FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 113-111, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Monday night.
Despite leading by 12 in the first quarter, Fort Wayne (2-8) had to hold on to the lead in the fourth quarter, which was shrunk to one with 1:21 remaining in the game. Rio Grande Valley (2-9) went 0-for-3 from the court in the final 81 seconds, on top of missing two free throws with just under nine seconds remaining in the game.
The Mad Ants were fueled by both Indiana Pacers two-way players for the second win of the young season. Naz Mitrou-Long followed up his triple-double on Friday night with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Brian Bowen II added another double-double with 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
C.J. Wilcox came out on fire from the beyond the arc ending the first half with six made 3-point field goal attempts. Wilcox ended the night with 22 points and three assists.
JaKeenan Gant came off the bench after missing the previous four games with a concussion to end with 16 points and five rebounds. Stephan Hicks chipped in another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
For Rio Grande Valley, Brandon Sampson and Jaron Blossomgame each poured in 20 points on the night. Angel Rodriguez dished out 10 assists to go along with 13 points in just under 40 minutes of playing time.
Sindarius Thornwell grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in 31 minutes for Rio Grande Valley, who continues their eastern conference trip on Thursday night at Canton.
The Mad Ants head to Erie to take on the BayHawks on Thursday night as well, which will be the first of three games between the teams over the next nine days.
Fort Wayne returns home on Saturday to face Raptors 905 at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.