The Fort Report: Mad Ants Win in Canton
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants split a pair of road games last week, falling to the Erie BayHawks before bouncing back with a win over the Canton Charge. As of Wednesday morning, the Pacers' G League affiliate is 15-14 on the season and owns a one-game lead for first place in the Central Division.
The Mad Ants got 68 combined points from two-way guard Edmond Sumner and rookie Rob Gray last Wednesday, but it wasn't quite enough in a 135-123 loss to the BayHawks (Atlanta's affiliate). Sumner had 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting (5-of-8 from 3-point range) and five assists, while Gray scored 35 points off the bench on 15-of-28 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
Omari Johnson, who participated in training camp with the Pacers last fall, added 19 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Second-year Pacers center Ike Anigbogu also recorded a double-double, finishing with 10 points and 11 boards in just 22 minutes due to foul trouble.
Erie prevailed thanks to rookie guard Jaylen Adams, who racked up 40 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
Sumner left the Mad Ants after the game to join the Pacers after Victor Oladipo's season-ending knee injury. A subsequent back injury to Tyreke Evans thrust the second-year guard out of Xavier into the starting lineup for Monday's game against the Golden State Warriors, his first career NBA start.
The Mad Ants got back in the win column on Saturday night with a convincing 116-102 victory over the Charge (Cleveland's affiliate). Johnson and Gray led the way with 24 points apiece, with Johnson also tallying nine rebounds and four steals, while Gray contributed seven boards and six assists.
Five other Mad Ants scored in double figures, including Anigbogu, who had 12 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
Several Mad Ants players rank among the G League leaders as of Wednesday morning. Sumner is eighth in scoring at 23.9 points per game, Anigbogu is tied for eighth in blocks (1.9 per game) and 10th in rebounding (10.0 per contest), and Tra-Deon Hollins is second in both assists (8.4 per game) and steals (2.6 per contest).
Pacers rookie Alize Johnson was assigned to the Mad Ants on Wednesday. The promising young forward is third in the G League in rebounding, averaging 13.9 rebounds over 18 games. Johnson is also averaging 19.3 points per game in the G League while shooting 52 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range.
Johnson and the Mad Ants return to action on Friday night when they host Raptors 905 (Toronto's affiliate) at 7:00 PM ET. They play again on Saturday night at the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit's affiliate) at 7:00 PM.
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.