SPRINGFIELD, MA -- The Springfield Armor made a spirited run late in the fourth quarter, but came up just short in a 118-110 loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in front of 3,620 fans at the MassMutual Center tonight.
The Armor came out firing in the early going as JamesOn Curry scored 11 of his team-high 28 points in the first quarter. The difference in the game proved to be the second quarter, as the Mad Ants came roaring back, outscoring the Armor 36-21 to take a 61-51 lead into halftime.
The Mad Ants built a 12-point lead through three quarters, but the Armor made their move in the fourth.
After falling behind by 14 early in the quarter, the Armor battled back to as close as one after a frenzied sequence started by recent Armor acquisition, Jeff Foote. Foote knocked down a jumper in the paint and moments later, the Armor's full-court press created a Curry steal that led to a Jerry Smith three-pointer to trim the deficit to 104-103 with 1:09 remaining. A string of Fort Wayne free throws derailed the Armor's comeback bid as the Mad Ants shot 19-20 (95%) from the foul line in the fourth and 31-34 (91.2%) for the game to seal the victory.
The Armor picked up double-doubles from Curry, who finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Foote, who scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Smith (22 points), L.D. Williams (16 points) and Dennis Horner (10 points) also scored in double figures.
Springfield out-rebounded the Mad Ants 48-35, including a 21-10 edge on the offensive glass.
Fort Wayne was led by rookie Cameron Jones, who scored a game-high 31 points. Walker Russell, Jr. chipped in with 24 points and 14 assists and Corey Allmond added 19 points.
The Armor (1-1) hit the road tomorrow as they take on the Maine Red Claws (0-2) at the Portland Expo at 7:00 PM. The Armor will return home to Springfield for a 7:00 PM showdown against the Red Claws on Thursday, Dec. 8th at the MassMutual Center.