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Thabeet Shines in his First D-League Start

Fort Wayne, IN (February 28, 2010)- Hasheem Thabeet made a big impression in his first start in the D-League as the Dakota Wizards outlasted the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 94 -85 Sunday night in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

The Mad Ants came out of the gates running and quickly went up 10-0 to start the first quarter and held a lead throughout the first half. Balanced scoring was the key to their first half 51-43 lead with Ryan Ayers scoring 10 points, and Ron Howard, Dan Dickau, and Jason Straight following with 8 each.

It was all Dakota from there, however, as their defense stopped the Mad Ants cold. That defensive effort was led by the recently assigned Hasheem Thabeet. The Memphis Grizzly center made the Mad Ants a jump shooting team in the second half, and the Ants could not connect from distance to make them pay. Thabeet blocked and altered a number of shots in the second half and finished the game with 6 blocks. Beyond his excellent defensive game, Thabeet’s height and athleticism led to a variety of alley-oop dunks and defensive rebounds as he led the Wizards to the 94-85 victory.

Thabeet finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks, and Romel Beck added 18 points for the visiting team. The Mad Ants were led by Oliver Lafayette’s 21 points, Ron Howard’s 13 points, and Ryan Ayers 12 points.

The Mad Ants take on the Maine Red Claws at home this Tuesday night at 7:00 pm EST, while Dakota heads home to take on the Albuquerque Thunderbirds on Tuesday night.