Travin Thibodeaux was yelling from the bench for Ben Moore to “get the game-winning board.”
It was a good thought, considering how Moore had been dominating the glass Friday night, and Moore delivered.
After Walt Lemon Jr. slithered his way through the lane for a layup attempt, Moore went skyward and tipped in the miss with 2.2 seconds remaining to cement the Mad Ants' 112-110 come-from-behind victory over the Greensboro Swarm.
“(Coach Steve Gansey) drew up a great play,” Moore said. “I caught it in the middle, handed it off to Walt. I knew he was going to get one up, probably going downhill, so I knew to just follow it up. Thibs was in my ear saying, 'Get that game-winning board.' He was in my ear.”
Moore had 14 points and 15 rebounds. His 10 offensive rebounds were four short of Rob Kurz's team record from Jan. 16, 2010, but Moore's final one was the biggest.
It gave Fort Wayne (12-14) three straight victories, and it extended G League-worst Greensboro's losing streak to 13 games.
Greensboro (4-21), which led by five with 1:47 remaining, had a chance to win it after Moore's tip-in, but Caleb Martin's 3-point attempt clanked off the rim in front of an announced crowd of 2,405 at Memorial Coliseum.
“It was the third game of a long week. We knew we had to grind it out,” Moore said. “We were a little fatigued traveling back yesterday (from Long Island, New York), and I think the biggest emphasis was that defense travels everywhere. Offense doesn't necessarily travel, so we had to guard these guys and it's important that we did.”
Lemon had 25 points, six assists and six rebounds. The Mad Ants are off until a Jan. 25 game at the South Bay Lakers.
C.J. Wilcox had 17 points, including 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. He tied it at 106 with a 3 and 1:12 left, but Greensboro regained the lead and was up 110-107 on Kobi Simmons' free throw with 22 seconds left.
After a Gansey timeout, it took 2 seconds for Wilcox to tie it on another 3.
“I loved (the finish). That play that we ran there, that was a play that is like my go-to, need-3 play,” Gansey said. “We ran it at the beginning of the year. We hadn't run it in a long time, but we executed it. It was perfect. C.J. knocked it down and that's what he's here to do, make big shots. We executed it great and it was perfect.”
Martin, who totaled 27 points, had a chance to win it for the Swarm but missed a 3-point attempt with 9 seconds left to set up Lemon for his chance to penetrate and Moore for his winning tip-in.
“It was an ugly game,” Gansey said. “We had way too many turnovers, 21 turnovers, and I thought we weren't making the right reads offensively. Defensively, them putting up 37 points (in the first quarter for a 10-point lead) is way too many points. They were knocking down 3s. ... It was an ugly game, but we're going to have a little break now.”
The Indiana Pacers' Edmond Sumner had 22 points in his second Mad Ants game of the season. The Pacers' Alize Johnson had 12 points and 13 rebounds, giving him seven double-doubles and one triple-double in eight games with the Mad Ants this season.