News release from The Mad Ants:
Skyforce falls to Mad Ants in game 1 heartbreaker
Sioux Falls S.D. (April 17, 2014) – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 113-111 Thursday night at the Sanford Pentagon in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series. Sioux Falls had all the momentum with five minutes to go in the game but Fort Wayne stormed back and Tony Mitchell banked in a tough shot with 4.2 seconds left to help the top-seeded Mad Ants steal a road win.
Sioux Falls jumped out to a 28-24 lead after the first quarter behind nine points from Larry Drew II. Fort Wayne outscored Sioux Falls 34-29 in the second quarter behind 12 points from Sadiel Rojas and led 58-57 at halftime.
After Trey McKinney-Jones converted a 3-point play to cut the deficit to 74-73 in the third quarter, Sioux Falls outscored the visitors 17-6 to take a 91-79 lead into the final quarter. Fort Wayne went on a 13-3 run to start the fourth quarter and got within two points (94-92), but Sioux Falls responded with a 10-2 run to take a 104-94 lead with just under five minutes to go in the contest. Mitchell and DeAndre Liggins each converted two free throws and the score was tied at 111 with 24.7 seconds left. After Mitchell’s clutch basket, Liggins’ 3-pointer at the buzzer was deflected and Sioux Falls lost at home for the first time this postseason.
Rojas posted a team-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds. Mitchell recorded 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists off the bench while Matt Bouldin, Will Frisby and Ron Howard each scored 14.
Henry Walker scored a game-high 24 points to go along with five rebounds. Liggins had a solid all-around game with 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists while A.J. Davis contributed 19 points in a reserve role.
Both teams will now head to Fort Wayne, Ind. for Game 2 Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.