Game Recap - D-Fenders vs. Mad Ants - January 16, 2013
The D-Fenders led 96-89 with 4:29 left in the ballgame, but failed to score in the next three minutes as Fort Wayne rattled off 11 straight points to grab a 100-96 lead with 1:36 to play. During that span, L.A. had five possessions and missed three shots, while turning the ball over twice.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ron Howard. Despite coming into the game averaging nearly 20 points, the 6-foot-5 guard finished with just seven points on 3 for 11 from the floor and seven assists. But his lay-in over Gary Flowers and Zach Andrews with 1.5 seconds left proved to be the game winner, capping Fort Wayne’s 20-point comeback on the road.
Tony Mitchell. With the Mad Ants trailing by as many as 20 points early, Mitchell poured in 18 of his game-high 25 in the second quarter alone, converting on 7-of-8 from the floor, including all four 3-pointers. His efforts alone – he scored half of his Fort Wayne’s points in that second frame – helped cut the D-Fenders lead to just 57-53 entering halftime.
KEY STAT OF THE GAME
The Mad Ants grabbed 21 offensive rebounds toward 18 second-chance points, seven of those boards coming in the decisive fourth quarter when they outscored the D-Fenders 31-24. This allowed them to own a plus-13 on the glass (59-46). Three Fort Wayne players finished with double-digit rebounds – Tony Mitchell, Luke Harangody and Sadiel Rojas – and five players grabbed at least three on the offensive glass.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Recently acquired Zach Andrews, who played with the D-Fenders a year ago, finished with 12 points, six boards and two steals in 27 minutes off the bench. But as had become a recurring highlight at home games last season, Andrews picked up right where he left off, throwing down this dunk off a touch pass from Oriene Greene on the break.
WHERE THEY STAND
The D-Fenders (6-11) lost their third straight contest overall and third consecutive at home, too, while Fort Wayne (11-10) won their eighth straight. Up next: L.A. heads north to take on the Santa Cruz Warriors on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:00 p.m. Santa Cruz won back-to-back games against L.A. in early December, winning 93-92 and 99-93. Travis Leslie, who comes in at No. 7 on the latest NBA D-League Prospect Watch Board, leads the Warriors averaging nearly 16 points and eight rebounds per game.
by Trevor Wong