Omari Johnson tied a career-high with 30 points and posted a new career-high for rebounds (16), leading the Memphis Hustle to a 128-116 road victory over the Northern Arizona Suns Friday night at Prescott Valley Events Center. For the second straight game, the Hustle competed with just eight available players. With the win, Memphis took the regular season series against Northern Arizona 2-1.
Roles reversed from Wednesday night’s game in South Bay as the Suns raced out to a 26-14 lead with 5:05 remaining in the opening frame, but the Hustle fought back to take a 40-37 lead early in the second quarter when Dusty Hannahs got the hoop and the harm. However, the Suns eventually regained the lead and stretched it back to 11 before taking a 60-55 lead into halftime.
The teams battled to a 94-94 tie by the end of the third quarter before Memphis took control in the final period. Northern Arizona held a 101-98 lead with 9:39 to go before a 22-6 Hustle run over the next 7:21 sealed the deal for the visitors.
Johnson continued his exceptional play of late, particularly in the second half as he racked up 23 points and nine rebounds while knocking down 7-of-10 three-point attempts. His eight three-pointers for the game (8-12 3P) tied both a career-high and his own Memphis Hustle record which was set in the team’s previous meeting with Northern Arizona on February 21 at Landers Center. Over his last eight games, Johnson is averaging 23.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, including 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in his last four appearances.
Marquis Teague had another solid game with 22 points and a team-high nine assists. Hannahs (18 points, 7-13 FG) and Austin Nichols (17 points, seven rebounds, three blocks) also turned in solid performances. J.J. Frazier had his best outing yet in a Hustle uniform, scoring a career-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Jeremy Morgan (13 points) also scored in double digits and snatched eight rebounds.
Josh Gray recorded a triple-double for Northern Arizona, posting 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Alec Peters also had a monster game for the Suns, scoring a game-high 34 points to go with 10 rebounds. Xavier Silas chipped in with 19 points while Archie Goodwin also scored in double digits with 11 points.
The Hustle complete the three-game trip on Sunday, March 4 at Kaiser Permanente Arena with tip-off set for 8 p.m. CT. The Hustle’s next home game takes place on Saturday, March 10 at noon against the Santa Cruz Warriors. 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.