OSHKOSH, Wis. – The Wisconsin Herd battled back from a double-digit deficit at half to claim the 101-99 win in a down-to-the-wire battle against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in front of a sellout crowd at Menominee Nation Arena on Friday night.
The first half was evenly matched, with the lead switching hands between the Herd and Mad Ants numerous times. Fort Wayne held just a four-point lead with 2:25 left in the second quarter, but guard Edmond Sumner ignited a 7-0 run for the Mad Ants, scoring all points from that point forward to end the half with his team in the lead, 49-38. Wisconsin outshot Fort Wayne in the opening half (41.5 percent to 38.3 percent) but couldn’t get any of their 10 attempts from beyond the arc to fall. Instead, the Herd relied on scoring from close range, with 32 of their 38 points coming from the paint, led by center Shevon Thompson’s 19.
Wisconsin responded to Fort Wayne’s momentum-shifting run heading into half with a hot third quarter, shooting 61.9 percent and four-for-eight from three-point range. Despite finding their rhythm from deep, the Herd still relied on Thompson’s output from inside. The seven-footer scored 10 in the third quarter to help Wisconsin outscore Fort Wayne 37-27 in the period and shrink the deficit to one heading into the fourth. The final 12 minutes saw the lead change hands three times and came down to a Mad Ants’ shot at the buzzer that nearly missed, which would have won them the game.
The Herd’s narrow win came on the back of Shevon Thompson’s historic performance. He finished with a career-high 32 points and was just one rebound shy from a career milestone with 18, both highs for the game. Guard Xavier Munford also shined in his second game back from being called up to the USAB Men’s World Cup Qualifying Team, tallying 24 points, three boards, five assists and three steals.
The Mad Ants’ top performer was Edmond Sumner, who led his team with 26 points. Guard Stephan Hicks recorded a double-double in the loss, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Forward Travin Thibodeaux had a standout performance on the defensive side of the ball, recording six steals and six rebounds.