After a 121-115 loss today to the Wisconsin Herd, which leads the entire G League, the Mad Ants professed the need to do a better job of putting together complete games.
In other words, they’re letting down a bit when it matters most.
But they’ve showed over their last nine games, winning six of them, that they’re close to being dangerous.
“When you’re playing a really tough team like that, you’ve got to put your best 48 minutes forward,” Mad Ants coach Steve Gansey said. “You have to play the full 48. If you fall asleep for 2 minutes, they’re going to take advantage and that’s what happened toward the end.”
The Mad Ants were without Naz Mitrou-Long (ankle), Brian Bowen II (herniated disc) and D.J. McCall (concussion), but they got a lot of help from the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, who sent Goga Bitadze and Alize Johnson for the game.
Johnson had 26 points and 19 rebounds, giving him 26 double-doubles in 37 games over two seasons with the Mad Ants. (Video of Johnson’s game is above.)
Bitadze, a rookie first-round draft pick, had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
It was a back-and-forth game with 18 lead changes. The Herd led by as many as 11 points and the Mad Ants by as many as 10.
Division-rival Wisconsin (18-4) didn’t pull away for good until Frank Mason III’s 3-pointer with 2:10 left made it 110-107. Mason totaled 34 points on 12-of-22 shooting.
“It’s just us trying to put the full 48 minutes together,” said C.J. Wilcox, who had 19 points, including 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, for the Mad Ants (9-13).
“We missed some free throws at the end. We had some moments where we didn’t make the right plays. We got some good looks we’ve got to convert on; we missed some layups. But it’s just trying to put the full game together.”
Fort Wayne led 87-85 entering the fourth quarter. Then, Fort Wayne made 11 of 26 shots and Wisconsin 14 of 22.