Since the season began in October, the SeaHorses Mikawa have struggled to pile up victories.
As the year comes to an end, the SeaHorses have started to turn things around.
Mikawa coach Kimikazu Suzuki’s club defeated the Yokohama B-Corsairs 83-78 on Saturday afternoon, earning its third straight win.
SeaHorses center Davante Gardner’s, the league’s two-time defending scoring champion and current scoring leader (24.4 points per game), had a game-high 32 points, including 12-for-12 at the free-throw line, with nine rebounds and seven assists. Takuya Kawamura, a former B-Corsairs player, poured in 16 points at Yokohama International Swimming Pool. Teammate Ko Kumagai added 11 points, while J.R. Sakuragi chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Mikawa (8-17) led 36-34 at halftime in a game featuring 13 lead changes and nine ties.
The SeaHorses sealed the win at the foul line, making all 18 of its free-throw attempts.
Reginald Becton paced Yokohama (7-17) with 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting and James Southerland scored 20. Aki Chambers and Kota Akiyama added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Edward Morris had a team-best seven rebounds, with Ryo Tawatari handing out six assists.
Brex 74, Northern Happinets 61
In Akita, Utsunomiya overcame a lousy shooting performance by holding the hosts to an even lower shooting performance en route to its 14th consecutive victory.
The Brex (21-4) shot 38.2 percent from the field. They held the Northern Happinets (12-12) to 36.5 percent.
Shuhei Kitagawa led Utsunomiya with 15 points, Ryan Rossiter and Hironori Watanabe both scored 12 and Makoto Hiejima had 10.
Five Brex players dished out three or more assists, including Jeff Gibbs (six) and Seiji Ikaruga (five).
Utsunomiya, which never trailed, took a 44-19 lead into the third quarter.
For Akita, Justin Keenan had a team-best 21 points and Nyika Williams scored 10. Kadeem Coleby grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
Brave Thunders 90, Lakestars 89 (OT)
In Kawasaki, Nick Fazekas made a clutch bucket in the lane with 10 seconds left in overtime against Shiga, giving the Brave Thunders their 14th straight victory.
The Lakestars’ Takumi Saito missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining in OT.
With 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Kawasaki’s Ryusei Shinoyama forced overtime with a 2-point shot. That tied it at 81-81.
Shiga led 89-86 with 56 seconds left in overtime, with Henry Walker draining a jumper that bounced high off the rim before sailing through.
Naoya Kumagae brought the hosts within 89-88 on an in-the-paint shot with 43 seconds to go.
Fazekas had a game-high 31 points and 16 rebounds. Jordan Heath scored 18 points and pulled down 10 boards for the Brave Thunders (22-3). Yuto Otsuka sank 5 of 10 3s in a 15-point performance. Shinoyama added eight points and nine assists without a turnover.
Walker delivered 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Shiga (10-15). Takumi Saito scored 24 points, Craig Brackins finished with 18 and 14 rebounds and Koyo Takahashi provided 10 points.
Albirex BB 74, Jets 70
In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, Nick Perkins and Lamont Hamilton both notched double-doubles as Niigata edged the hosts.
Perkins had 24 points and 12 boards to lead the Albirex (8-17). Hamilton scored 13 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.
Niigata guard Kei Igarashi sank four 3-pointers in an 18-point outing, while Keita Imamura had 16 points. Kenta Morii doled out eight assists and Shinsuke Kashiwagi had six helpers.
Michael Parker paced Chiba (15-10) with 15 points and Yuki Togashi had 13, but was held to 2-for-10 shooting from 3-point range.
The Albirex made 20 of 22 foul shots; the Jets converted 6 of 7.
Grouses 75, Levanga 72
In Sapporo, Leo Lyons had 20 points and Satoru Maeta contributed 16 as Toyama earned a series-opening triumph over the hosts.
Takeshi Mito chipped in with 11 points and Josh Peppers scored 10 and snared eight rebounds for the Grouses (9-16), who trailed 36-28 at halftime. Veteran point guard Tomokazu Abe dished out a season-high nine assists.
Abe has started the past four games. Before that, he came off the bench in his first 10 appearances of the season.
Kennedy Meeks led the Levanga (11-14) with 26 points, Tsukasa Nakano scored 11 and Asahi Tajima nine. Marc Trasolini was the top rebounder with nine.
Sunrockers 85, Diamond Dolphins 65
In Tokyo, a poor start spelled trouble for Nagoya in a blowout loss to the hosts.
The Diamond Dolphins (11-14), who have lost five straight games, trailed 26-12 after the first quarter and 48-26 at halftime.
Ryan Kelly sparked the Sunrockers (16-9) with 23 points and 10 boards. Charles Jackson added 17 points and 11 rebounds, Kohei Sekino and Kaito Morizane scored nine points apiece and Leo Vendrame had eight.
Nagoya forward Justin Burrell had 20 points and five assists, sharing the team lead in the latter category with Ryota Kobayashi. Hilton Armstrong poured in 15 points and Takaya Sasayama scored 10.
Shibuya held the visitors to 3-for-22 from 3-point range, including Shuto Ando’s 0-for-8.