Ants top Charge; Swanigan ejected
Walt Lemon Jr. came just short of a triple-double - he had 30 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists - leading the Mad Ants to a 117-113 victory over the Canton Charge in Canton, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Former Homestead and Purdue star Caleb Swanigan, playing for the first time against his hometown team, had four points and eight rebounds for the Charge. But Swanigan, a first-round draft pick last year of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, was ejected after getting two technical fouls after playing only 19 minutes.
The third quarter was pivotal for the Mad Ants, who trailed 52-46 because of Canton’s 30-16 run before halftime. After the break, Fort Wayne went on a 34-23 run and ultimately increased its Central Division lead over second-place Wisconsin to three games with those teams meeting 11 a.m. Thursday at Memorial Coliseum.
DeQuan Jones had 26 points and eight rebounds for Fort Wayne (19-13). Stephan Hicks had 22 points. Jarrod Uthoff added 16.
For Canton (12-20), John Holland had 29 points, Marcus Thornton had 26 and Ante Zizic had 20 points and 8 rebounds.
Swanigan’s ejection came after Jones was fouled on a layup attempt by JaCorey Williams and Swanigan, last year’s Player of the Year in the Big Ten, argued the call with 8:06 left in the third. After Jones made four free throws, including two from the technicals, the Charge still led 61-54.
A Trey McKinney Jones 3-pointer with 1:28 left in the third gave Fort Wayne a 73-71 lead and it began to take control.
Hicks’ layup with 6:54 remaining put the Mad Ants up 100-88.
Notes: For undisclosed reasons, Indiana Pacers rookie Edmond Sumner didn’t play for the Mad Ants. ... Canton is 4:12 at home. Fort Wayne is 6-9 on the road.