Mad Ants coach Joey Meyer will tell you everything begins with defense, and he means it. And now he has an Exhibit A to trot out.
Ladies and gentlemen, may he present the Ants' 107-98 win over Sioux Falls tonight.
Meyer won't discount the significance of 20 assists and a balancing of the floor that led to 50 percent shooting and the 107 points ("When we share the ball, and make the ball reverse from side to side, we're pretty good," he said). But it was the defensive end that wound up winning the game down the stretch; after Rod Wilmont's driving layup gave the Ants the lead at 89-87 with 9:18 to play, Sioux Falls managed just two field goals and six points across the next 7:53.
"I thought the defensive pressure on the ball was much better than I've seen in a long time," Meyer said. "And trhe second half we did a much better job on the defensive board. So, yeah, we were better defensively."