Fort Wayne 110, Sioux Falls 106
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., April 4 – Dahntay Jones led Fort Wayne with 32 points as the Mad Ants ended the Sioux Falls Skyforce’s six-game winning streak with a 110-106 victory Friday night.
The loss drops the Skyforce a half-game back of the Central Division-leading Dakota Wizards with two games to play.
“We played with a lot of pride tonight; even though we are out of (the playoff race), these guys are playing for other things as well,” said Mad Ants coach Jaren Jackson. “Some guys are playing for a call-up, and the fact that we haven’t won here helped as well.”
The Mad Ants improved to 1-3 at the Sioux Falls Arena this season, a place where the Skyforce usually pull out the close contests. Sioux Falls fell behind by eight points in the fourth before back-to-back 3-pointers by David Bailey made it look as if the Skyforce was headed for another close home win. Fort Wayne answered when it had to, however, and hit crucial free throws to escape with the win.
Jones made 14-of-15 foul shots, but his biggest contribution might have been his defensive play on Skyforce leading scorer Kasib Powell. Powell scored 46 the last time these teams met, but was held to just five points in the final three quarters.
The Mad Ants shot 86.7 percent (39-of-45) from the foul line.
“Dahntay is a strong player,” Jackson said. “He brought a level of toughness that we desperately needed tonight.”
Bailey led six players in double figures for the Skyforce with 22 points. Powell, Chris Alexander and Glen McGowan each added 16 for Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls and Fort Wayne meet again on Sunday at the Sioux Falls Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT.