Updated: Saturday, 23 Feb 2013, 11:03 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 23 Feb 2013, 11:03 PM EST
Springfield, Mass. – The Springfield Armor, presented by MGM Springfield, extended their winning streak to three games with a 107-102 victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants tonight in front of a season-high crowd of 5,097 at the MassMutual Center.
The Armor (12-21) and the Mad Ants (16-18) played a seesaw first quarter featuring eight lead changes and one tie. The game was knotted up at 26-26 with 2:17 to go in the quarter, but Fort Wayne scored the final seven points of the period to open up a 33-26 advantage. The Ants knocked down 15-of-24 shots in the first for 62.5% from the field while holding the Armor to 10-of-29 for 34.5%.
Fort Wayne continued to apply pressure in the second quarter and led wire-to-wire in the period. The Mad Ants led by a game-high 14 points (53-39) with just under a minute to play in the half before a pair of Ben Uzoh jumpers and a Kris Joseph bucket cut the deficit to 55-46 by intermission. Fort Wayne held Springfield to just 35.3% (18-of-51) shooting in the half and outscored the Armor 13-0 in fast break points. Tony Mitchell scored 14 of his team-high 26 points in the half, while Joseph tallied 13 of his 23 points to help keep the Armor within single digits.
In the third quarter, the Armor roared back into the game. Fort Wayne held an eight-point advantage (65-57) with 8:19 to go in the third before the Armor put together a 17-4 run, capped by a Willie Reed slam dunk, to take their first lead (74-69) since late in the first quarter. Reed would score the final nine points of the period and 13 total (5-of-5 shooting) in the quarter as the Armor outscored the Mad Ants 32-19 to take a 78-74 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Armor carried their momentum from the third quarter into the fourth, extending their lead to double digits for the first time in the game (86-76) with 9:45 to go. Springfield led by as many as 13 points and never trailed in the fourth en route to the 107-102 victory over Fort Wayne.
Reed led the Armor tonight, scoring 25 of his game and season-high 27 points in the second half. He added seven rebounds and buried 10-of-11 second-half shots while playing 26 total minutes off the bench. Joseph, who is now 3-0 in an Armor uniform, added 23 points in 37 minutes, Dennis Horner tallied 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting with nine rebounds in 35 minutes, Uzoh contributed 12 points, six assists and five rebounds in 34 minutes and Kenny Adeleke recorded his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds (seven offensive) in 22 minutes.
The Armor dished out 21 assists as a team with just 12 turnovers and the Springfield bench outscored the Fort Wayne bench 39-14 to help fuel the comeback victory.
In addition to Mitchell’s team-high 26 points in 40 minutes for the Mad Ants tonight, Ron Howard scored 25 points in 39 minutes, Anthony Richardson chipped in 14 points in 31 minutes and Brandon Wallace notched his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 36 minutes.
The Armor will put their three-game winning streak on the line when they host the Bakersfield Jam on Tuesday at 7:00 pm at the MassMutual Center. The game is the rescheduled matchup from Feb. 9 that was postponed due to the snowstorm in the Northeast.
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