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Mad Ants knock off first-place Canton

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For more on the Mad Ants, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

Tony Mitchell takes charge on offense to beat the Charge

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 4:43 am

Mad Ants guard Ron Howard, fresh off being named to the NBA Development League All-Star game, was back in uniform but a little rusty.

Tony Mitchell was glad to pick up the slack.

Mitchell scored 32 points with six rebounds and three steals to lead the Ants to a 94-81 win over the East Division leader Canton Charge on Monday at Memorial Coliseum. The Ants improved to 14-15 with two more home games this week: vs. Sioux Falls on Wednesday and Rio Grande Valley on Friday.

“We've been letting them slide through our hands a couple times,” Mitchell said. “They came out and played hard, but we wanted to be the aggressors tonight and come out and play harder than they did.”

Luke Harangody scored 20 points and Howard added 11. Pacers rookie Miles Plumlee led the team with 11 rebounds and Sadiel Rojas had 10 boards off the bench.

Howard had been out for more than two weeks with a knee injury.

He was selected to the All-Star game (Feb. 16 in Houston) the same day he returned to the court. Howard said he was honored to be chosen as the only Ants player. Harangody would have likely made it if he had played enough games to qualify.

Howard hit only 2 of 10 field goals in his return but nailed 7-of-8 free throws to help clinch the win.

“Getting into the game cuts and the game pace, that's something you can't take for granted – how fast things move out there,” Howard said. “I got better, but I'm glad Tony was rolling the way he was. He helped us out a lot.”

Ants coach Duane Ticknor said the team would enjoy the win Monday night, then move quickly on.

“We have to beat everybody, it doesn't matter who it is,” Ticknor said. “The rest of the week is tough. Sioux Falls is coming in and they're one of the hottest teams, they've won four or five in a row and got Dexter Pittman assigned to them. RGV is the best team in the league with the NBA guys they have assigned. We'll enjoy this tonight and get back to work.”

MAD ANTS 94, CANTON 81

Canton*17*18*23*23—81

Fort Wayne*22*29*19*24—94

Canton: Gibson 6-15 3-5 15, Rossiter 4-6 0-0 8, Eric 6-9 1-1 13, D. Johnson 3-6 0-0 6, Selby 6-17 4-6 17, Onuaku 4-7 4-8 12, J. Johnson 1-6 1-1 3, Agudio 0-2 0-0 0, Franklin 0-3 0-0 00, Gutierrez 3-6 1-3 7. Totals 33-77 14-24 81

Fort Wayne: Harangody 7-13 5-6 20, Mitchell 11-24 8-14 32, Plumlee 4-6 0-0 8, Partin 2-5 0-0 5, Harris 2-6 0-0 5, Howard 2-10 7-8 11, Lamb 2-4 0-0 5, Smith 2-3 0-0 4, Richardson 0-3 0-0 0, Rojas 1-6 0-0 2, Wallace 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 33-80 22-30 94

Three-point goals: C/1-10 (Selby 1-4, Agudio 0-1, Franklin 0-1, D. Johnson 0-1, Gibson 0-3, FW/6-16 (Mitchell 2-7, Harris 1-1, Lamb 1-1, Harangody 1-2, Partin 1-2, Howard 0-1, Richardson 0-2. Rebounds: C/40 (Onuaku 9), FW/47 (Plumlee 11, Rojas 10). Assists: C/9, FW/19 (Harris 4, Plumlee 3, Richardson 3). Steals: C/6, FW/11 (Mitchell 3). Blocks: C/5, FW/7 (Plumlee 2). Turnovers: C/17, FW/12. Total fouls: C/21, FW/10. Technical fouls: C/Selby, FW/Mitchell. Attendance: 3,028.