Springfield, Mass. (incnow.tv) – The Springfield Armor, presented by MGM Springfield, fell to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 121-106 tonight in front of 5,325 fans at the MassMutual Center. The loss snapped the Armor’s four-game home winning streak.
The Armor (15-25) kicked the first quarter off on a positive note and led by as many as 13 points (23-10) with just under four minutes to play in the quarter. The Mad Ants (21-20) roared back into the game and ended the quarter on a 13-3 run to trim the Armor’s advantage to 26-23 at the end of the period. Tyshawn Taylor, on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets, and Carleton Scott scored seven points apiece in the first to lead Springfield, while Anthony Richardson paced Fort Wayne with nine points.
The Mad Ants took control of the game for the first time in the second quarter and opened up an eight-point lead (50-42) with 3:45 to go in the half. The Armor responded by clamping down on defense and outscoring Fort Wayne 11-3 over the final 3:23 of the half to head into intermission tied 53-53. The Armor buried 22-of-44 shots from the field for 50% and outrebounded the Mad Ants 27-20, but 13 first-half turnovers allowed Fort Wayne to keep the game close.
In the third quarter, the wheels fell off for the Armor. The Mad Ants blitzed the Armor and scored an opponent-season-high 47 points in the quarter to pull away. Fort Wayne turned an 11-point lead (84-73) into a 25-point advantage (100-75) with a 16-4 run in the final 1:52 of the third. The Mad Ants’ Brandon Wallace scored 23 points on 8-of-9 from the field in the period, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc, to spark Fort Wayne’s big run.
The Armor outscored the Mad Ants 29-21 in the fourth quarter, led by 11 points from Taylor, but Springfield was never able to get any closer than the final 15-point deficit.
The Armor connected on 40-of-80 shots from the field for 50% on the evening and outrebounded the Mad Ants 41-38, but Fort Wayne countered by setting opponent-season-highs for field goals made (49) and assists (31) while turning the ball over just nine times.
Willie Reed continued his stellar play for the Armor tonight by recording his second straight double-double (and eighth of the season) with 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds in 32 minutes. Taylor contributed a team-high 21 points and eight assists in 39 minutes, Toko Shengelia, also on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets, added 15 points and five rebounds in 34 minutes, Scott pitched in 18 points on 6-of-10 from the field in 27 minutes and Ben Uzoh tallied 12 points and six assists in 37 minutes.
Fort Wayne’s Wallace led all scorers with 26 points in 27 minutes, Richardson added 25 points in 41 minutes and Tony Mitchell scored 23 points in 30 minutes to pace the Mad Ants’ attack. Ron Howard also helped out with nine points and a game-high 10 assists in 32 minutes.
The Armor and Mad Ants will do battle once again on Sunday at 3:00 pm at the MassMutual Center.
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