After having 8 days off thanks to the NBA All-Star Break, the Hustle returned home for a big matchup against the Sioux Falls Skyforce led by NBA vet Jarrett Jack and Mychal Mulder. It was also a reunion of former Arkansas Razorback teammates, as Dusty Hannahs and Daryl Macon squared off just a few days after being guests of honor at an Arkansas home game. The Hustle held just a 1.5 game lead over the Salt Lake City Stars heading into the matchup, while the Skyforce needed a win to get back in the G-League playoff race.
The Hustle were able to jump out to an early lead over the Skyforce thanks to four Jarrod Uthoff 3-pointers in the first 5 minutes of action. The Hustle led by as many as 9 in the quarter before the Skyforce slowly crawled back into the game in the tail end of the quarter and eventually tied the game. A late run in the final minute capped by an Ahmad Caver triple at the buzzer gave the Hustle a 28-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Both teams traded baskets to start the second quarter before a 3-point barrage helped the Skyforce retake the lead on the Hustle in the first 4 minutes of the quarter. The Skyforce defense really took over in the quarter, blocking what felt like every Hustle shot attempt at the rim. The stifling defensive effort lead to a ton of open 3-pointers on the offensive end for the Skyforce, which saw their lead extend to as high as 16 points. The Hustle offense got going a little bit towards the end of the quarter but the defense wasn’t able to get a stop as they ultimately went into the halftime break trailing 58-44.
The Hustle were able to cut the Skyforce lead back down to 10 after back-to-back 3’s by Yuta Watanabe and Dusty Hannahs early in the quarter. The Hustle run was halted fairly quickly, though, as the Skyforce were able to extend their lead back to 16 by the midway point of the quarter. The Hustle made another small run but the Skyforce responded in a big way jumping out to a 26 point lead to end the quarter.
The Skyforce extended their lead up to 30 points early in the 4th before the Hustle went on a run to make the score look more respectable. It ultimately wasn’t close to enough to pull out the win as the Hustle fall to the Skyforce in blowout fashion in front of the Southaven faithful. Numbers wise it was a solid game from Jarrod Uthoff (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Dusty Hannahs (22 points) but it wasn’t near enough as the Hustle lost by a final score of 120-97.