Marqus Blakely, a University of Vermont product, made a clutch inside jumper with 3 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That made it 95-95.
After a Kawasaki timeout, Fazekas missed a 3-pointer before the final buzzer, sending the game into OT.
Blakely led the Rizing Zephyr (10-33) with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Dexter Pittman had 29 points and 10 boards. Tenyoku You poured in 17 points with six assists and Masashi Joho had 11 points. Yasuhiro Yamashita matched You’s team-high total in assists.
In the back-and-forth contest, there were 17 ties and 10 lead changes.
Alvark 77, NeoPhoenix 47
In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Alex Kirk’s 19-point, 16-rebound, three-block effort and balanced team scoring carried defending champion Tokyo past San-en, extending the Alvark’s winning streak to 10 games.
Daiki Tanaka added 14 points, Jawad Williams had 12, Yudai Baba provided 10 and Seiya Ando nine for the Alvark (31-12). Zack Baranski dished out five assists.
Tokyo took a 19-8 lead into the second stanza and never trailed.
The NeoPhoenix missed 10 of 11 3-point shots. They shot 28.4 percent overall.
Cedric Simmons was San-en’s high scorer with 18 points. Josh Childress had 11 and Hayato Kawashima chipped in with 10 for the NeoPhoenix (17-26).
Five San-en players finished with zero points.
Diamond Dolphins 84, Levanga 71
In Sapporo, Shuto Ando scored 22 points and Craig Brackins finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds as Nagoya defeated the hosts.
Former NBA big man Hilton Armstrong contributed nine points and 11 boards for the Diamond Dolphins (23-20), who led 46-41 at halftime.
Marc Trasolini scored 18 points and Takehiko Orimo had 14 for the Levanga (10-33). David Doblas added 12 points and nine rebounds while also committing seven turnovers. Asashi Tajima had nine points and 10 assists.
Golden Kings 72, Grouses 69
In Okinawa City, Kevin Jones’ double-double and Ryuichi Kishimoto’s 14-point outing helped guide the hosts past Toyama.
Jones scored 15 points and led his team with 11 rebounds.
Jeff Ayres contributed 13 points and Hiroki Tashiro netted 12, including a trio of 3s. Takumi Ishizaki had seven points for Ryukyu (28-15), with Ryoma Hashimoto handing out four assists.
For the Grouses (21-22), Leo Lyons scored 24 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, while Naoki Uto and Joshua Smith each had 10 points.
Lakestars 77, Northern Happinets 68
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, the Lakestars dominated the fourth quarter to earn a win over Akita.
Coach Shawn Dennis’ club secured the victory by making 21 of 29 free throws. The Happinets attempted just eight fouls shots, making all but one attempt.
In the fourth, Shiba’s Allen Durham had 12 of his game-high 25 points. Durham sank 6 of 8 free-throw attempts in the final stanza. He also corralled a game-best 16 rebounds.
Gani Lawal also had a big game for the Lakestars (9-34), providing 19 points and 18 rebounds (nine offensive, sharing the team lead for offensive boards with Durham). Yusuke Karino had 14 points.
Kadeem Coleby paced Akita (14-29) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, Justin Keenan scored 11 points and Keigo Nomoto and Ryosuke Shirahama each had eight. Noboru Hasegawa recorded five assists.
Sunrockers 84, Albirex BB 72
In Tokyo, Shibuya effectively defended Niigata’s 3-point shooters and collected its second victory in as many days against the visitors.
The Albirex (31-13) were held to 5-for-23 shooting from long range.
Niigata big men Davante Gardner and Lamont Hamilton scored 33 and 20 points, respectively, but their teammates provided little offensive spark, though Kei Igarashi contributed eight points and five assists.
Gardner had a game-high 12 rebounds and Hamilton snared 10.
Sunrockers forward Ryan Kelly had 26 points and 11 rebounds and Leo Vendrame and Robert Sacre scored 15 points apiece. Yusei Sugiura finished with 12 points for the Sunrockers (20-24), who are vying for a playoff berth.
Shibuya finished with 14 assists and four turnovers.
The Sunrockers capitalized on offensive rebounds and outscored the visitors 14-5 on second-chance points.
Jets 110, B-Corsairs 83
In Yokohama, Chiba scored 63 first-half points in a runaway victory over the hosts.
The B-Corsairs trailed 63-39 at halftime.
Spearheading the Jets’ high-scoring attack were Michael Parker, who had 27 points on 13-for-15 shooting, and Josh Duncan, who added 25 points and sank 3 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Yuki Togashi poured in 17 points and doled out six assists for Chiba (36-7). Gavin Edwards had 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks, with Fumio Nishimura scoring nine points in the rout.
Parker’s banner performance included seven boards, six steals and four assists in 29-plus minutes.
Brandon Costner had 24 points for Yokohama (12-31) and Ryo Tawatari and Takuya Kawamura each scored 17. Arthur Stepheson added 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:
89ers 80, Firebonds 56
Orange Vikings 78, Bambitious 67
Five Arrows 99, Bee Trains 85
Crane Thunders 84, Robots 67
Susanoo Magic 82, Wat’s 80
Volters 88, Wyverns 74
Storks 68, Samuraiz 59
Brave Warriors 68, Earthfriends 55
Fighting Eagles 81, Dragonflies 70
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5