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Hustle Fall To Reno For Second Time In A Week

Despite two separate double digit leads, the Hustle couldn’t hang on against the Bighorns

Memphis Hustle v Sioux Falls Skyforce Photo by Dave Eggen/NBAE via Getty Images

It was a chippy affair at the Landers Center as the Memphis Hustle fell to the Reno Bighorns 118-113 after losing at Reno earlier in the week. Memphis led by 10 in the first and 12 in the third but failed to slow down an aggressive Reno offense.

Reno, the affiliate of the Sacramento Kings, was mouthy all game, stemming from another heated contest with the Hustle in Nevada which the Bighorns won 133-104. JaKarr Sampson was the leader for Reno in the talking and balling departments. He had 17 and 10 on 7 of 12 shooting from the floor. David Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John Stockton, had 22 points and a game high +/- of +18.

Marquis Teague was the game’s leading scorer with 25 and added 5 rebounds and four assists. Durand Scott tacked on 21 while two way player Vince Hunter was one of two Hustle players to nab a double double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Trahson Burrell was the other, putting up 14 and 10.

A controversial call went the wrong way for the home team late in the fourth quarter. Memphis had just cut the game to four with a steal and an and-one when Reno threw an inbound pass right to forward Trahson Burrell. However, a whistle blew the play dead, and after a meeting at the free throw line, the referees determined Marquis Teague had touched the ball while it was out of bounds, constituting a delay of game. As a result the Bighorns got two free throws and the ball, effectively icing the game.

The difference in the game came down to free throws and fastbreaks. Reno shot 24 freebies at an almost 90 percent clip. Although Memphis had more attempts with, 33 it shot 78.8 percent. Not bad, but also not almost 90 percent.

The Bighorns were also much faster than the Hustle. Reno had 28 points off 19 Hustle turnovers while Memphis scored 10 less points on a comparable amount of Reno cough-ups.

Through three the Hustle held a 10 point lead, 91-81. After allowing the Bighorns to shoot over 65 percent in the first quarter, the Hustle’s defense brought them back to earth. Reno shot only 45.9% after the third and it had coughed the ball up 16 times, eight of which were Hustle steals.

It was a back and forth affair at the half as Reno led by two, 64-62. The home team looked to be losing its composure, going down by 16 at one point and accruing three technical fouls in the half. However, a couple of high energy plays from Vince Hunter and Austin Nichols—who spiked home an electric Statute of Liberty dunk—seized the momentum heading into the tunnel.

JaKarr Sampson made his presence known in the first half. He put up 14 points and nine boards on 60 percent shooting and looked more impressive than anyone else on the court. He, along with Jack Cooley, are two-way players for the Kings, so that pretty much explains that.

The Hustle led by 10 early in the first but squandered its lead thanks to a strong performance from Jack Cooley. The former Fighting Irishman led the Bighorns to a 39-27 lead with 12 points on five of seven shooting while JaKarr Sampson added 10 and six rebounds. Teague and Scott were the high point men for the Hustle in the first with seven apiece.

Memphis also played poorly defensively. The Bighorns shot 66.7 percent from the floor on 24 attempts in the period. The Hustle shot 50 percent on 22 shots.

The Hustle will play again Thursday evening against the Oklahoma City Blue in Southaven.