The Memphis Hustle lost to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 126-125 in a back-and-forth battle on Monday night at Sanford Pentagon.
Sioux Falls opened up the game quickly, leading 19-6 in the first 4:45 and making eight of their first nine shots. The Hustle then used a 16-2 run to take their first lead. The Memphis defense slowed the pace down, forcing eight Skyforce turnovers in the first quarter while knocking down 11-of-21 shots from the floor (4-8 3PT) to lead 32-29 at the end of the period.
The offenses continued to roll, as both teams finished the half shooting above 50 percent (Hustle .522, Skyforce .564) from the floor. The Hustle forced 13 turnovers in the first half while committing eight. Memphis scored 18 fast break points compared to Sioux Falls’ seven. There were 12 lead changes in the first half as the Skyforce led 67-66 at intermission.
Jevon Carter caught fire in the third quarter, shooting 7-for-9 to score 14 points in the period and help give the Hustle their largest lead of the game (11). The Hustle blocked four shots in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Carter stole a pass and scored a layup with 34 seconds left to put the Hustle within one. After a Skyforce miss, Dusty Hannahs hit a three-pointer with 15.9 seconds remaining to give Memphis a 125-123 lead. Duncan Robinson would immediately respond with a three of his own with 9.2 left, which would prove to be the game-winner.
The Hustle shot 50-of-94 (.532) in the game while the Skyforce went 43-of-82 (.524). Both teams also shot the three well, with Memphis making 12-of-23 (.522) and Sioux Falls hitting 14-of-28 (.500). Free throws were also crucial, as Sioux Falls went 26-for-34 (.765) from the line and the Hustle shot 13-for-18 (.722). The Skyforce turned the ball over 21 times while the Hustle committed 18. The game had a total of 26 lead changes and 18 ties.
Carter led the Hustle with 29 points (20 in the second half) while getting six steals. Brandon Goodwin scored 27. Dusty Hannahs came off the bench to score 17, including going 3-for-3 from three in the fourth quarter. Tyler Harvey added 15 while shooting a perfect 5-5 from three-point range. Kyle Casey chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds. Yuta Watanabe grabbed 10 rebounds to go with seven points and two blocks.
Yante Maten logged a double-double, leading all scorers with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Robinson finished with 29 points on 7-of-12 three-point shooting. Bubu Palo and former Memphis Grizzlies guard Briante Weber each scored 17. DeAndre Liggins had 11 points.
The Hustle return for their home opener on Friday, November 9 against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are still available starting at $10 and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.