Former Mad Ant star Walt Lemon Jr. went off against his former team Friday, posting a triple-double with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Windy City Bulls to a 119-112 victory in front of an announced crowd of 1,804 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
The Mad Ants (19-19) dropped their fourth game in the last five and second to the Bulls in a two-week span. Omari Johnson led Fort Wayne with 28 points on 10-of-19 shooting, hitting five 3-pointers to keep his team in the game late. Stephan Hicks had 17 points and Travin Thibodeaux chipped in 15 points and nine rebounds.
Fort Wayne trailed by 11 early in the fourth quarter, but fought back to within 96-94 with a 9-0 run. Hicks scored seven of the nine points during the run on a floater, a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper. Lemon broke the run with a driving layup, however, and another former Mad Ant, C.J. Fair, added a second layup to bring the margin back to six with 7:45 to go. The Mad Ants were never closer than five again.
Brandon Sampson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Windy City (21-18) and Kaiser Gates added 23 points and 11 rebounds. Fair chipped in seven points, five rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes, while former New Haven and Notre Dame star V.J. Beachem scored six points and grabbed five boards.
The Mad Ants welcomed back Alize Johnson, the third-leading rebounder in the league at 13.6 boards per game, from the Pacers, but he did not play because of a foot injury.