Fort Wayne Tops Long Island, 109-95
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Fort Wayne Mad Ants played their best defensive half on Thursday afternoon, surging in the fourth quarter to beat Long Island 109-95. It marks Fort Wayne's third win in their last four games.
Oshae Brissett led the way with 24 points and Devin Robinson added 17 points and a season high 15 rebounds for the Mad Ants. Fort Wayne and Long Island each had five double digit scorers. Fort Wayne held Long Island to 38 points in the second half.
It was also a season best game for Fort Wayne in rebounding margin with 23 more rebounds than the Nets, 58-35. The Mad Ants shot 45.2 percent from the field to Long Island's 41.2.
With 7:40 left in the first quarter, a Brissett basket at the rim pushed Fort Wayne's lead out to 10 at 17-7 in a game that had been back and forth early in the quarter. Fort Wayne would push their first quarter lead to as many as 17 before a pair of Kaiser Gates three pointers for Long Island made it 25-13 in favor of the Mad Ants. A Brissett put back with 2:24 left in the first quarter pushed Fort Wayne's lead to 32-15. With 53 seconds left, a Jordan Bowden three cut Fort Wayne's lead to 23-20 and then Jeremiah Martin scored on the next possession to make it 32-22.
Fort Wayne led 35-22 after the first.
A Reggie Perry lay in with 9:27 left in the second quarter pulled Long Island back into the game at 37-31; a 9-2 run to start the second quarter. Long Island climbed back as close as two points before a Devin Robinson dunk and a Naz Mitrou-Long breakaway layup off a Nets turnover turned momentum back into Fort Wayne's favor for the moment. The Nets were able to tie the game at the 5:13 mark of the second on a Martin midrange pullup before Daxter Miles Jr. took the lead back immediately with a three pointer on the other end. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch of the quarter until 1:14 left when Nate Sestina hit a three pointer to give Long Island their first lead of the game, 55-54; the Nets would lead 57-54 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Nets' lead stay consistent, wavering between two and six points until a Robinson baseline jumper at the 4:35 mark pulled Fort Wayne within one at 71-70. With 3:02 left, Robinson rebounded a Mitrou-Long miss for a put back that gave Fort Wayne the lead back for good, 74-73.
Josh Gray's basket to start the fourth pushed Fort Wayne's lead to five and a Brissett highlight dunk and-one with 9:14 left kept Fort Wayne pushing forward with momentum. Mitrou-Long's three pointer with 6:14 left pushed the Fort Wayne lead to seven at 93-86 before a Tariq Owens dunk for the Nets on the other end. With 4:33 to play, Brian Bowen II's shovel pass to Brissett under the basket to lead to a score gave Fort Wayne a 100-90 lead and then Robinson took a charge on the other end to give the Mad Ants the ball back and they would never relinquish their hold of the lead.
Mitrou-Long added 16 points for Fort Wayne and Bowen II scored 14 and had 10 rebounds. The Mad Ants shot a season best 81.8 percent from the free throw line and 36.4 percent from three point range.
Long Island was led by Reggie Perry's 21 points while Jeremiah Martin added 17.
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