The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, fell 98-77 to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Saturday night at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Two players scored in double figures led by Tre’Darius McCallum who tallied career-highs with 26 points on 10 field goals and six rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Rawle Alkins collected his second consecutive double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds and career-high-tying six assists, while CJ Fair added eight points, six rebounds and career-high five blocked shots. Ferrakohn Hall and Mychal Mulder each had seven points and Jon Octeus pitched in with five points and four rebounds.
Fort Wayne was without their leading scorer, Edmond Sumner, but had four players in double figures. Alize Johnson recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 22 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Omari Johnson netted a season-high 19 points and added eight rebounds and three assists, while Rob Gray and Davon Reed tallied 17 points apiece. Stephen Hicks posted nine points and seven rebounds.
Fort Wayne jumped out to an early lead as they scored the first five points of the contest. Conversely, Windy City struggled at the outset as they began the game 1-for-9 from the floor, while missing all seven of their three-pointers in that span. After scoring their first basket 53 seconds into the game, the Bulls went scoreless for a five-minute stretch before a Mulder layup snapped that streak with 6:02 remaining. Fair and McCallum led all Bulls players with five points apiece, but no other Windy City player had more than two points in the period. In total. Windy City shot 27 percent in the opening 12 minutes, while shooting 1-for-12 from three. Conversely, Fort Wayne shot 44 percent and led 23-15 at the end of the first quarter.
McCallum cut the lead to six by scoring the opening basket of the second quarter, but Fort Wayne responded with a 7-2 run to retake a double-digit lead. Windy City found themselves down by six once more as Gates collected an old-fashioned three-point play with 6:33 remaining, but that was the final basket the Bulls scored until the final second of the first half. Following the free throw, the Mad Ants rattled off 10 consecutive points and opened their largest lead of the first half on back-to-back three by Reed. As a team, Fort Wayne shot 31 percent in the quarter, but managed to outscore the Bulls 20-16 in the period. Windy City scored the final points of the half as Alkins recorded a three-point play, but the Bulls trailed 43-31 at the intermission.
Windy City’s offensive woes persisted in the third quarter as they tallied four points in the opening seven minutes of the period. The Mad Ants found their rhythm and used an extended 17-0 run to blow the game wide open. At one point, the Bulls went nearly six minutes in between field goals, which led to a 30-point Fort Wayne lead, their largest of night. However, Windy City’s offense picked up steam late in the quarter as they scored the final 12 points of the stanza. The Bulls were outscored by six, but on the heels of the late third quarter run, Windy City trailed by only 18 heading into the final 12 minutes.
McCallum recorded eight points in the third quarter and continued his career night as he scored six of the Bulls first 11 fourth quarter points. The once 30-point lead was sliced to 10 on a personal 5-0 run by Alkins with just over six minutes left to play. Windy City was unable to inch closer as Fort Wayne responded with a 9-0 run of their own to put the game out of reach. Despite the valiant effort, the Mad Ants collected their fifth victory of the season, 98-77.
With the loss, Windy City has dropped both head-to-head meetings against Fort Wayne this season and are 1-9 all-time against the Mad Ants.
Windy City returns home Monday night and hosts the South Bay Lakers for the first time in franchise history. The Bulls are 0-2 all-time against the Lakers with both losses coming on the road. Tip-off at Sears Centre Arena is set for 7:00pm CT.