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Armor Win First Game in Franchise History in Nail Biting Overtime
Springfield, MA (December 18, 2009)- The Springfield Armor won their first game in franchise history, earning a crazy overtime victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in front of 2,286 fans Friday night at the MassMutual Center. JamesOn Curry scored 31 points, including a clutch steal and layup in overtime, and Morris Almond added 19 for the Armor. Down eight points with just over three minutes to play in regulation, the Armor staged a frantic comeback, capped off by Maurice Maxwell’s layup with ten seconds left to tie the score. The Armor outscored the Mad Ants 19-14 in overtime to win 112-107. Kyle McAlarney and Rob Kurz both scored 20 to lead Fort Wayne, who dropped to 4-5.
The Armor were hit with a barrage of Fort Wayne three pointers in the first half, as the Mad Ants shot a blistering 43.8% from three point range. Five different Mad Ants connected on at least one long distance shot each. JamesOn Curry did his best to match Fort Wayne from three point range, hitting four threes himself. The Armor were able to utilize their size inside, scoring 22 points in the paint and winning the first half rebounding battle 21-19, but Fort Wayne’s depth (6 players with 5 or more points) allowed them to take a 50-45 lead into the second half.
The Mad Ants pushed their lead to nine late in the third quarter but Springfield would not go away. Chris Lowe came off the bench and provided a spark, running the floor well and filling up the stat sheet. Lowe had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal through three quarters as the Armor headed into the 4th quarter down by five. The Armor went cold in the fourth, shooting 6-18 from the field as Fort Wayne kept them at bay. Maurice Maxwell connected on a deep two from the corner in the fourth to draw the Armor within two points with just 33 seconds to play. After forcing a Mad Ant turnover, Morris Almond hit a free throw to cut the lead to just one, 92-91. After a Fort Wayne free throw, Maxwell’s drive tied the score at 93 all. Fort Wayne’s Ron Howard missed a jumper on the ensuing possession and the game went to overtime.
The Armor came out firing in the extra period and took a 102-98 lead on Morris Almond’s two free throws with 1:29 remaining. Roderick Wilmont’s three point play drew the Mad Ants back to within a point but Curry came up with a steal at the other end and converted a fast break layup to push the Armor lead back to three. The game came down to a free throw shooting contest for the Armor, who were able to finish off the game at the line, making 13 of 15 free throws in overtime to secure the win.