Mad Ants pull away in second half, defeat Drive 121-106

The Grand Rapids Drive (8-10) held a one-point lead at halftime but it was not enough for a victory over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (12-4) on the road on Wednesday night. The Mad Ants prevailed 121-106 behind a 34-19 effort in the third quarter. The Drive dropped their third in a row after a four-game winning streak.

Jordan Loyd led six Fort Wayne players in double figures with 27 points, hitting five three-pointers. Travis Leslie was all over the court, scoring 21 points with 14 rebounds and seven assists, and Trey McKinney-Jones had 18 points.

For the Drive, Jordan Crawford stayed hot, pouring in a game-high 30 points in just 23 minutes off the bench. Crawford had 23 points at halftime. Kevin Murphy had 25 points and Ray McCallum had 15 points, five assists and six steals.

The Drive overcame a four-point deficit at the end of the first quarter to take the 59-58 halftime advantage, but they were unable to stick with Fort Wayne when play started up again.

The Mad Ants were simply on fire from the field, making 51 percent of their field goal attempts and going an incredible 19-of-38 from three. The Drive also shot 49 percent from the field, but made just 32 percent of their threes and 55 percent of their free throws.

Fort Wayne also dominated the Drive on the boards, especially in the second half. They pulled down 49 rebounds while the Drive managed just 31, well under their season low of 35. The Drive took great care of the basketball, turning the ball over just nine times compared to the Mad Ants’ 17, but that was not enough to make up for the discrepancy in shooting.

The Drive will look to snap their three-game skid at home against Greensboro on Dec. 30, their final game of 2016. The Mad Ants will host Westchester the same day for their next contest.