Wisconsin Snaps Three-Game Losing Streak with a 127-119 Victory over Fort Wayne
OSHKOSH, Wis - The Wisconsin Herd (24-8), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, snapped its three-game losing streak with a 127-119 victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Friday night inside Menominee Nation Arena.
Five Herd players scored in double figures, including three of the five starters who tallied 20 points or more. Jaylen Adams collected his third 30-point game of the season and poured in a game-high 37 points to go with eight rebounds, five assists, five steals and a block. Dragan Bender, who was assigned to Wisconsin by the Milwaukee Bucks, totaled his seventh 20-point game and seventh double-double and posted 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Frank Mason returned to the lineup from injury and notched 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while D.J. Hogg totaled 11 points and four rebounds. For the second consecutive game, Shannon Bogues scored in double figures and had 10 points in a reserve role.
Alize Johnson, who was assigned to Fort Wayne by the Indiana Pacers, led all Mad Ants with 31 points on 12 made field goals. Walter Lemon Jr. recorded a triple-double and notched 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, while Brian Bowen II registered 20 points and 14 rebounds. Ben Moore added 16 points and six rebounds, and C.J. Wilcox pitched in with 10 points.
Offense was aplenty at the outset of the game as the two teams combined to make nine of its first 15 shots from the field. Upon reaching the first media timeout, Wisconsin owned a two-point advantage and were led by Mason who scored seven of the team's first 11 points. Mason sparked the offense at the beginning of the game, but Adams' offensive prowess paid dividends as the quarter progressed. He scored on all four of his shot attempts (including a trio of three-pointers) and led all players with 11 points in the frame. The Herd led by as many as 10 points and the team collected its first double-digit lead of the evening on a driving layup by Adams. Despite the double-digit deficit, Fort Wayne tied the game on a couple occasions in the latter stages of the quarter. To cap the period, Mason gave Wisconsin the advantage once more by connecting on a driving floater in the lane. In total, the Herd shot 60% from the field, 4-of-8 from three and led 32-30 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
Wisconsin scored five of the first seven points in the second quarter, but the Mad Ants recaptured the lead and led 38-37 on the heels on mini 6-0 run. The Fort Wayne lead was short lived as the Herd responded with four quick points of its own. The second period served as a seesaw battle as there were a total of five ties and five lead changes. The Mad Ants led by five with 46 seconds left to play in the half, but Wisconsin concluded the second quarter by scoring the final five points. With time winding down, Reynolds evened the score as he poured in his first long ball of the night with four tenths of a second on the clock. Fort Wayne outscored the Herd by two and score read 58-58 at the intermission.
The Mad Ants broke the tie in the opening 18 seconds of the second half, but Mason promptly responded by knocking down his second three-pointer. Fort Wayne opened the half by scored 11 of the first 16 points which opened a six-point Mad Ants lead. The six points served as Fort Wayne's largest lead of the night, but Wisconsin retook a 70-69 advantage with just over seven minutes on the clock. The Herd built a six-point lead in the final minute of the stanza as Leon Gilmore III rattled off five unanswered points. Both teams shot over 55% from the field but combined for just 49 points. Wisconsin won the quarter 26-23 and lead by three heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Herd began the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run, which was highlighted by back-to-back threes from Mason and Adams. The Wisconsin run opened an 11-point lead and forced a prompt Fort Wayne timeout. Following the stoppage, the Herd tallied three more points on a deep ball from Reynolds. Wisconsin scored 18 points in the first four minutes of the period and led by as many as 19. The Mad Ants pulled to within six in the final stages of the game but was unable to draw closer. In summation, the Herd tied its season-high with 43 fourth quarter points, which aided Wisconsin in an eight-point victory.
With the win, Wisconsin collects its 24th victory which is now tied with the Memphis Hustle for the most in G League. Fort Wayne leads the all-time series 4-7, but the Herd have won two of the three meetings this season. The two teams will meet for the final time on March 17 in Oshkosh, WI.
Wisconsin has a quick turnaround as the team hosts Maine on the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off against the Red Claws is set for 7PM CT and the game can be found on MYNEW32.
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