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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 27, 2017 7:50 pm

Balanced scoring for Mad Ants in win

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Seven players scored in double figures and the Mad Ants won their first ever game at Hoffman Estates, Illinois, defeating the Windy City Bulls 109-99 tonight.

The victory came hours after the Mad Ants swung a trade with Raptors 905, the team they trail by three games for the Central Division lead.

The Mad Ants traded forward Christian Watford and a third-round pick in this year’s D-League draft for forward Jarrod Uthoff, who was not in the lineup tonight.

Uthoff is a rookie out of Iowa – he was a teammate of Fort Wayne’s Adam Woodbury with the Hawkeyes – and he signed a multi-year contract with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors last summer before being released and signing in the D-League. In 24 games, he averaged 7.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 20.3 minutes for Raptors 905.

Watford, a former Indiana University player, averaged 5.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 16.2 minutes in 20 games with Fort Wayne.

Trey McKinney Jones and rookie Jordan Loyd had 18 points apiece in front of 2,407 fans at the Sears Centre. Stephan Hicks had 17 points. And rookie Alex Poythress added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Mad Ants (17-9), who have won four of their last six games – all on the road.

Travis Leslie had 12 points, rookie Ben Bentil had 11 points and rookie Nick Zeisloft also had 11, including 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. The Mad Ants have won 3 of 4 games this season against the Bulls.

Leading Windy City (9-15) was Alfonzo McKinnie with 23 points and Will Bynum with 14.

The Mad Ants were up 62-52 at halftime and took control with a 31-22 third-quarter run. The Bulls, however, made things interesting by scoring 25 of the final 41 points.

The Mad Ants play at Canton, Ohio, on Saturday.