The Hustle returned to action after Wednesday’s heartbreaking loss to the Northern Arizona Suns to face off against a shorthanded Reno Bighorns squad. The Bighorns were without Aaron Harrison, David Stockon (USA) and Luis Montero (Dominican Republic) who are with their national teams qualifying for the FIBA World Cup. The Hustle were without Kobi Simmons, Myke Henry and the recently waived Durand Scott. The Hustle will be looking to avoid a season sweep to the Bighorns after losing their first two matchup’s of the season.
The first quarter started out like most Hustle games do with a high-scoring fast-paced game with neither offense able to be stopped, with both teams scoring more than 15 points in the first 6 minutes. The defenses settled in the last 6 minutes of the quarter to slow the offenses down. When the quarter was over, the Bighorns held a 30-28 lead over the Hustle. The Hustle were lead by Jeremy Morgan and JJ Frazier who had 8 points a piece while the Bighorns were lead by JaKarr Sampson’s 12 points.
Both teams continued to struggle to make shots to start the second quarter. The Bighorns were able to get whatever they wanted inside as both Austin Nichols and Chance Comanche struggled with foul trouble. The Hustle got hot from beyond the arc midway through the quarter, but started to force long range shots towards the end. The Hustle had no answer for Jack Cooley, JaKarr Sampson & Daniel Ochefu who were able to get whatever they wanted inside. The Hustle were able to battle through the foul trouble and jump to a 59-57 lead at halftime.
Omari Johnson (14 points), Jeremy Morgan (13) and Marquis Teague (12) lead the Hustle in scoring while JaKarr Sampson (16), Marcus Williams (14) and Jack Cooley (11) lead the Bighorns. The Hustle were able to get the lead by shooting 7/22 from beyond the arc while the Bighorns shot only 3/13. The Hustle were outscored 34-14 in the paint in the first half and 10-3 in second chance points.
The second half began like the first with both teams scoring at ease. Jack Cooley scored 12 points early on for the Bighorns as both teams exchanged the lead early in the quarter. Things got testy late in the quarter when JaKarr Sampson and Chance Comanche both got T’d up, followed up by a tech on the Hustle bench. At the end of the chaos, the Bighorns held a 89-84 lead over the Hustle behind Jack Cooley’s 13 points in the quarter. Austin Nichols countered Cooley with 13 points of his own but the officiating got to the Hustle late as the Bighorn free throws extended their lead to 5.
Things stayed chippy in the 4th as the fans rained down boo’s on the officials and Omari Johnson gets a tech early in the quarter. It was another fast-paced high-scoring quarter as both teams got hot shooting the ball. Chance Comanche came in the game with 6 minutes left in the game and caused Jack Cooley to pick up 3 quick fouls to send him to the bench with 5 fouls. The Hustle take the lead on a Comanche dunk and thanks to some clutch baskets by Marquis Teague the Hustle come away with the 112-110 win agains the Bighorns. All 5 Hustle players scored in double figures, lead by Marquis Teague’s 24 points and 9 assists.