South Bay falls in final seconds to Fort Wayne

By Noah Camarena | December 22, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV (22 December 2018) – The South Bay Lakers dropped a close game to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 100-97 (box score), on Saturday afternoon. Alex Caruso scored a team-high 19 points for the Lakers (9-11) and Jemerrio Jones grabbed a double-double off the bench with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Alize Johnson led Fort Wayne (9-8) with 16 points and 22 rebounds.

The Lakers fell behind after one, 29-23, despite a combined 12 points from Andre Ingram and Jones in the first quarter. Johnson and Edmond Sumner combined for 20 points for the Mad Ants in the opening period. Fort Wayne went into the half with a 52-44 lead as Johnson tallied a 10-point, 16-rebound double-double through two quarters. Joel Berry II scored seven points in the second quarter to lead the Lakers.

The Mad Ants extended their lead after three, 78-64, as Sumner scored 11 points in the frame. Justin Harper and Scott Machado combined for 12 points in the third for South Bay. The Lakers erased a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter, behind 15 points in the quarter from Caruso, but could not come out with the win.

Johnson’s double-double and a game-high 23 points from Sumner led Fort Wayne to the win. Stephan Hicks grabbed a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Davon Reed (15 points) and Omari Johnson (10 points) each scored in double digits for the Mad Ants.

Caruso stuffed the box score for South Bay with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks. Harper provided a spark off the bench with 17 points and eight rebounds, filling in for Johnathan Williams, who left the game in the first quarter after suffering a concussion. Jones finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Berry II and Travis Wear each scored 10 points.

South Bay will return home to face the Memphis Hustle on Thursday, December 27 at 7:00pm PT from the UCLA Health Training Center. Tickets for the game are available online or at the UCLA Health Training Center box office (opens 90 minutes prior to tipoff) on the day of the game.

The NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers, the first franchise in G League history to be owned by an NBA team (Los Angeles Lakers), return for its 12th season of competition in 2018-19.  The Lakers franchise has established itself as a top producer of NBA-ready talent, totaling 30 NBA Call-Ups and developing 25 Lakers assignment players since the inaugural 2006-07 season. Last season, the Lakers returned to the playoffs for the third year in a row and saw a pair of players receive NBA Call-Ups to the Los Angeles Lakers, including Andre Ingram. The Lakers have claimed three division titles and have twice competed in the NBA G League Finals, most recently in 2015-16.