The Fort Report: Mad Ants Fall in Eastern Conference Semifinals
The G League season came to an end on Tuesday night for the Pacers' affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, who fell to the Erie BayHawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 119-116.
As champions of the Central Division and owners of the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, the Mad Ants secured a bye to the second round of the playoffs. But because the G League playoffs are single elimination up until the Finals (which are best-of-three), one off night was enough to bring an unexpected end to a memorable season.
The BayHawks (Atlanta's affiliate) got off to a fast start on Tuesday, leading by 11 points after the first quarter and maintaining a double-digit cushion for most of the night. Erie led by 17 with under six minutes to play before the Mad Ants mounted a memorable charge, outscoring the visitors 21-7 the rest of the way, and actually had a shot to force overtime at the buzzer, but Jamil Wilson missed a contested look from 3-point range.
Fresh off being named G League Most Improved Player earlier on Tuesday, DeQuan Jones had another standout game, finishing with 29 points and 11 rebounds.
Both the Pacers' two-way players also had strong performances for the Mad Ants in the loss. Rookie forward Ben Moore finished with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, and four assists. Rookie guard Edmond Sumner chipped in with arguably the best game of his rookie season, scoring 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and pulling down seven rebounds.
Jarrod Uthoff added 12 points and five boards for Fort Wayne, while Wilson finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Pacers rookie center Ike Anigbogu started and tallied five points, five rebounds, and one block in 20 minutes on assignment.
Andrew White III led the BayHawks with 26 points, going 5-for-9 from 3-point range. Jeremy Evans, who participated in Pacers training camp prior to the 2016-17 season, added 24 points and seven rebounds, while two-way guard Josh Magette registered a double-double with 21 points and 12 assists.
Now that the Mad Ants season has ended, Anigbogu, Moore, and Sumner are expected to rejoin the Pacers for the duration of their season.
Stay tuned to Pacers.com for continued updates on the Mad Ants, and make sure to check out Pacers.com/MadAntsTV » to watch Mad Ants games free online.