Hustle Doomed by Balanced Effort from South Bay
Southaven, Miss. - The Memphis Hustle finished a four-game homestand with a 113-106 loss against the South Bay Lakers, who had eight of its 10 players in the rotation reach double figure scoring. Memphis moves to 16-11 on the season and South Bay (11-15) snapped a three-game losing skid.
The teams were tight through the early portion of the second quarter, but a 21-5 run helped South Bay build its largest lead of the game (46-35). Memphis would shoot just 27.3 percent (6-22 FG) in the second quarter and record just four assists in the first half, tying a season low for any half, as the Lakers took a 50-44 lead into halftime.
South Bay led for the rest of the game and had an answer each time the Hustle made any sort of run at the lead in the second half. With the Hustle trailing 99-91 with 4:03 remaining in the game, Markel Crawford knocked down four straight jumpers, including a three-pointer from an Ivan Rabb assist in transition to cut the lead to 102-100 with 2:23 to go. Lakers two-way player Alex Caruso responded with a three of his own after the timeout and the Hustle wouldn't recover despite a traditional three-point play by Rabb on the ensuing possession.
Two-way player Yuta Watanabe had an efficient 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting (3-4 3P) and finished one rebound shy of adouble-double. Grizzlies assignee Rabb scored 19 points off the bench. Crawford finished with 17 points. Tyler Harvey (16 points) and Dusty Hannahs (11 points) also reached double digits.
Travis Wear led the Lakers with 19 points on just 10 field goal attempts (6-10 FG; 3-6 3P). Memphis native Jonathan Williams (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Isaac Bonga (13 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles. Robert Heyer poured in a season-high 15 points off the bench. Another Memphis native, Jemerrio Jones, was one of two South Bay players that didn't reach double digit scoring (eight points), but tallied 13 rebounds and seven assists while shooting 4-of-6 from the field.
The Hustle embark on a four-game road trip, beginning with a return trip to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday, January 18 at 7 p.m. inside Bert Ogden Arena. The team returns to the Landers Center on Wednesday, January 30 at 10:30 a.m. for the team's annual Financial Literacy Education Day Game. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.
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