Hustle Stifled by Warriors for Third Straight Loss
Southaven, Miss. - The Memphis Hustle (17-15) dropped a 110-91 decision to the Santa Cruz Warriors Monday at Landers Center for the team's third straight loss. Santa Cruz moved to 24-8 and tightened its grip on first place in the Western Conference. Over 4,000 students from the DeSoto County area were in attendance for the team's annual Financial Literacy Education Day Game presented by Renasant Bank.
Memphis' 91 points mark a season-low for the team. It is the third straight game the team has been held below 100 points after being held below the century mark just once prior. Santa Cruz entered the game leading the league in defensive rating (98.0).
The Hustle fell behind early, starting slow in each of the first two quarters. Santa Cruz started the game on an 11-2 run and held a 29-23 lead after the first quarter. The Warriors opened the second frame on a 6-0 run and pushed the lead to 54-36 at halftime. Santa Cruz extended the lead to as many as 26 in the third quarter.
Grizzlies two-way player Yuta Watanabe led the Hustle with 18 points to go with four boards, three assists and three steals. Watanabe also knocked down 3-of-5 three-point attempts. Kyle Casey (14 points, nine rebounds) fell one rebound shy of a double-double. Tarik Phillip, Markel Crawford and Dusty Hannahs had 10 points apiece.
Kendrick Nunn scored a game-high 30 points in 32 minutes off the bench to lead the Warriors attack. Will Cherry added 21 points and a game-high seven assists. Warriors assignee Jacob Evans III posted 18 points. Juan Toscano-Anderson (13 points, 11 rebounds) posted a double-double for Santa Cruz.
The Hustle will take on Midwest Division rival Iowa Wolves on Saturday, February 2 at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena. The team returns to Landers Center on Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m. to take on the Agua Caliente Clippers. 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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