The Memphis Hustle (23-9) dropped the second game of a back-to-back Saturday night by a score of 117-105 against the Santa Cruz Warriors inside Kaiser Permanente Arena. The loss marks the first time in four tries this season that Memphis has dropped the second game of a back-to-back.
The Hustle scored the first two buckets of the game, but Santa Cruz would take control through the middle of the period and took a 25-18 lead into the second media timeout. Memphis promptly went on an 8-0 run over a span of 1:30 to retake the lead, but the Warriors responded with a free throw followed by a three-pointer by Jeremy Pargo and boasted a 30-28 lead after the first.
Memphis scored the first six points of the second quarter before the teams played to 10 lead changes in the period. With the Hustle leading 51-50 at the 2:11 mark, Santa Cruz closed the half on an 11-0 run punctuated by two three-pointers from Andrew Harrison. The Warriors forced the league’s leader in fewest turnovers into 11 in the first half, leading to 15 points for Santa Cruz. Memphis, who entered the game leading the league in three-point percentage, missed all six of its three-point attempts in the first half and finished the game shooting just 4-of-27 (.148).
Santa Cruz pushed the lead to as many as 16 (83-67) before Memphis closed the final 4:05 of the period on a 12-2 run to cut the margin to 85-79 entering the final frame. An 8-3 burst by the Hustle to start the fourth quarter cut the Santa Cruz lead to just one, but the Warriors quickly pushed the lead back to multiple possessions and maintained it through the rest of the game. After an Ahmad Caver three cut the Warriors lead to 101-96 with 6:06 remaining, Santa Cruz scored nine unanswered points over the next 4:02 to push the lead back to 14 and seal the deal.
Marquis Teague led Memphis with 27 points to go with five assists. Jarrod Uthoff set a new franchise mark with 19 rebounds while pouring in 16 points. Shaq Buchanan continued his production since being inserted into the starting lineup, posting 16 points and eight boards. Venky Jois recorded season highs in points (14), rebounds (8) and assists (4) off the bench. Ahmad Caver scored 17 points in a reserve role while Dusty Hannahs added 10 points.
The Warriors had seven of their nine players that saw action reach double figures. Pargo finished the game with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting off the bench. Juan Toscano-Anderson (16 points, 11 rebounds) posted a double-double for Santa Cruz. Ky Bowman didn’t reach double digits in scoring, but flirted with a triple-double and tallied eight points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.
Memphis returns home on Thursday, Feb. 6 for its third annual Financial Literacy Education Day Game, presented by Renasant Bank, with tip-off set for 10:30 a.m. CT against the Oklahoma City Blue. Tickets are still available starting at $10 each and fans wishing to attend can purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com, the Landers Center Box Office, online at MemphisHustle.com or by calling (901) 888-HOOP.