Mad Ants survive late rally for seventh consecutive win

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants (7-1) defeated the Northern Arizona Suns (3-5), 118-116, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night in front of a crowd of 1,726. Ben Moore’s conversion off an offensive rebound from a missed Walt Lemon Jr. layup gave Fort Wayne a two-point lead, which ultimately led to a seventh consecutive victory this season.

Lemon ended with a season-high 37 points on 16-of-25 shooting and was one rebound shy of a double-double performance. Moore only had one other made field goal prior to his game-winning acrobatic follow up in the paint.

Josh Gray came off the bench to lead Northern Arizona with 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting.

Fort Wayne came out tonight firing on a 10-2 run after a Lemon jump shot fell. The Mad Ants continued its impressive opening quarter after C.J. Fair finished a dunk in transition to give Fort Wayne the 23-9 lead at the 4:24 mark. The Mad Ants scored the most points in any quarter this season during the first 12 minutes.

Even though Fort Wayne’s largest lead extended to 29 after two free throws from Fair 17 seconds into the second half, the Suns went on a run and captured the momentum from the home team.

The 17-point advantage for Fort Wayne after three quarters was reduced to single digits at the 8:42 mark in the final quarter after a bucket from Eric Stuteville. After a Xavier Silas three pointer at the 5:20 mark, the game saw its first lead change of the entire evening. From there, the lead would change three more times and the game was tied on six different occasions during the last 4:51.

One final heave from Silas would not go down from beyond the arc as Northern Arizona’s immaculate comeback attempt was squandered.

Booker and Silas both finished with 27 and 24 points for the Suns.

Fort Wayne will take its winning streak on the road to Wisconsin on Tuesday as Northern Arizona will continue its road trip on Tuesday as well against Delaware.