WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The Westchester Knicks (15-20), the official NBA Development League affiliate of the New York Knickerbockers, got their first home victory against the Ft. Wayne Mad Ants (19-14), the Indiana Pacers’ affiliate, winning 113-105 behind a 35-point performance from guard Von Wafer.
Wafer’s 35-point performance was just three shy of former Westchester guard Chasson Randle’s season-high of 38, as he hit 7-of-11 from beyond the arc. Courtney Fells knocked in 19 points with seven rebounds, while Doron Lamb chipped in 13 from the bench to go with five rebounds and three assists. On assignment from the New York Knicks, Maurice Ndour provided 14 points with six rebounds, while his teammate Marshall Plumlee finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
Ben Bentil paced the Mad Ants with 25 points, just short of a double-double with nine rebounds. Stephan Hicks provided 21 points with eight rebounds, while Jordan Loyd punched in 18 points and six rebounds from the bench. Trey McKinney-Jones finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Westchester came out determined to break its five game losing streak at home against Fort Wayne. The game was tied up twice within the opening minutes. The Knicks then had its resilience pushed to the limit as the Mad Ants built an 11-point lead, but Westchester responded by going on an 11-0 run and tying the game in the quarter’s closing minutes. Fort Wayne was able to retake the lead, but Westchester continued to answer every basket well into the second quarter. A critical Knicks turnover with four minutes to play in the second allowed the Mad Ants to go on a run. Westchester went down by as many as nine, but by forcing themselves to the free throw line, were able to cut the deficit to four by halftime. Von Wafer led all Knicks with 13 points off the bench, with Doron Lamb right behind him with 11.
The Knicks were locked in as the third quarter got underway. The Mad Ants’ defense was gradually broken down as Westchester continued to use its aggressiveness to get to the free throw line. Von Wafer nailed a shot from beyond the arc that put the Knicks up by three at the 5:32 minute mark. That shot shifted the momentum and Westchester held its lead for the remainder of the third. Fort Wayne attempted a daring comeback in the game’s final quarter, but the Knicks held firm, never surrendering its hard earned lead. Von Wafer put the game on ice with a clutch jump shot and then moments later a steal, which sealed the victory. Wafer led Westchester in scoring again, as he poured in 22 second half points en route to the win.