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Mad Ants
When: 7:30 p.m. today vs. Texas; 7 p.m. Saturday at Erie
Where: Memorial Coliseum; Erie, Pa.
Records: Mad Ants 3-10, Texas 8-4, Erie 6-4
Mad Ants leaders: Ron Howard (20.4 ppg), JaJuan Johnson (9 rpg), Howard (3.1 apg)
Texas leaders: Jared Cunningham (18.4 ppg), Darius Rice (6.6 rpg), Sean Singletary (6.1 apg)
Erie leaders: D.J. Kennedy (19.5 ppg), Kennedy (8.9 rpg), Kennedy (5.4 apg)*
Key matchup: Texas’ lineup took a hit when NBA affiliate Dallas recently brought up 6-foot-7 Chris Douglas-Roberts, who was averaging 22.5 points. Getting more touches will be 6-foot-5 swingman Christian Eyenga, who scored 22 points in the Legends’ win over Iowa the last time out. Erie is led by the 6-6 Kennedy, who has the rare triple crown of leading the team in points, rebounds and assists.
The skinny: The Ants are back from a two-loss road trip to Maine and Springfield. After tonight’s game, the Ants visit Erie on Saturday, return home for Jan. 3 and 5 games against Santa Cruz, then play nine consecutive games away from Memorial Coliseum, including the D-League Showcase games in Reno, Nev., on Jan. 9 and 10 against Rio Grande Valley and Tulsa. The Ants have lost three in a row and 8 of their last 9 games.
* Erie stats, record through Dec. 27
Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
The Mad Ants’ Walker Russell Jr., driving to the basket Dec. 15 at Memorial Coliseum, has been traded to the Reno Bighorns.

Mad Ants’ Russell heading to Reno

– Longtime Mad Ant Walker Russell Jr. is on the move.

Fort Wayne traded the point guard to Reno for Anthony Richardson and Jack McClinton.

“I would like to thank Walker for all his contributions to the Mad Ants since our inception,” Mad Ants president Jeff Potter said in a statement. “It is never easy to trade someone like Walker, but I think the organization needs to go in another direction, and trading Walker was a step I felt needed to be taken to make that happen.”

The Ants also added another guard to their roster Thursday when the Indiana Pacers reassigned rookie guard Orlando Johnson to Fort Wayne. It will be his second stint with the Ants.

Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder out of UC Santa Barbara, averaged 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two previous games with the Ants. He has played nine minutes in three games with the Pacers.

Russell has spent parts of six seasons with Fort Wayne. He is averaging 15.3 points and 6 assists this year. He averaged a career-high 17.7 points for the Mad Ants in 2010-11 and averaged 16.1 points and 10.8 assists in 2008-09.

He has played in 28 games for the Detroit Pistons, and averaged 3 points and 2.1 assists in 2011-12.

Richardson and Johnson are expected to join the team for today’s home game against the Texas Legends. McClinton will join the team after this weekend.

Richardson is in his second D-League season. The 6-foot-8 forward from Florida State is averaging 11.2 points and 4.3 rebounds.

McClinton has appeared in three games this year, averaging 0.7 point in 12.7 minutes. A former second-round draft pick for the San Antonio Spurs out of Miami, the 6-foot guard was a first-round pick by Reno in this year’s draft.

He has been slowed by injuries and NBA assignments affecting his playing time.

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette