The Hustle returned home from a 4 game road trip for a one game home stand against former Memphis Tiger Jeremiah Martin and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. After picking up their first loss of the season on the road trip, the Hustle came home riding just a 2 game winning streak and would be without Josh Jackson for the second straight game as he was suspended for a violation of team rules (missed team meeting). The Hustle would also be without Dusty Hannahs (back) and Yuta Watanabe (with Grizzlies) for the matchup while the Skyforce would just be without Chris Silva (with Heat).
The Hustle were able to jump out to an early lead over the Skyforce thanks to 12 points from Marquis Teague over the first half of the quarter. The Hustle defense stepped up in the quarter forcing the Skyforce into some tough shots, particularly from beyond the arc where the Skyforce shot 1-9 in the quarter. The Hustle were led by Teague’s 12 points, with Matt Mooney chipping in 6 points as well to give the Hustle a 29-21 lead at the end of the first.
The Hustle couldn’t gain much more separation from the Skyforce in the second quarter as both teams seemingly traded baskets all quarter long. The Hustle went on a small run towards the end of the quarter as they were able to extend their lead to 14 before the Skyforce cut it back down to single digits at the half. The Hustle led 52-43 behind Marquis Teague’s 16 points. All 9 Hustle players got in the scoring column but it was an uncharactistic offensive half for the team as they committed 9 turnovers (average 14 per game) and just 8 assists. Fortunately for the Hustle, the Skyforce’s poor shooting from beyond the arc continued in the second quarter, where they shot 1-6 from deep.
The Hustle came out sluggish to start the second half, allowing the Skyforce to take the lead early in the quarter. The Hustle responded by hitting three 3’s in a row to retake and build their lead back up to 8 points. The Skyforce, led by an offensive attack by Jeremiah Martin, stormed back to take a 77-73 lead into the 4th quarter.
The Hustle and Skyforce traded leads through the first half of the 4th quarter, as neither team could gain any sort of momentum to pull away. The Hustle were able to gain a little separation midway through the quarter, extending their lead to 6 but couldn’t quite pull away from the Skyforce. Fortunately enough, the Hustle were able to extend their lead to double digits late in the game and ultimately pull out the win over the Skyforce to improve to 12-1 on the season.
- 2017-2018 Marquis Teague is back
- Ahmad Caver has been huge for the Hustle of late
- Matt Mooney and Jarrod Uthoff continue to be sneaky good pickups
Marquis Teague- 27 points, 3 assists
Matt Mooney- 23 points, 5 assists, 4 steals
Ahmad Caver- 15 points, 4 rebounds
Jarrod Uthoff- 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals
John Konchar- 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists