The Hustle played their second game against the Oklahoma City Blue in less than a week. The Hustle were shorthanded playing without Jeremy Morgan, Austin Nichols and Shaquille Thomas due to injury. In the second game of a back-to-back, the Hustle were facing a daunting task.
It was an ugly start to the first quarter as the Blue made four 3 pointers and the Hustle defense was nearly non-existent. The Hustle didn’t do themselves any favors on the offensive end, forcing 3’s and turning the ball over 5 times. The Hustle shot 33% from the field (4-11 from 3) while allowing the Blue to shoot 50% overall.
The Hustle were lead by Trahson Burrell who had 8 points, making two 3’s but also picking up two early fouls. Bryce Alford started out hot for the Blue with 13 points on 4-5 shooting (3-4 from deep). The Blue lead the Hustle 30-20 after the first.
The Hustle started the quarter with a quick 5-0 run highlighted by a Marquise Teague 3. Turnovers killed the momentum as the Blue quickly ran back out to a double-digit lead. The Hustle were dominated in the pain in the second quarter, being outscored in the second quarter 24-12 (38-20 overall). The Hustle finished the first half strong, cutting the lead to 61-50 after being down as many as 19 points.
Marquise Teague had a 11 point quarter, including three 3’s. Omari Johnson and Ivan Rabb both chipped in 9 points apiece to go along with Teague’s 13 total points. Daniel Hamilton had 10 points in the quarter bringing his scoring total to 12 to go along with Bryce Alford’s 17.
The third quarter started with a quick Blue run as the Hustle got themselves in foul trouble. Turnovers and Bryce Alford stretched the Blue lead to as high as 26 in the quarter. A couple of Dusty Hannah’s 3’s and some defensive stops brought the Hustle back in it with a 94-74 score at the end of the third quarter. Bryce Alford finished the quarter with a 24 points for the game, shooting 5-7 from deep. Myke Henry had a big 15 point quarter for the Blue, while Dusty Hannah’s chipped in 9 of his own.
The Hustle ended up with 5 turnovers in the quarter, with most of them coming early when the Blue built a huge lead.
Kobi Simmons starts the 4th with a quick 8-2 run, getting himself going after a 1-8 start to the game bringing the Hustle within 20. Hot 3 point shooting from Dusty, Kobi and Omari cut the Blue lead to 8 early in the fourth, making this a game again. The defense intensity has picked up in the 4th, forcing Blue misses and getting the Hustle out on the fast break. Unfortunately for the Hustle, Bryce Alford came back in and immediately drained a 3, then got fouled on another 3 point attempt to extend the Blue lead back to double digits.
The Hustle had one more comeback effort in them, as they cut the lead to 3 with less than 20 seconds left. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to hold off Bryce Alford and the Blue as they come out with the 127-123 victory.