FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Motor City’s Jaylen Johnson hit an open three pointer with 0.4 seconds left Thursday to put the Cruise over the top in a 119-116 win over Fort Wayne.
Motor City came out clicking, growing their lead to 10 in the first quarter including two big back-to-back threes from Buddy Boeheim. The battle in the first quarter was on the inside where 24 total points were scored between the teams including a team high seven from Motor City’s Stanley Umude and a team high nine out of Fort Wayne’s Jermaine Samuels Jr. After one, Motor City held a 27-22 lead.
With 7:18 left in the first half, a Gabe York three evened the game at 35 but Jaylen Johnson answered back quick for Motor City to give the Cruise back the lead. With 6:19 to play, Jordan Bone drained a three pointer, Fort Wayne’s third straight offensive trip with a three pointer, to give Fort Wayne a 41-38 lead. Fort Wayne would lead by as many as six at 61-45 before Reggie Perry cut the Mad Ants run with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter. At the half, Fort Wayne would lead 53-49.
In the third, the Mad Ants pushed their lead to 12 by attacking the rim with big dunks from Samuels, York and Justin Anderson. David Nwama helped Motor City push back and cut the Cruise deficit to 87-81 after three.
Motor City rallied in the fourth, getting the lead down to one on multi occasions, but Fort Wayne answered each time until the 6:51 mark when a Jaylen Johnson three gave Motor City a tie at 96. Motor City would take the lead with 3:37 to play on a Keifer Sykes midrange jumper and extend their lead to 111-106 on a Reggie Perry basket with under two minutes to play. With 1:22 left, Trevelin Queen took to the free throw line, hitting three shots to cut the Mad Ants deficit to 111-109.
Motor City took a 113-111 lead with 40 seconds to play on a Reggie Perry dunk, and would extend their lead to five at one point late before Queen tied the game with 7.8 seconds left on a three, leading to the eventual game winner from Johnson.
Johnson’s 23 led Motor City while Keifer Sykes added 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Fort Wayne put three guys over 20 points, led by Queens’ 29, 26 from Samuels Jr. and 21 out of Anderson.
The two teams play again on Saturday with a 7 p.m. tip.