The Mad Ants need to prove they can put opponents away.
Sunday brought another loss, 81-79 to the Tulsa 66ers, in front of 4,294 fans at Memorial Coliseum.
"We gave this one away. That's what it boils down to," said Ron Howard, who had 21 points, including 14 in the second quarter, when it looked as if the Mad Ants might actually seal a runaway victory.
They led by 13 at one point. But a victory wasn't to be.
The 66ers began chipping away with their inside game and by the time Tulsa's Marcus Lewis scored while laying on the floor, somehow also drawing a foul on Ben McCauley, the 66ers had their first lead at 50-48 with 8:59 remaining in the third.
Everything after that looked familiar, especially the way the Mad Ants just couldn't find a way to win.
Tulsa's Dwight Buycks made a fade-away jump shot with 52.1 seconds left in the game for a 80-79 lead, and Jerome Dyson added a free throw.
Fort Wayne missed its final three shots, including Darnell Lazare's open three-pointer as time expired.
"Losing becomes a habit. It becomes a mentality, and we've got to break that habit," said Fort Wayne's Anthony Goods, who had a game-best 24 points on 9 of 18 shooting.
Tulsa was led by Lewis' 22 points.
"That was a tough one, a really tough one, because the guys played their butts off," said interim Mad Ants coach Steve Gansey, who blamed himself for not saving a timeout for the waning seconds.
Fort Wayne (11-29) has lost 13 of 14. Tulsa improved to 19-22.
Check back later tonight for a video recap.