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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:15 pm

Poor shooting in Mad Ants' Showcase loss

Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette

Rookie Alex Poythress had 18 points, but the Mad Ants lost 102-78 this afternoon to the Windy City Bulls at the D-League Showcase, an annual event in which all league teams participate in front of NBA scouts.

It was a season low for points for Fort Wayne. 

The Bulls scored 23 of the first 37 points and led 50-32 at halftime at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, on the way to their first victory in three meetings this season with the Mad Ants.

Playing for the first time since Jan. 12, when they won 119-11 at Westchester, New York, the Mad Ants (15-8) got 17 points from Joe Young, who was playing his first D-League game of the season after getting sent down by the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Young made 6 of 15 shots, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range, and added six rebounds.

Rakeem Christmas, who accompanied Young on assignment from the Pacers, had five points on 2-of-6 shooting with six rebounds.

Travis Leslie and rookie Jordan Loyd had seven points apiece for the Mad Ants, who have another Showcase game 12:30 p.m. Saturday against the Atlantic Division-leading Maine Red Claws.

Ben Bentil, who returned from China to play for the Mad Ants for the first time since the season opener, missed all six of his shots and had five points on 5-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line.

As a team, Fort Wayne shot 30 percent from the field. Windy City (9-14) shot 43 percent, paced by the 20 points of Alfonzo McKinney. Alec Brown, Ferrakohn Hall and J.J. Avila had 14 points apiece. Former Purdue player Jon Octeus had five points for the Bulls, who out-rebounded the Mad Ants 58-45.

Julyan Stone had five points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Mad Ants, who fell to 1½ games behind Raptors 905 for the Central Division lead. Fort Wayne used 11 players in the game, everyone except Christian Watford and E. Victor Nickerson.

Windy City is at the bottom of the division.

jcohn@jg.net