James gets shot to fall

Bakersfield's Damion James gets a shot to fall with 47.2 seconds remaining in the Jam's 109-102 victory over the Mad Ants on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

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Swikar Patel | The Journal Gazette
Mad Ants’ Tony Mitchell shoots while being defended by Bakersfield’s Brian Butch, left, and Damion James during the second half of the Jam’s win Sunday night at Memorial Coliseum. Mitchell scored 23 points in the loss.

Ants lose game, likely top scorer

The Mad Ants might have lost more than a tough game Sunday afternoon; they might have given up on their leading scorer and rebounder for the season.

After the team’s 109-102 overtime loss to Bakersfield at Memorial Coliseum, Ants president Jeff Potter said that Luke Harangody, who leads the team with 19.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game, could be gone for the remainder of the season.

“I think he’s doubtful for the rest of the year,” Potter said.

Harangody, the former Notre Dame standout who has played 17 games with the Ants, was not in attendance Sunday.

His last game was Tuesday, when he scored 16 points in 23 minutes. Before that, he missed six consecutive games with an undisclosed knee injury.

“He went to Friday’s practice and called me later that night and just basically said, ‘I can’t do it,’ ” Potter said.

“I think we’ve all basically pulled the plug on it,” said Potter, who added that he’ll likely soon place Harangody on the injured reserve list.

“You never know; what happens if he comes back and there are three or four (remaining) games – critical games – and he can play? We’ll see, but I think we’ve all kind of turned the page.”

The Ants (19-20) ducked under the .500 level again, but not without giving Bakersfield a fight. The Jam (26-12) owns the best record in the D-League.

Neither team pulled away from the other.

The Ants’ largest lead was eight points, and Bakersfield’s was seven.

The game had 22 lead changes and 19 ties.

Fort Wayne had a chance to win in regulation when it had the ball with 4 seconds left, but Ron Howard’s shot from the top of the key missed, sending the game into overtime tied at 90.

“I feel like we let them off the hook for the second time,” forward Brandon Wallace said. “I know the first time we played them in Bakersfield (a 126-115 loss), Ron got hurt. I think we let them off the hook.

“I speak for everybody in this room that they’re not that much better than us. They made some key plays down the stretch. They got to the (free-throw) line 41 times. Other than that, I feel that we let them off the hook.”

Bakersfield guard Jerel McNeal made 13 of 15 free throws en route to 42 points.

Tony Mitchell had 23 for the Ants, and five others scored in double figures.

stwarden@jg.net

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