The Mad Ants, sponsored by Lutheran Health Network, opened their 2015-16 season in thrilling fashion with a 83-30 win over the Raptors 905 Saturday, November 14th at Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum.
With just seconds remaining and the score locked at 80-80, returning Mad Ant, Xavier Thames hit the dagger behind the three point arc to propel the Mad Ants to a 1-0 season start.
The first half was a swap of the lead by both teams, eventually giving way to a 36-36 tie by the midway point. In his Mad Ants debut, while on assignment with the Indiana Pacers, Rakeem Christmas led all scorers with 18 points and 6 rebounds at halftime. For the Raptors 905, Melvin Johnson III led with 7 points off the bench.
A dominant run by the home team gave way to an eleven point advantage heading into the final quarter of play. As time wound down, with just over thirty seconds left in regulation, the score remained locked at 80 apiece. After a turnover by Raptors 905’s Lucas Nogueira, the Mad Ants regained possession and with an inbound pass to Thames, they were able to come out on top with a shot that cleared just as the buzzer sounded. Leading all scorers on the night, Christmas finished his night with 24 points and 7 rebounds, while CJ Fair ended with 19 points and 9 rebounds. After his heroic three-point shot, Thames finished with 17 points for opening night.
For the Raptors 905, Scott Suggs led with 20 points and Bruno Caboclo concluded his night with a double-double, good for 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Mad Ants remain at home tomorrow, November 15th for a Sunday match-up with the Raptors 905 tipping at 5:00 p.m. Fans can purchase Mad Ants tickets anytime, which start at just $6, at the Memorial Coliseum Box Office, by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.