Tony Mitchell had a big game, scoring a career- and franchise-record 49 points Friday against Sioux Falls– but the result was even bigger for the Mad Ants.
The Mad Ants clinched their first playoff berth since joining the D-League in 2007 with a 125-112 victory over the Skyforce in South Dakota.
It had already been a groundbreaking season for the Mad Ants (27-22), who came into this season with a 96-154 all-time record and had never finished above .500.
They came into Friday needing a win in one of their final two games – they play Saturday at Tulsa, Okla. – to reach the postseason, and they got it done with a 69-55 second-half run.
Mitchell hit 16 of 30 shots as he set a D-League season high for points in a game.
It was likely the Skyforce's final game at Sioux Falls Arena. Through the years, there were many famed basketball games between Fort Wayne and Sioux Falls there – the Skyforce beat the Fury in the 1996 CBA finals – but now the Skyforce (25-24), barely clinging to playoff hopes, will move to the new Pentagon arena.
The Mad Ants (27-22) will find out Sunday who they will play in the playoffs. Division winners select their first-round opponents.
Anthony Harris had 20 points for the Mad Ants on 7-of-14 shooting. Chris Porter had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Brandon Wallace had 15 rebounds, as the Mad Ants out-rebounded the Skyforce 46-32.
Sioux Falls (25-24) was led by James Mays' 24 points and 11 rebounds. Andre Barrett added 20 points and 14 assists.