Desoto County Sports

Hustle rally falls short to Santa Cruz

The Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ NBA G League affiliate, fell 116-111 to the Santa Cruz Warriors inside AdventHealth Arena on Thursday afternoon.

The Warriors came out hot, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range in the opening quarter. Jordan Poole got things going early on with 10 of his 26 points in the first nine minutes of the game. The Hustle shot just 12.5 percent from three in the first quarter and allowed 11 points off turnovers. The Hustle got things going in the second quarter as they totaled 39 points while shooting 71.4 percent from the floor. David Stockton came one-point shy of the Hustle franchise record with 21 points in the second quarter (Tarik Phillip, 22). Stockton connected on a 3-pointer as the horn sounded to cap off a massive 33-9 run and trim the Santa Cruz lead to 61-60 heading to the halftime break. Stockton finished the first-half 10-of-12 shooting, tying his career-high for field goals in a half (Mar. 4, 2015).

Both teams traded baskets to start the third quarter before Memphis stretched their lead to as many as nine points at 77-68 with 7:12 to play in the quarter following a 3-pointer from Stockton. Santa Cruz immediately responded with a 17-7 run to regain the lead at 84-83. Memphis eventually held a 107-106 lead with 2:00 to play in the game after Ahmad Caver connected on an acrobatic layup. Santa Cruz then scored eight of the next 10 points to stretch their lead to 114-109 with under 20 seconds to play. The Hustle would not connect on another basket for the remainder of the game, settling for only two free-throws on their way to a 116-111 loss. Caver scored 10 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, but it would not be enough, as Santa Cruz picked up their sixth-straight win.

Stockton finished with a game-high and season-high 33 points (13-21 FG, 5-11 3P) to go with five assists, four rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. Caver totaled 25 points, six rebounds and four assists on 11-of-14 shooting. Shaq Buchanan pitched in 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes off the bench. Bennie Boatwright posted a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes as Memphis dropped to (3-7) on the season.

Poole totaled 26 points, seven rebounds and two assists on 9-of-18 shooting to lead Santa Cruz. Dusty Hannahs added 21 points, five assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes. Axel Toupane tallied 19 points, five rebounds and three assists to help Santa Cruz move to (7-3).

The Hustle return to action Saturday, Feb. 27, against the Iowa Wolves at 6:30 p.m. CT inside HP Field House. Fans can watch the game on ESPN2.

For more information on the Memphis Hustle, visit, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@MemphisHustle) or like Memphis Hustle on Facebook.

Box score

Memphis Hustle news release

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