Marquis Teague drove, spun off his defender and tossed in a contested layup at the buzzer to give the Memphis Hustle a 127-125 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at Landers Center Wednesday night. Despite the high-scoring affair, the Hustle’s defensive efforts held the high-octane Vipers scoreless in the final 1:48 and to just four points in the final 3:32 to help secure the victory.
Early in the game it looked like Rio Grande Valley’s night as the Vipers led by as many as 16 in the first quarter while hitting 10 of their first 15 shots, four of their first six three-point attempts and all eight free throws in the first eight minutes of the game. Following the height of the Vipers lead, the Hustle went on an 18-5 run over the next 3:58 to cut the lead to 40-37 with 11:14 remaining in the second frame. Memphis eventually gained its first lead late in the period and took a 65-62 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter lead belonged mostly to the Hustle until three consecutive three-pointers broke a 92-92 tie and put the Vipers back up by nine and eventually by six to enter the fourth quarter, which featured seven ties and three lead changes. After the Vipers took a 125-123 lead on an R.J. Hunter layup with 1:48 remaining, the Hustle’s defensive stops along with a Chance Comanche putback layup with 35.9 seconds remaining followed by Teague’s heroics earned the victory for Memphis.
All five Memphis starters reached double-digits led by Teague’s 31 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three-point range. Teague also tied a game-high eight assists to go with five rebounds. Trahson Burrell poured in 20 points off the bench along with seven rebounds. Comanche posted his (13 points, 13 rebounds) second double-double of the season. Omari Johnson and Kobi Simmons chipped in 17 points apiece while Jeremy Morgan (15 points, 4-8 3P) fell one-point shy of his season-high for scoring.
Former Grizzlies forward and Rockets assignee Troy Williams scored a game-high 32 points (7-11 3P), including 20 in the first half to lead the Vipers. Rockets two-way player Hunter had a productive stat line of 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Denver two-way player Monte Morris had an almost identical line, scoring 20 points to go with eight assists and six rebounds. Rockets assignee Zhou Qi chipped in 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
The Hustle begin a three-game road trip tomorrow night against the Austin Spurs at 7:30 p.m. CT and will return home on Friday, Feburary 9 at 7 p.m. as the team takes on the Agua Caliente Clippers on Faith and Family Night, presented by Belhaven University, at Landers Center. Tickets are still available and start for as low as $10. Fans can purchase tickets at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-Hoop.