Drive Fall to Mad Ants in OT
FORT WAYNE - The Fort Wayne Mad Ants (6-6) did not stay under .500 for long after falling under that mark for the first time since the 2015-16 season, rallying from 16 points down and defeating the Grand Rapids Drive (5-9) by a 108-101 overtime final at home on Monday night. It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Drive, the first game of the six that they reached 100 points.
In a back-and-forth game, Fort Wayne got off to a roaring start, as they scored the first 12 points of the game and the Drive did not score until more than four minutes in. But that 12-point lead stood as the biggest lead the Ants ever managed, and the Drive dominated the third quarter by a 35-18 margin to push their lead to a high of 16 points.
Fort Wayne, however, was able to rally and the Drive needed to claw their way into overtime, twice tying the game after the Mad Ants took leads in the final minute. Both teams missed potential game-winners in the final five seconds. But there was no question what team took over in extra time, as the Drive failed to convert a couple of looks and were forced to foul early. The Mad Ants ultimately held their counterparts to just two points in the extra two minutes.
The Mad Ants leaned heavily on the trio of Rob Gray, Stephan Hicks and Ike Anigbogu. Gray had a breakout performance with a G League career best 28 points off the bench, Hicks scored 26 points with 11 rebounds and Anigbogu scored 18 points, piling up 15 rebounds (10 on the offensive end) and four blocks. Omari Johnson and Davon Reed were the other Fort Wayne players in double figures, with each scoring 11 points.
Johnny Hamilton scored 23 points with 13 rebounds (7 of them offensive) and four blocks off the bench for the Drive, also shooting an impressive 10-of-12 from the field. Zach Lofton added 20 points, six rebounds and three steals, Michael Bethea Jr. had 14 points and Adam Woodbury had 11 points in just 14 minutes making his Drive debut.
Despite the back-and-forth nature of the game the two teams ended the day with very similar team stat sheets. Notably, though, the Drive had 24 turnovers to just 14 by the Mad Ants, including several costly ones in the last few minutes and overtime.
The Mad Ants are back in action hosting Westchester on Thursday, while the Drive are done with their four-game road trip and will look to end their skid against the Texas Legends on Wednesday.
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