A Tuesday matinee at the home of the Indiana Pacers opened a two-game series between the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and the Maine Celtics with the Ants on top, 130-129 in overtime.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants game recap:
Mad Ants top Maine in overtime off Terry Taylor’s career game
Indianapolis, Indiana (January 25, 2022) – A Tuesday matinee at the home of the Indiana Pacers opened a two-game series between Fort Wayne and Maine. The Mad Ants got a career high 39 points from Terry Taylor to pull out a 130-129 win in overtime.
A strong shooting first quarter bolstered an early Maine lead. The Celtics went 7-of-8 from three-point range in the opening frame, led by three makes from Juwan Morgan, who shot a perfect 3-of-3 from deep and 5-of-5 from the field for 14 first quarter points. Maine pushed the lead to as many as 16 in the first quarter on 70 percent shooting. Gabe York scored 12 first quarter points to lead Fort Wayne.
Maine continued their heavy shooting ways in the second quarter, hitting 5-of-14 three-point shots and ending the half having hit 54.5 percent of their long-range shots. Despite that, Fort Wayne found ways to push back from deficits and pulled within five at 62-57 with 3:05 to play in the half on an Andrew Rowsey three pointer.
The Celtics led Fort Wayne 69-63 at halftime.
While the Celtics maintained the lead throughout the third quarter, the total seesawed as Fort Wayne battled inside. A Chris Clemons three pointer with 1:19 to play in the quarter pushed Maine’s lead back to 10 at 97-87. The Celtics were able to take a 99-89 lead into the final break.
Fort Wayne saw the lead taken down to one point in the fourth quarter, using their defensive pressure to create offense, but they couldn’t get over the hump against a Celtics team that consistently got to the free throw line late. Maine scored nine straight points in just over a minute and a half to take a ten-point lead with 1:22 to play. That turned into seven straight points for the Mad Ants; after Justin Anderson hit a three pointer, Fort Wayne forced two straight turnovers that led to uncontested dunks on the other end to crawl back to within three, 125-122. An and-one from Taylor with 12.6 seconds to play in regulation nodded the game up at 125 and forced overtime.
York’s three pointer to start overtime gave the Mad Ants their first lead of the game. With 30.3 seconds left, Sam Hauser hit a pull up jumper to give Maine back the lead 129-128. But in the end, it was a York lay in with 21 seconds left that proved to be the difference.
Behind Taylor’s 39 points, 13 rebond outing, the Mad Ants got 35 points from York and 29 from Anderson, who each hit a game high five three pointers. Maine was led by Morgan’s 23 points and 18 from Chris Clemons. Eight of the nine Celtics who played scored in double figures.
The two teams will meet again Thursday at noon in Indianapolis.