Charlotte Hornets

Zeisloft, Fort Wayne Mad Ants Shoot Down the Greensboro Swarm

After finishing last week 1-2, the Greensboro Swarm came up short against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants for their second straight loss.

During the week of December 11, the Greensboro Swarm played three games and brought along the recently Charlotte Hornets‘ assignees in Aaron Harrison and Christian Wood. The two veterans helped the squad to a record of 1-2 in games against the Canton Charge, Windy City Bulls and Raptors 905. However, on Tuesday night, the young Greensboro squad squandered an early lead on the way to their second straight loss, a 111-110 defeat to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Christian Wood had 28 points and nine boards (but didn’t score in the second half), Aaron Harrison added 24, but it wasn’t enough as Fort Wayne came back from an 18 point deficit to win. The Mad Ants were led by former Kentucky big man Alex Poythress‘ 32 points and seven rebounds.

Mike Tobey had a big game, adding 22 points and 13 rebounds off the bench, but the Swarm was outscored in the paint 60-48 and on the fast break 14-8. The Swarm was also plagued by foul trouble, as guard Xavier Munford finished with five fouls to go with his nine points, six rebounds, and five dimes.

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His all-around effort made up for his poor shooting night (3-11, 0-4 from 3FG). Fellow backcourt mate Archie Goodwin struggled on his way to 12 points on 3-12 shooting as well. Despite those two not shooting well, Greensboro still shot 45.7% from the floor and had more second-chance points (16 to Fort Wayne’s 13).

Greensboro used back to back 30-plus point quarters to create separation and gain a 68-51 halftime lead. However, Fort Wayne outscored Greensboro by 10 (34-24) in the third period to cut the deficit to seven points entering the final frame, before outscoring the Swarm in the fourth and holding them to less than 20 points (26-18). During the fourth quarter, Poythress continued to take over and helped push the Mad Ants’ lead to as many as eight points.

With under a minute left, the action heated up. First, Greensboro’s Munford hit a stepback jumper from the short corner with 36 ticks remaining. Poythress then scored a quick layup over Tobey for Fort Wayne, narrowing the Swarm lead to 110-108. On the ensuing possession, Munford received a pass and forced up a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down, looking for a foul, but it wasn’t called.

Fort Wayne got the rebound with seven seconds left and after a timeout, Nick Zeisloft hit the game-winning three from the left wing with five seconds remaining. Greensboro thought that the Mad Ants had committed a five-second violation on the inbounds, but it wasn’t called. On the ensuing inbounds play, Harrison flipped the ball to Tobey, who passed to Goodwin, who took a tough step-back midrange jumper in front of the Fort Wayne bench that hit nothing but air, and the fans exhaled in jubilation.

The close loss drops Greensboro’s record to 5-11, but the Swarm will need to have a short recollection. The team will face the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Thursday night at 7 p.m. looking to get the losing taste out of their mouths.

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