Mad Ants nip Greensboro behind big night from Leaf

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants (11-6) defeated the Greensboro Swarm (6-11), 127-124, for the second time this season at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Monday night in front of a crowd of 1,666. TJ Leaf poured in a career-high 33 points on 14-of-21 shooting and nine rebounds in a thriller that came down to the final shot.


The final 12 minutes provided more than enough excitement as the Swarm tallied 46 points and ended up with the ball to have a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation. Despite a heroic effort from the Swarm, recently acquired Archie Goodwin’s three-point attempt as time expired fell short in a miraculous quarter. Cat Barber’s 14 points in the quarter led Greensboro in the rallying effort.


It was Leaf’s show before the final quarter as the 2017 first round selection ended with 15 of Fort Wayne’s 28 first quarter points on 7-of-10 shooting. The Mad Ants shot 48.1 percent in the opening 12 minutes to secure a 10-point lead.


A 33-point frame from Greensboro kept the Swarm within reach at halftime, trailing 59-51. Goodwin had 14 of his 18 first half points on 5-of-6 shooting in the second quarter.


The Mad Ants reclaimed momentum in the third quarter after Walt Lemon Jr. ended the frame with another double-double performance already secured. With just under 28 minutes logged, Lemon Jr. had 13 points and 11 assists, which was good for his fifth double-double of the season.


Goodwin and Jalen Jones led the Swarm with 29 and 25 points each.


The Mad Ants return to action on Thursday night at home against Long Island and Greensboro will host Windy City on Friday night.