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Mad Antics

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    As the lone independent team in the D-League, not to mention the reigning champions, the Mad Ants were in demand this season by NBA franchises and potential place to put their prospects.

Pacers rookie scores 19 in Mad Ants' loss

Solomon Hill’s debut with the Mad Ants was solid one.

But it lacked a W.

Hill, on assignment from the Indiana Pacers, scored 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting, but the Mad Ants lost 103-101 to the Sioux Falls Skyforce at Memorial Coliseum on Monday night.

Hill also had five assists.

Ron Howard had 23 points for Fort Wayne (6-7).

Sioux Falls (11-3) was led by Justin Hamilton’s 31 points and Bill Walker’s 26. DeAndre Liggins, the reigning D-League Performer of the Week, was held to 12 points.

Hill, a first-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft out of Arizona, had averaged 1.5 points over 16 games with Indiana but had sat out since Dec. 8 and essentially lost his spot to the returning Danny Granger.

Hill was sent to the Mad Ants on Sunday.

Hill had the support of three teammates with the Pacers – Chris Copeland, Donald Sloan and former Fort Wayne player Orlando Johnson – who drove up to watch the game from courtside seats.

They saw Hill open the game in thrilling fashion. On the first possession, he wove his way through the defense for a basket and, on the second possession, his no-look pass set up a Tony Mitchell dunk.

They also saw the Mad Ants fall into a 22-point hole in the second quarter, which they climbed out of late in the third quarter; Howard’s jump shot with 44.8 seconds remaining tied it at 77.

The Skyforce quickly went back up by 4 but a Hill dunk tied it at 93 with 2:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. After another Sioux Falls run, a Howard jumper with 19 seconds left trimmed the Skyforce lead to 100-99.

Down 2 with 2.4 seconds remaining, the Mad Ants coughed up the ball and didn’t get a chance to force overtime.

With the addition of Hill, the Mad Ants have three players on the roster assigned by NBA teams, including Detroit Pistons Mitchell and Peyton Siva, though Siva sat out Monday because of a wrist injury.