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Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

Happinets edge Golden Kings in marquee matchup

Staff writer

Point guard Michael Gardener returned to the lineup after a two-game absence due to an ankle injury, and the Akita Northern Happinets held off the visiting Ryukyu Golden Kings 78-75 Saturday in a showdown of teams that began the day in first place in their respective conferences.

Ricky Woods paced the Happinets (11-4, tops in the Eastern Conference) with 21 points and 11 rebounds and newcomer Curtis Terry, younger brother of Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry, had 18 points in his fifth game for Akita.

Stanley Ocitti and Gardener each scored 10 points in the series-opening win in Mitane, Akita, Prefecture.

Reggie Okosa led Ryukyu (11-4) with 13 points and 16 boards, Yasufumi Takushi scored 12, David Palmer had 11 and Jeff Newton added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Narito Namizato contributed seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Golden Kings, the championship runnerup last season.

Ryukyu held a 63-44 edge in rebounds but committed 16 turnovers to the hosts' six.

Albirex BB 86, Brave Warriors 66

In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Nile Murry had a 24-point performance and Yuichi Ikeda scored 19 as Niigata routed Shinshu, a first-year club.

Kimitake Sato added 14 points and Chris Holm had 10 points and 12 boards for the Albirex (7-6), who were 17-for-20 at the free-throw line.

Edward Morris paced the Brave Warriors (7-8) with 16 points and Lee Roberts scored 14 and raked in 15 rebounds.

Shinshu shot 2-for-15 from beyond the 3-point arc.

B-Corsairs 87, HeatDevils 55

In Beppu, Oita Prefecture, balanced scoring carried Yokohama to a runaway victory over the hosts as coach Reggie Geary's club earned a series split.

Marcus Simmons and Justin Burrell paced the expansion B-Corsairs (6-8) with 17 points apiece. Chas McFarland and Pape Mour Faye each had 13 points and Kenji Yamada poured in 10. McFarland had a team-high 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Simmons added 11 boards and four steals.

Oita, plagued by horrible attendance at its home games (a reported 381 showed up for the series opener and 619 were on hand on Saturday) fell to 4-12, playing without star Wendell White, the 2009-10 bj-league MVP. He has a knee injury.

The HeatDevils' T.J. Cummings had 21 points and Kohei Mitomo scored 14; the rest of the team combined for 20 total points.

Oita trailed 40-24 at halftime.

Rizing 93, Phoenix 90

In Mizuma, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kevin Palmer scored 27 points and Jun Nakanishi and Carlos Dixon had 18 apiece as the Rizing completed a two-game sweep of Hamamatsu Hiagshimikawa.

Akitomo Takeno added 16 points and Gary Hamilton had a 12-point, 11-rebound, seven-assist, three-steal outing for Fukuoka (10-6).

Jeffrey Parmer led the Phoenix (9-7) with 27 points and Jermaine Dixon added 22 and Wayne Arnold had 10.

Hamamatsu scored 53 second-half points but allowed 56 in defeat, a number that coaches will tell you means their team didn't make enough defensive stops.

The Phoenix shot 59.5 percent from 2-point range, out-rebounded the hosts (46-44) and made 13 of 17 free-throw attempts.

Susanoo Magic 88, 89ers 81

In Sendai, Michael Parker scored a team-high 28 points and Reggie Golson poured in 16 as Shimane edged the hosts.

Tatsuhiro Yokoo and Jeral Davis each scored 13 points and Edward Yamamoto had 11 points and 13 assists for the Susanoo Magic (8-7).

Dan Fitzgerald made 8 of 16 3-point shots and finished with 33 points for Sendai (9-6). O'Neil Mims scored 21 points and Johnny Dukes had 13. Takehiko Shimura, the 89ers captain, had 10 assists and five steals.

"Many of the stats tonight were even (rebounds, assists, steals, turnovers), but we gave up too many easy baskets on defense, and too often had poor shot selection on offense," Sendai coach Bob Pierce told The Japan Times.

Lakestars 85, Broncos 73 (OT)

In Higashiomi, Shiga Prefecture, Dionisio Gomez scored 21 points and Yu Okada had 19 as the hosts prevailed over Saitama, playing its first game since Natalie Nakase was named head coach on Nov. 24.

Ray Nixon had a 16-point game and Josh Peppers chipped in with 15 for the Lakestars (10-5).

Shiga won the battle on the boards (58-39 advantage in rebounds).

For Saitama (5-8), Kenny Satterfield and John "Helicopter" Humphrey each scored 19 points and Yuki Kitamuki had 14.

The Broncos were 8-for-37 from 3-point range; they attempted 38 shots from inside the arc and made half of them.

Hannaryz 77, Shining Suns 72

In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Jermaine Boyette led Kyoto with 18 points, Lee Cummard poured in 17 and the visitors won their seventh straight game.

Sunao Murakami added 12 points for the Hannaryz (10-5).

Lewis Witcher was Miyazaki's top scorer with 20 points and Darryl Dora had a 19-point, 16-rebound effort. The Shining Suns (6-9) were 18-for-30 at the charity stripe and missed 18 of 24 3-point shots.

Big Bulls 82, Five Arrows 73

In Takamatsu, Yoshiaki Yamamoto had a game-best 21 points and Thomas Kennedy contributed 19 in Iwate's triumph over the winless Five Arrows.

The expansion Big Bulls improved to 2-13. Takamatsu fell to 0-15.

Paul Butorac and Hiroyuki Kikuchi led the hosts with 19 points apiece.

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