The Maine Red Claws (18-31) kept Crustacean Nation happy, closing out the home portion of the 2010-11 regular season with a 105-100 win over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (23-26) in front of a sellout crowd, the Red Claws 48th straight packed house. The win put a dent in the Mad Ants’ post-season plans. The Ants entered the game with a slim half game lead over the Texas Legends and one game over the Idaho Stampede. The Legends are in action tonight against the Austin Toros.
The Red Claws started out strong with an early 10-0 run. The Mad Ants narrowed the lead to just two by the half. Maine opened up another ten-point lead in the third, only to see Fort Wayne battle back to narrow the gap to three at the end of three. In the end, it came down to clutch free throws made by Maine’s Craig Winder and Kenny Hayes in the waning moments to seal the victory for the home team.
Maine’s Magnum Rolle put in a strong effort, earning the double-double and adidas Player of the Game honors with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Red Claws Rookie of the Year candidate DeShawn Sims led all scorers with 26 points while adding 7 rebounds while Craig Winder completed Maine’s high scorers with 19.
Fort Wayne’s Marvin Phillips picked up 21 points on the night while just missing the double-double with 9 rebounds. Former Red Claw Darnell Lazare put in another solid effort with 19 points while perennial Red Claws killer Chris Kramer added 17 with nine assists.
With 6-12” of snow expected overnight into the morning, the Red Claws will hope to beat the storm out of Maine tomorrow morning as they head to Erie to face the BayHawks Saturday in their final game of the 2010-11 season. The Mad Ants are also scheduled to depart Portland tomorrow morning, heading to Sioux Falls to close out their regular season against the Skyforce Saturday.