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Recap: Hustle defeated by Squadron on Superhero night

Squadron shoot lights out as Hustle can’t build off Wednesday’s win

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Iowa Wolves v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hustle return to the court following Wednesday’s win over the Iowa Wolves with a matchup against the Birmingham Squadron. It was Superhero Night down at the Landers Center and the Hustle were going to need some superhero efforts with David Stockton, Freddie Gillespie, Yves Pons and Darnell Cowart out with injuries. The Squadron come in a little shorthanded as well as they were without two-way players Jose Alvarado and Gary Clark.

Santi Aldama’s offensive dominance from Wednesday carried over into tonight as he scored 6 of the Hustle’s first 10 points. Both offenses were rolling early as the Squadron took an early 17-12 lead midway through the quarter. The Hustle responded with a mini run of their own as the Hustle and Squadron exchanged leads throughout most of the first quarter. After 4 lead changes, we had our 5th tie of the game at the end of the first as both teams were level at 25 points a piece at the end of the first quarter.

The Squadron opened the 2nd quarter on a 6-0 run to give them their largest lead of the night in the opening minute of the quarter. Naturally the Hustle respond with a 6-0 run of their own to tie things up rather quickly. Squadron responded with an 8-0 run of to give them a 41-33 lead after just 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Some mini-runs by both teams saw the Squadron end up with a 55-45 lead midway through the quarter. The teams traded baskets throughout the second half of the quarter as the Squadron ultimately found themselves up 66-58 at the halftime break.

It was a great first half from Cameron Young (16 points), Santi Aldama (13 points, 6 rebounds) and Shaq Buchanan (11 points, 4 assists) but the Hustle struggled to get much help outside of Reggie Hearn’s 9 first half points. The Squadron shot 10-20 from beyond the arc in the first half, outscoring the Hustle by 15 from distance in the half.

The Hustle were able to jump back into the game early in the 3rd quarter, using a 16-11 run to cut the Squadron lead down to 3 by the midway point of the quarter. The Hustle offense cooled off after cutting it down to 3, as the Squadron were able to jump back up to a 10 point lead a few minutes later. The Squadron took a 98-84 lead into the 4th quarter.

The Squadron continued their run in the 4th as they jumped out an 18 point lead in the opening minutes of the final frame. The Squadron led by as much as 21 early in the 4th, but the Hustle were able to fight back and make it a game midway through the quarter. The Squadron were able to respond and ultimately take the win in Southaven with a final score of 129-116.

The Squadron had 7 players in double figures and outscored the Hustle 50-7 in bench points. The Hustle were down some key guys and despite a valiant effort, the numbers don’t lie.

Quick Hitters

  • Santi Aldama is good. Aldama flashed his skills for the second night this week with the Hustle, finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Aldama is expected to be one of the best players on the floor in the G League and he hasn’t disappointed throughout this assignment.
  • A rough night for Tyrell Terry. It was a tough game for Tyrell Terry against a physical Squadron team. Terry got frustrated early with the lack of calls and missed a few shots he’s accustomed to making. His 5-13 shooting from the field isn’t terrible by any means but the physicality of the Squadron really messed with him all night.
  • Cameron Young the pick up of the season. Young’s story continues to be one of the best ones of the G League season. Young was waived by the South Bay Lakers during training camp and was picked up by the Hustle early in the Showcase Cup season. Young has then scored 20+ points in 8 of 18 games with the Hustle including tonight’s 26 point showing.
  • It’s Shaq’s time to shine. Shaq Buchanan has really stepped up for the Hustle while the injuries pile up around him. He’s had to do a little bit of everything for the Hustle and tonight was another bright example. Shaq finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss.

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