Despite playing without two of their best players, Trey McKinney-Jones and Olek Czyz, the Mad Ants weren’t intimidated tonight by the D-League’s only unbeaten team, the Idaho Stampede.
Early on, the Mad Ants had a 12-point lead.
But the Mad Ants coughed up the lead and lost 98-94 at Memorial Coliseum.
Ron Howard led the Mad Ants with 20 points. Sadiel Rojas had 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Idaho (8-0) was led by Pierre Jackson’s 49 points on 14-of-20 shooting. The former Baylor player, who was MVP of the NIT tournament last season, came into the game with a D-League-best scoring average of 28.3 points per game.
Idaho’s Reggie Hearn, a rookie out of Northwestern, who played in high school for Snider, had six points.
Fort Wayne was back in the game late; a Howard 3-point play trimmed the deficit to three, at 93-90, with 1:05 remaining. But the Mad Ants couldn’t get over the hump.
McKinney-Jones missed his second straight game with a back injury, while Czyz missed his first with a knee injury. They had combined to average 27.6 points and 10.4 rebounds for the Mad Ants (1-5).
For more on the game, read Sunday's Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.