Basketball / B. League

Akita edges Hokkaido to earn series split; Sendai tops Kagawa in 2OT

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

In a game featuring 60 foul shots, 42 turnovers and 24 steals, the visiting Akita Northern Happinets made four more 2-point shots and earned an 80-76 victory over the Levanga Hokkaido.

The showdown between East Division rivals saw the Northern Happinets (6-5) take a 25-13 lead into the second quarter in Sapporo.

Hokkaido held Akita to 12 second-quarter points, cutting the deficit to 37-30 entering the third quarter.

The Northern Happinets, who made 25 of 38 shots from 2-point range, responded by outscoring the hosts 25-20 in the third.

The Levanga’s fourth-quarter comeback fell short. In fact, they never led in the 40-minute contest.

Akita’s Justin Keenan scored 22 points and made a team-high four steals. Nyika Williams added 15 points, Kadeem Coleby poured in 12 and captain Ryosuke Shirahama had nine. Takuya Nakayama chipped in with six assists.

Kennedy Meeks finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds for Hokkaido, which shot 21-for-39 on 2s. Asahi Tajima and Ryohei Kawabe scored 16 and 13 points, respectively.

On Monday, Markeith Cummings paced Hokkaido with 26 points and blocked five shots in an 82-73 victory over Akita. Meeks finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

The Happinets shot 39.1 percent from the field in the loss.

Second-division update

89ers 97, Five Arrows 94 (2OT)

In Takamatsu, Sendai shooting guard Keita Sawabe’s six points in the second overtime — more than any other’s scoring output in the 5-minute period — helped carry his club past the Five Arrows.

Sawabe was 4-for-4 at the free-throw line in the second bonus period. He finished with a season-high 23 points and seven assists. He made 14-for-15 on free-throw attempts overall. The 24-year-old is averaging 11.3 points per game.

Center Daniel Miller scored 30 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, handed out eight assists, blocked five shots and made three steals for the 89ers (10-5). Jerome Tillman and Masaharu Kataoka had 13 points apiece, with Kataoka nailing four 3-pointers in the game.

For Kagawa (9-4), Kevin Kotzur led the way with 29 points, 22 rebounds and six assists. Terrance Woodbury scored 27 points and Takayuki Kodama had 13.

In Monday’s series opener, the Five Arrows defeated the 89ers 82-80.

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