Desoto County Sports

Hustle sputter in loss to Delaware 

Photo: Jake LaRavia of the Memphis Hustle looks to drive on Louis King of the Delaware Blue Coats during Saturday’s game at the Landers Center. (Bob Bakken/

The Delaware Blue Coats left the Landers Center Saturday with a split of the two-game back-to-back NBA G League series with the Memphis Hustle after a 129-120 victory. 

Seven Blue Coats (76ers) scored in double figures to offset a second-straight night of 30 or more points from the Hustle’s Kenneth Lofton Jr., who was the team’s high point man with 31 points, following a 33-point night in Friday’s overtime victory.

Saturday was Hustle and Hounds Night, which included dogs on a leash let into the arena free, and these jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. (Bob Bakken/

Memphis trailed 35-32 after one quarter despite nine points from Jake LaRavia and fell behind by four points at halftime at 72-68, although Matt Hurt came off the bench to score 15 of his 20 points in the opening half of play.  

The Hustle did recover to take a 102-99 lead after three quarters with Lofton leading the scoring with 26 points and LaRavia at 18 for the game when the third quarter ended.    

However, Memphis entered a scoring drought in the final period, held to 18 fourth-quarter points while Delaware found the range for 30 points in the fourth quarter for the victory.  Memphis has now lost three of its last four games ahead of a crucial two-game home series against Birmingham Tuesday and Thursday at the Landers Center.  The Squadron, at 4-14, give the Hustle a chance for a bounce back, but not if they play like they did Saturday, said an obviously disappointed coach Jason March after the game.  

“Our execution was absolutely pathetic. It’s embarrassing,” March said.  

Mac McClung led Delaware with 22 points, followed by Jaden Springer and Louis King, each with 21. 

Lofton added 12 rebounds to his game-high 31 points as the only player to hit a double-double. Hurt’s 20 points was followed by LaRavia with 18 and Dakota Mathias with 17.  


  • Memphis’ 10-4 (.714)  record entering Saturday’s game was the fourth-best in the NBA G League. The Long Island Nets had the league’s best mark at 13-3 (.813) to lead the Eastern Conference, followed by the Western Conference-leading Stockton Kings at 11-3 (.786). Cleveland, the second-place team in the East is at 9-3 overall (.750), followed by the Hustle. 
  • Memphis was unbeaten at home in the regular season before Saturday’s loss at 6-0. Jacob Gilyard of the Memphis Hustle led the NBA G League in assist/turnover ratio at 5.0 (135 assists/27 turnovers). Teammate Terrell Brown is tied for second at 4.2 (38 assists/9 turnovers)
  • Delaware entered Saturday’s game with an 8-5 overall record in the regular season and was 4-2 in games away from home. The affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers is 1-1 in overtime games.  
  • Delaware coach Coby Karl is the son of former NBA coach George Karl.  It’s the second NBA G League head coaching job for Coby Karl, who was the head coach of the South Bay Lakers for five years before joining the Sixers organization as Delaware’s head coach in 2021. 
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies was among those who came to watch Saturday’s game at the Landers Center.
  • The Delaware Blue Coats name recognizes the 1st Delaware Regiment soldiers of the American Revolution who were distinguished by their blue garb. They were referred to as the Delaware Blues.

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