Wisconsin Herd lose third straight


Jacob Link / Advance-Titan — Wisconsin’s Jordan Bone (3) drives on Fort Wayne’s David Stockton in the Herd’s 128-110 loss on Dec. 14.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

Forward Brandon Randolph scored a career-high 25 points, but the Wisconsin Herd lost their third straight game tonight 128-110 at the Oshkosh Arena.

“I just take shots that my teammates give me,” Randolph said after the game. “I don’t try to force anything, I just let the game come to me and my teammates usually find me.”

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants (9-6) took control of the game in the third quarter after guard David Stockton, the son of NBA legend John Stockton, ignited a 21-6 run that saw the Pacer’s farm team take an 80-60 lead. The Herd (6-9) struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 30% from the charity stripe, as Wisconsin ended the quarter down 24 points.

Wisconsin head coach Chaisson Allen said the Mad Ants were able to go on the run they had in the third quarter because they were able to make the tough shots.

“We missed some free throws and some easy kick-out threes that we usually hit during that stretch,” he said. “I think that was definitely the turning point in the game and if some of those free throws drop and we hit some of those threes, it’s a different outcome.”

Fort Wayne’s Gabe York shut down any attempt at a comeback for the Herd, with the six-year G League veteran scoring 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter coming off the bench. The Herd’s Lindell Wigginton scored 13 points in the period as the team outscored the Mad Ants 37-31, but Wisconsin still found themselves down 18 points when the final buzzer sounded.

The Herd opened the game on a 5-0 run and extended their advantage to 12-6 after a free throw from Jordan Bone, but this would be the last time Wisconsin would enjoy any lead. Fort Wayne caught fire and went on a 17-2 run behind a pair of three-pointers from Justin Anderson as the Herd quickly found themselves down nine points. Anderson went on to score 11 of his 21 points in the first quarter as the period ended with the Mad Ants on top 31-27.

Early in the second quarter, the Herd kept the game close, but Pedro Bradshaw scored a string of baskets for Fort Wayne midway through the period and the Mad Ants found themselves up 10. Wigginton began to find himself in the second quarter, scoring six points with less than four minutes to go, and AJ Green hit a three-pointer to close out the first half with the Herd trailing 59-54. Randolph scored 17 points in the half to lead all scorers going into the locker room.

Allen said the game came down to one-on-one defense, something that he hopes the team will improve on.

“(Fort Wayne) did a great job of just making tough shots,” he said. “On Some, I feel like we were there defensively, but they created a lot of space and we have to do a better job of keeping the ball in front of us.”

Wigginton finished the game with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists while Bone scored 17 points and grabbed five boards. Center Sandro Mamukelashvili, a two-way player with the Milwaukee Bucks, finished the game with a season-low six points and just three rebounds.

Green, Milwaukee’s other two-way player, scored 12 points on 4-9 three-point shooting, while forward Joe Wieskamp added another 12 points.

Alex Antetokounmpo did not play because of an illness and Jontay Porter did not dress because of an undisclosed injury.

For the Mad Ants, forward Trevelin Queen had a double-double, scoring a game-high 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Center Jermaine Samuels Jr. finished the game with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds as Fort Wayne out-rebounded the Herd 51-41.

“They played some non-traditional lineups where they played small ball,” Allen said. “We had to go with a small lineup, so guys have to be aggressive and competitive in order to get those boards.”

With the loss, Wisconsin remains in sixth place in the Central Division, and is eliminated from Showcase Cup tournament contention.

“We just have to get better defensively by keeping the ball in front and we have to make some free throws,” Allen said. “Especially since they count for two points (in the G League), during those scoring runs those misses hold a lot of weight and have to go in.”

The Herd will take on the Mad Ants once again on Friday at the Oshkosh Arena at 7 p.m.