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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 7:07 pm

Paced by Hicks, Mad Ants win

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

In the first 23 games of the season Stephan Hicks only led the Mad Ants in scoring once. But now he’s done it in back-to-back games.

Hicks had 28 points – he converted 11 of 24 shots – and he added eight rebounds in the Mad Ants’ 114-111 victory tonight at Erie, Pennsylvania, against the Eastern Conference-worst BayHawks.

It came on the heels of Hicks’ 25 points in a 112-107 loss to the Maine Red Claws on Saturday at the D-League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario. The only other time he’d led the Mad Ants in scoring was Nov. 22 – the third game of the season – with 24 points in a 120-103 victory over Maine.

The Mad Ants squandered a 26-18 lead by allowing the BayHawks to go on a 27-20 run that cut Fort Wayne’s lead to 46-45 at halftime. In the third quarter, though, the Mad Ants scored 40 of 26 points to take command before getting outscored by 16 down the stretch.

Rookie Alex Poythress had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Fort Wayne. Rookie Nick Zeisloft had 15 points; all of his shots were from 3-point range, where he was 5 for 9. Rookie Jordan Loyd added 14 points for the Mad Ants (16-9), who had lost four of their previous six games.

Gabe York led the BayHawks with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting. He also had nine rebounds. Kalin Lucas added 22 points. Erie (7-19) has lost seven of its last eight games.

Fort Wayne, which plays Friday night against the Windy City Bulls in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is 2½ games back of Raptors 906 for first place in the Central Division.

jcohn@jg.net