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The Journal Gazette

Friday, December 23, 2016 6:49 pm

McKinney Jones' free throws lead Ants to win

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Trey McKinney Jones got to the free-throw line a lot and he was perfect – hitting all 15 of his attempts – as the Mad Ants defeated the Delaware 87ers 106-97 tonight.

In front of 1,022 fans at the Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, Delaware, McKinney Jones had a team-best 26 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

The Mad Ants (11-3) got 21 points apiece from rookie Alex Poythress and Stephan Hicks.

Despite not having a single NBA-contracted player in their lineup – both Rakeem Christmas and Georges Niang are back with the Indiana Pacers – the Mad Ants found scoring from eight players. That included Julyan Stone, who had 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Delaware (8-7) was paced by Shawn Long’s 28 points and a whopping 19 rebounds. He was 11 of 23 from the field and had 11 offensive boards. Dionte Christmas added 17 points in a game that saw seven lead changes.

A floating jump shot from 5 feet out by Poythress, with 5:59 remaining in the fourth quarter, kicked off a 12-0 run by the Mad Ants that culminated with McKinney Jones’ free throws with 1:14 left for a commanding 104-91 lead.

On the heels of a six-game home stand, the Mad Ants improved to 2-0 this season against Delaware, which came in on a three-game winning streak and had won 5 of 6 games.

The Mad Ants, who play Monday at Greensboro, North Carolina, have won four of their last five games.

jcohn@jg.net