Basketball / B. League

Evessa hand NeoPhoenix ninth consecutive loss

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The San-en NeoPhoenix are in the midst of their worst stretch of basketball in recent memory.

The Osaka Evessa defeated the host NeoPhoenix 86-68 on Saturday afternoon, extending San-en’s losing streak to nine games.

Osaka big man Josh Harrellson powered the visitors with 30 points, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range, and grabbed 19 rebounds. Frontcourt mate Xavier Gibson added 19 points, five assists and two steals in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.

Faye Pape Mour finished with 10 points for the Evessa (18-28), while Hirotaka Yoshii poured in eight.

Osaka led 44-32 at halftime and 52-51 entering the fourth quarter.

Atsuya Ota led the NeoPhoenix (17-29) with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting. William McDonald had 16 points and 11 boards and Josh Childress supplied 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Sunrockers 75, Diamond Dolphins 73

In Nagoya, Ryan Kelly’s 22-point, 10-rebound, three-block performance helped Shibuya hold off the hosts in the series opener.

Sunrockers guard Leo Vendrame torched the Diamond Dolphins from long range, knocking down 4 of 5 3s in a 20-point, five-assist effort. Backups Morihisa Yamauchi and Faye Samba contributed nine and eight points, respectively.

Shibuya (21-25) outscored Nagoya 16-9 on fast-break points.

Craig Brackins paced the Diamond Dolphins (24-22) with 27 points, while Takaya Sasayama had 12. Hilton Armstrong added eight points and 13 rebounds and Shuto Ando scored nine points.

It was a game of alternating scoring dominance. Nagoya had more points in the first and fourth quarters, but Shibuya dominated the middle two periods, outscoring the Diamond Dolphins 39-27 in that span.

Golden Kings 82, Rizing Zephyr 55

In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Jeff Ayres and Kevin Jones scored 20 points apiece as the Golden Kings hammed Fukuoka.

Ira Brown and Yutaro Suda added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for Ryukyu (29-17). Brown pulled down 12 rebounds to complete the double-double. Narito Namizato handed out seven assists.

Jones made 4 of 5 3-pointers and Suda sank 3 of 5.

Marqus Blakely paced the Rizing Zephyr with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Dexter Pittman put 13 points on the board and Masashi Joho added nine.

Grouses 103, Lakestars 47

In Toyama, the Grouses led 23-10 after one quarter and a 20-0 run bridging the first and second quarters put the game out of reach.

Leo Lyons had 18 points to lead Toyama (23-23), which had eight players with seven or more points. Tomokazu Abe scored 14 points, Daiji Yamada had 11 and Joshua Smith 10.

The Grouses converted 28 of 43 2-point shots (65.1).

Allen Durham scored 12 points for the Lakestars (11-35) and Yusuke Karino had 11.

B-Corsairs 82, Levanga 73

In Sapporo, Yokohama outplayed the hosts in the pivotal fourth quarter to earn a series-opening win.

In the fourth quarter, B-Corsairs forward Brandon Costner scored eight of his 18 points. Teammate Takuya Kawamura added seven points to guide the offensive attack. Yokohama outscored the hosts 27-22 in the final period.

Kawamura finished with 22 points. Ryo Tawatari also made a big impact for Yokohama, scoring 20 points, including 4-for-5 on 3s, with four assists and four steals. Arthur Stepheson chipped in with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the B-Corsairs (13-33), who made 13 steals.

Byron Mullens led the Levanga (10-36) with 21 points and 16 rebounds. David Doblas had 20 points, Takehiko Orimo scored nine and Asahi Tajima handed out seven assists.

Hokkaido suffered its eighth loss in a row.

Alvark 83, Northern Happinets 72

In Odate, Akita Prefecture, Yudai Baba energized Tokyo in a triumph over the hosts.

The rising star had 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block in 26-plus minutes off the bench.

Baba got a lot of help from his teammates.

Four other Alvark players scored in double figures: Alex Kirk (13 points), Seiya Ando (12), Genki Kojima and Daiki Tanaka (10 apiece).

Defending champion Tokyo (33-13) made 27 of 35 shots from the free-throw line; Akita drained 16 of 21.

Justin Keenan had 32 points and 15 boards for the Happinets and Dwight Coleby scored 23 points. Shota Onodera and Takaya Nakayama each had six assists.

Albirex BB 85, Brave Thunders 74

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Davante Gardner and Lamont Hamilton combined for 48 points and 26 rebounds as the hosts ended Kawasaki’s seven-game winning streak.

Gardner, a Marquette University product, led all scorers with 27 points, snared 12 rebounds and handed out seven assists. He also swatted two shots in just under 40 minutes of playing time.

Hamilton made 9 of 13 shots from the floor in a 21-point outing. He grabbed 14 rebounds, too.

Veteran floor leader Kei Igarashi poured in 15 points and dished out three assists for the Albirex (33-13).

Shane Edwards scored a team-high 19 points for the Brave Thunders (29-17). Nick Fazekas had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Vernon Macklin and Yuma Fujii each scored 12 points, with Ryusei Shinoyama chipping in with 10 points and six assists.

Brex 92, Hannaryz 60

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, five Brex players scored in double figures as their offense clicked in a rout of Kyoto.

Tochigi shot 50.7 percent from the floor and dished out 28 assists. Coach Ryuzo Anzai’s club had just five turnovers.

Ryan Rossiter finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and six assists for the Brex (38-8), winners of nine straight games. Kosuke Takeuchi added 19 points and nine boards and Jeff Gibbs contributed 14 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, while Makoto Hiejima and Ryo Yamazaki scored 12 points apiece.

With the win, the Brex clinched a playoff berth.

The Hannaryz (26-20) trailed 26-9 after the opening quarter.

David Simon led Kyoto with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Julian Mavunga had 14 points and five assists. Masaharu Kataoka scored eight points.

The Hannaryz struggled with their outside shot, missing 15 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Jets 105, SeaHorses 74

In Chiba, fan favorite Yuki Togashi’s game-best 26 points ignited the hosts in a runaway victory over Mikawa.

Togashi canned 4 of 8 3-point attempts.

Overall, the Jets (39-7) buried 16 of 30 3s, with seven players making at least one. Josh Duncan sank 3 of 4 in a 20-point game and Ryumo Ono made 4 of 6 in his 16-point afternoon at Chiba Port Arena before an announced crowd of 6,443.

Chiba forward Michael Parker finished with 15 points on 7-for-7 shooting with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Former University of Connecticut inside stalwart Gavin Edwards added 10 points and eight assists.

The title-chasing Jets, who clinched a playoff spot on Saturday, chalked up 27 assists against five turnovers.

James Southerland led the SeaHorses (24-22) with 23 points and a game-high five turnovers. Reserve guard Ko Kumagai drained 4 of 6 3s en route to a season-best 16 points. Isaac Butts had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Mikawa turned the ball over 16 times, and Chiba scored 17 points from those turnovers.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

Crane Thunders 96, Fighting Eagles 90

Bee Trains 79, Robots 68

Earthfriends 86, Orange Vikings 77

Susanoo Magic 79, Dragonflies 72

Samuraiz 75, Wat’s 67

89ers 77, Wyverns 73

Brave Warriors 76, Firebonds 61

Volters 91, Bambitious 66

Five Arrows 82, Storks 81