The Texas Legends (6-3) found themselves on top of another nail-biter Friday night in Fort Wayne. After nine back-and-forths, Texas got the last shot to beat the Mad Ants (1-8) 108-105.
Fort Wayne got an early jump on the visitors shooting 48% to Texas’ 24%, doubling their points from three, and dominating the boards 18-8 to finish the first up 28-16. The double-digit gap grew before the half to Fort Wayne’s largest of the night (+18), but Texas went on an 11-2 run to the break to cut the deficit to six.
The Mad Ants stormed back up to a 10-point lead early in the third as Texas got off to a slow start, but the two would stay within four points of each other for the final 18 minutes. Warming up midway through the third, the Legends began firing back and took control at the three-minute mark with a long ball from Dakota Mathias. Texas held the lead until the eight-minute mark of the fourth when Fort Wayne tied it up and edged ahead at the free throw line.
Mathias had two more from outside in the final two minutes, the first to put Texas up by four. Brian Bowen II and Walt Lemon Jr. tied it up with free throws 103-all with 1:11 left to play. Mathias responded with another step back three, but Lemon took it inside to make it a one-point game with 6 seconds on the clock. A long inbounds pass from Josh Reaves gave Brandon Fields an open layup and the final points of the game.
Texas found their advantage beyond the arc, knocking down 43% to Fort Wayne’s 31% behind a 6-of-10 outside performance from Mathias. Aric Holman came off the bench to lead the Legends’ scoring with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks while Mathias finished with 23 points, 3 assists. Nate Mason filled the sheet in his third double-double with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, 2 blocks, and a game-high 6 steals. Antonius Cleveland and Trahson Burrell added 11 points each with 9 rebounds, 2 blocks for Cleveland and 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals for Burrell. Josh Reaves and Brandon Fields added 10 points apiece.
Naz Mitrou-Long finished with a triple-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists while Walt Lemon Jr. led all scorers with 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Stephan Hicks (18 points, 14 rebounds) and Brian Bowen II (21 points, 10 rebounds) each added double-doubles as well for the Mad Ants. Ike Nwamu and C.J. Wilcox combined for 21 points to round out Fort Wayne’s double-digit scorers.
Texas finishes this road trip in Grand Rapids tomorrow night at 6pm CT. The team returns home Dec. 4 hosting the Austin Spurs at 7pm CT. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.