The Journal Gazette
Saturday, December 28, 2019 10:50 pm

Mad Ants need defensive intensity more often

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants' defensive intensity was terrific in the fourth quarter, when they had three steals and three blocks to help them trim a 19-point deficit to four.

But it was too little, too late, as they succumbed to a 106-95 loss to the Grand Rapids Drive on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.

So here's the question: Why can't the Mad Ants play that way defensively all the time?

"I think it's just a mental thing with everybody," said Brian Bowen II, who had 25 points and nine rebounds for the Mad Ants. "We've just got to lock in the tendencies, know whether guys can shoot or whether we gap the guys, whether guys are crashing the offensive glass. We've just got to pay attention to that.

"We did it in the fourth quarter and it worked out, so if we can do that for 48 minutes and go from there, then we'll be good for the future." 

The Mad Ants had more turnovers (24-21), worse free-throw shooting (62.5% to 76.9%) and were out-rebounded (52-41, including 18-9 at the offensive end).

All of this helped undo the Mad Ants' early 33-25 lead, which was swallowed by Grand Rapids' 18-2 run to open the second quarter. 

Fort Wayne's five-game winning streak came to an end.

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