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Last updated: Fri. Jan. 31, 2014 - 03:50 am EDT

Up next for the Mad Ants: Tonight at first-place Canton

It's the start of back-to-back battles with the Charge

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For more on the Mad Ants, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

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Up next for the Mad Ants: Tonight at Canton Charge

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Canton Memorial Civic Center, Canton, Ohio

On the Web: NBA.com/dleague

Records: Mad Ants (15-10), Canton (16-9)

Expected starters for the Mad Ants: Ron Howard – 6-5 guard, 23.0 ppg; Trey McKinney-Jones – 6-6 guard, 17.8 ppg; Sadiel Rojas – 6-4 guard, 12.9 ppg; Will Frisby – 6-8 forward, 6.8 ppg; Chris Porter – 6-9 forward, 9.0 ppg.

Mad Ants update: Entering the second half of the season, the Ants are one game behind Canton in the D-League East Division heading into back-to-back games with the Charge. The teams play tonight in Canton and Saturday night in Fort Wayne. … In their last meeting Jan. 22, the Charge beat the Ants 120-99, shooting 61 percent from the field, but Fort Wayne holds a 2-1 season edge. … The Ants are expected to have Pistons rookies Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell assigned to them this weekend, but they are not expected to play until Saturday night's game. … The Cleveland Cavaliers have sent the Charge their guard/forward Sergey Karasev, who has averaged 13 points per game in six games in Canton this season. … Mad Ants guard Trey McKinney-Jones has averaged 20.3 points per game over the last seven games, a stretch in which the Ants were 5-2. McKinney-Jones has moved up to 15th in the D-League in scoring. Ron Howard (23 ppg) ranks fourth. ... Saturday night's game at Memorial Coliseum will be "Faith & Family Night" with a postgame concert by the band Sevenglory.

Mad Ants coach Conner Henry: “Overall, I want our execution just to be better. We have X number of plays, X number of defensive rotations, we just need to be better at executing. (Canton) is a good defensive club. They take our pick-and-roll stuff away and are very aggressive doing that. We've got to be better out of that, and what that usually means is throwing out earlier and one more pass. Getting them to scrambling a little bit more. We have to defend the rim better with our bigs. They torched us last time with points in the paint. Torched us. Give them credit, that was one of the better games they played all year. Their coach and general manager both mentioned that and I don't think it was just a consolation speech trying to make me feel better. I think that was the truth. We're right there with them. We have put ourselves in a pretty good spot. We're at the halfway point, there's no time to stop now in what we're doing.”

rhayes@news-sentinel.com


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