The Mad Ants got help from some young guns, but it was the old veterans who came through in the end to give the Mad Ants a 110-106 victory over Sioux Falls in the D-League season-opener Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
Cameron Jones, the team's first-round draft pick from Northern Arizona, scored 21 points in his debut, matching veteran forward Darnell Lazare for team-high honors. Lazare also added 12 rebounds.
And backup center Justin Neuhaus, a fifth-round pick from Colorado Christian, added 10 points and nine rebounds.
But it was the wily, veteran point guard Walker Russell Jr. who carried the Ants home when they needed him.
Russell, who finished with 20 points and 12 assists, scored the team's last 10 points over the final 2:25 of the game. He went 6 of 6 from the free throw line in the final 16.6 seconds.
The question mark of the night is the left foot of veteran guard Ron Howard.
Howard, who made his first five shots, left the game late in the first quarter and didn't play during the second when he had an ice bag on it.
Altough he returned in the second half and finished with 16 points, he was still nursing the bruised foot after the game.