The Mad Ants came back from a 12-point deficit entering the fourth quarter but lost on a game-winning free throw on a technical foul with 0.9 second left Friday in their 100-99 season-opening loss to the Texas Legends in Frisco, Texas.
Mad Ants president Jeff Potter said the team will protest the victory. Potter said the scorer’s table told the team they had a timeout that they didn’t have.
Ron Howard had a team-high 19 points for Fort Wayne (0-1), along with four assists. Poland product Aleksander Czyz had a double-double for the Mad Ants, with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Former West Virginia star Devin Ebanks had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Texas (1-0), and Chris Douglas-Roberts hit four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 21.
The game had nine lead changes and 10 ties, including the back-and-forth fray in the final seconds.
Howard hit a runner with 19.5 seconds left to tie the game 99-99, and after a Legends timeout to set up a final play, Douglas-Roberts missed a jump shot with three seconds left.
But Fort Wayne called a timeout when it had none to spend. It was assessed as a technical foul and Douglas-Roberts hit the go-ahead free throw and killed off the 12-point swing that put Fort Wayne in a tie.
The Mad Ants get another shot at Texas at 8 p.m. today.