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The Journal Gazette

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' DeQuan Jones, right, guards the Windy City Bulls' Derick Newton on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward Jarrod Uthoff, right, looks to make a pass as he's defended by Derick Newton of the Windy City Bulls on Friday night at Memorial Coliseum.

  • Justin A. Cohn | The Journal Gazette Mad Ants forward Jarrod Uthoff, right, posts up the Windy City Bulls' Antonion Blakeney at Memorial Coliseum, while referee Greg Dandridge, left, monitors the play Friday night.

Friday, January 05, 2018 9:50 pm

Lemon, Uthoff spur Mad Ants to victory

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants finished 2017 the way they wanted. And they started 2018 in fine form, too.

Jarrod Uthoff did the heavy lifting early and Walt Lemon Jr. did it late, as the Mad Ants defeated the Windy City Bulls 114-108 today.

Lemon had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Uthoff had 29 points and eight rebounds. And Fort Wayne (13-10) has back-to-back victories for the first time since the first week of December.

Windy City (8-13) was paced by Antonio Blakeney’s 35 points.

An announced crowd of 2,335 attended the game at Memorial Coliseum, where the Mad Ants had won their previous game Saturday, 118-117 over the Grand Rapids Drive.

Led by seven DeQuan Jones points, the Mad Ants outscored the Bulls 25-18 in the first quarter. They then opened the second with a 7-4 run, culminating with a C.J. Fair 3-pointer, for a 32-22 lead. And by the time Lemon sprinted to the basket for a layup with 5:01 left in the quarter, the lead was 45-30.

But it quickly evaporated and the Mad Ants needed a Lemon layup followed by an Ike Anigbogu block of Derick Newton shot to go into halftime with a 51-50 lead.

In a back-and-forth third quarter, the most remarkable play saw Fort Wayne’s Trey McKinney Jones intercept a Jarell Eddie pass and then trot unabated for a layup and a 75-71 lead with 3:30 left. Stephan Hicks’ 3-pointer with 11 seconds left made it 87-78.

The Bulls took an 89-87 lead when an Eddie 3-pointer was followed by a Brandon Wood reverse layup with 8:30 remaining in the fourth. A Uthoff 3-pointer put Fort Wayne up 96-95 with 4:30 left.

Tied at 106, Uthoff blocked a Cristiano Felicio shot with 1:02 left, then made a hook shot at the other end for a 108-106 lead.

Lemon then stole the ball from Felicio and went the length of the court for a dunk and a 110-106 lead.

Note: Windy City has former Purdue player Jon Octeus on its roster, but he dislocated his ankle after playing six games and is out for the season.

jcohn@jg.net