GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Drive (24-21) escaped in overtime with a win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (26-19) at home on Tuesday morning, winning a closely-contested game 116-112. There were eight lead changes and 12 ties throughout the game, with no team ever able to get a lead larger than eight points.
Derek Willis hit a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining for the Drive to force overtime, and Kay Felder hit two jumpers early in overtime while the Drive defense was able to prevent the Mad Ants from scoring until they were in a fouling situation.
Felder’s 24 points was a game high for the Drive, and he also collected eight rebounds and six assists. Landry Nnoko had a big double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds, also recording eight blocks, which is a new season record for the Drive and just one shy of Hasheem Thabeet’s franchise record. Reggie Hearn also had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his return to the Drive.
The Mad Ants’ DeQuan Jones scored 21 points with six rebounds, Alex Poythress scored 20 points with eight rebounds, and Edmond Sumner scored 17 points and led the team with six assists. Five Fort Wayne players scored in double figures, one more than the Drive managed.
Nnoko’s strength in the paint defensively helped hold the visitors to just 32 points in the paint on 16-of-42 shooting, while the Drive scored 58 points on 29-of-50 shooting. The Drive also out-rebounded their opposition 62-to-42, but the Ants were able to keep it close through their impressive three-point and foul shooting. They made 13-of-28 threes for 47 percent, while the Drive hit just eight at a 27 percent clip. Both teams shot 79 percent from the line, but Fort Wayne drew nine more attempts.
The Drive host Erie on Thursday for their next game, while the Mad Ants will square off with Canton on Friday, also at home.