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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 28, 2017 10:00 pm

Mad Ants lose 4th straight


The Mad Ants got scoring from the paint – Jarrod Uthoff totaled 24 points and C.J. Fair had 19 – but the outcome was yet another loss, 111-104 to the Erie BayHawks on Thursday night in Erie, Pennsylvania.

It was the Mad Ants’ fourth straight loss and their eighth in their last nine games, and they were hindered by 11 of the game’s 15 shot blocks going in favor of the BayHawks.

The Mad Ants (11-10) will have a chance to break from their skid 7 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Coliseum against the Grand Rapids Drive.

Down 26-24 after one quarter at Erie Insurance Arena, in front of a crowd of 1,557, the Mad Ants allowed the BayHawks (8-13) to take control with a 32-20 run.

Fair’s layup with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter cut the Erie lead to 82-71, but it was short-lived. A John Gillon layup with 18 seconds left in the quarter made it 91-75.

In the fourth quarter, the Mad Ants rallied again and a Trey McKinney Jones layup cut the BayHawks’ lead to 98-90 with 6:13 left, and Uthoff’s basket in the paint cut the lead to 102-98 with 4:13 remaining. But a Jaylen Morris drive with 1:32 left made it 105-100 and Erie held on.

Jeremy Evans led the BayHawks with 19 points and DeAndre’ Bembry had 18 points with 10 rebounds. Raphiael Putney had six shot blocks to go with four points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Fort Wayne’s McKinney Jones had 18 points and Stephan Hicks added 14 with nine rebounds.

Earlier in the day, the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, who own and operate the Mad Ants, signed Alex Poythress, ending his stint under a two-way contract with Indiana and Fort Wayne.

Poythress had played in 11 games with the Pacers, totaling only 52 minutes and making 4 of 10 shots with eight rebounds. In six games with the Mad Ants, he averaged 20 points, 9 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Edmond Sumner, who still hasn’t made his professional debut after suffering a knee injury last season at Xavier, is the only player still on a two-way contract with the Pacers and Mad Ants.