The Fort Report: Hot Start to 2019 for Mad Ants
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers' G League affiliate, are off to a hot start to 2019. The Mad Ants have won three of four games to start the new year and are now 12-11 on the year, percentage points ahead of the Windy City Bulls for first place in the Central Division.
The Mad Ants tipped off 2019 last Wednesday by picking up a 101-93 road win over the Westchester Knicks (New York's affiliate). Pacers rookie forward Alize Johnson was sensational in the win, scoring 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting (4-of-7 from 3-point range) and pulling down 15 rebounds.
Pacers two-way guard Edmond Sumner added 22 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, and dished out six assists. Second-year Pacers center Ike Anigbogu had six points and pulled down 15 rebounds (including eight on the offensive glass), while Stephan Hicks tallied 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Mad Ants returned home on Friday and picked up another win, outlasting the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee's affiliate), 125-120. Hicks led the way, finishing with 32 points on 15-of-28 shooting and 15 rebounds.
All five starters finished in double figures in the win, including three Pacers players. Johnson added 19 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Two-way guard Davon Reed had 18 points, seven boards, and six assists, while Sumner contributed 17 points.
The Mad Ants suffered their lone loss of the year thus far on Saturday night, falling on the road to the Iowa Wolves (Minnesota's affiliate) on the second night of a back-to-back, 127-99. Sumner had a team-high 25 points in the loss.
Johnson tallied another double-double, finishing with 21 points and 10 boards, while Reed added 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting (3-of-6 from 3-point range).
Fort Wayne got back in the win column on Monday night, handling the Stockton Kings (Sacramento's affiliate), 122-108. Sumner was the star once again, scoring 30 points in just 29 minutes while going 12-for-17 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Johnson added 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Reed tallied 14 points, eight boards, and three blocks. Anigbogu, back with the Mad Ants after a two-game stint with the Pacers, finished with 13 points and 18 rebounds (nine offensive).
A number of Mad Ants players currently rank among the G League leaders. As of Tuesday morning, Sumner is 11th in scoring at 21.8 points per game. Johnson is 21st in scoring (19.3 points per game) and second in rebounding (13.9 boards per contest). Anigbogu is eighth in rebounding (10.6 per game) and tied for ninth in blocks (2.1 per contest). Reserve guard Tra-Deon Hollins is tied for the league lead in assists (8.0 per game) and third in steals (2.2 per contest).
The Mad Ants continue a three-game homestand over the next week, hosting the Erie BayHawks (Atlanta's affiliate) on Friday night and the Agua Caliente Clippers (the Clippers' affiliate) next Monday. Both games are at 7:00 PM ET at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Stay tuned to Pacers.com for continued updates on the Mad Ants, and make sure to check out Pacers.com/MadAntsTV » to watch select Mad Ants games for free online.