Looking to start a four-game home stand on a winning note and coming off a road win in Texas last Saturday, the Memphis Hustle were run out of the Landers Center in the second half of Monday night’s 117-107 loss to the Canton Charge.
After five straight victories, Monday’s loss was the first defeat to an NBA G League Eastern Conference club.
Now the Hustle will hope to regroup this weekend with a back-to-back Friday-Saturday set, hosting the Agua Caliente Clippers Friday and Saturday the Texas Legends, both night games starting at 7 p.m.
The four-game home stand finishes on Tuesday when the South Bay Lakers come to town.
On Monday night, a Canton team struggling to find wins in a seven-game losing streak found the right prescription in a 117-107 victory over the Hustle.
Memphis led by four at halftime 63-59, but it was Canton that controlled the second half, as the Hustle allowed 37 points in the third quarter and 21 more in the fourth, while at the same time being held to just 13 fourth-quarter points, a franchise low water mark for points in a quarter.
Monday’s defeat also was the first time the Hustle had lost after leading at halftime.
Hustle coach Brad Jones was disappointed in his team’s defensive inabilities against Canton.
“We give 36 points in the first quarter and 37 in the third,” Jones said. “Maybe you can get away with giving up 30-plus in one quarter but you can’t do it in two quarters. It’s not really who we’ve been all year but tonight, for whatever reason, we just couldn’t find whatever to match their level.”
Six Canton Charge players scored in double figures, led off the bench by Levi Randolph with 23 points. Bonzie Colson netted 18 and former Memphis Hustle Kobi Simmons was next on the scoresheet with 17 points.
The Hustle had balanced scoring, also with six players in double figures. Markel Crawford, Kyle Casey and Tarik Phillip each scored 16 points for Memphis.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Jones said, “We talk to our guys a lot about not worrying about the result but about the process. Our process was not very good tonight (Monday). We haven’t had an off-day in 10 days so after a day off Tuesday we’ll be able to come back, regroup and play two good games this weekend.”
HUSTLE TRADE COMANCHE FOR MATHEWS: Just before tipoff Monday night, the Hustle announced the team had traded its rights to forward Chance Comanche to Canton for the Charge’s Jordan Mathews and a second-round draft pick via Raptors 905.
Neither player has played for their respective G League teams this year. At 6-foot-4, Mathews has played for a Danish professional team, averaging 19.7 points a game in nearly 28 minutes of action per contest. Last season, the Gonzaga product played in 48 games and started in 11 appearances for the NBA G League’s Erie Bayhawks and averaged 8.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.4 minutes per game.
At 6-foot-10, Comanche played in 45 games and started in 14 appearances last season with the Hustle, averaging 9.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in 18.4 minutes per game.
GOING TO THE DOGS: Saturday’s game against Texas is another Memphis Hustle “Dogs Days of Winter” night. Hustle fans may bring their furry friends, with a limit of two per group, and each dog will receive free admission to the game at Landers Center. The team will wear a special dog-themed jersey that will be auctioned off to benefit the Tunica Humane Society. Other canine-themed activities are also planned that night.
HOOPS HIGHLIGHTS: In Tuesday night action, Calvin Temple scored 27 and Kevin Henry added 14 as Center Hill defeated Columbus 77-67. Eli Lamb scored 19 and Isaiah Sheffield 17 for Lewisburg in the Patriots’ 89-59 pasting of Strayhorn. C.J. Norfleet tallied 20 and Jorden Flowers 15 for Northpoint Christian as the Trojans handled Harding Academy 63-47. Donovan Sanders scored 14 and Keithean Brooks 13 for Lake Cormorant, but the Gators fell to Independence 46-42. Hernando defeated DeSoto Central 69-45 and Southaven edged Horn Lake 68-61 in other Tuesday action. Christian Terrell scored 19 for Horn Lake in the loss.
Girls results from Tuesday included Hernando moving to 15-5 with the Lady Tigers’ 52-41 victory over DeSoto Central and Amara McKay scored 24 for Northpoint Christian in the Lady Trojans’ 56-31 loss to Harding Academy.
SOCCER NOTES: Ivan Gonzalez scored a pair of goals for Center Hill in the Mustangs’ 4-1 victory over Southaven Tuesday night. Lake Cormorant edged DeSoto Central 2-1, Hernando shut out Horn Lake 1-0 and Lewisburg likewise blanked Olive Branch 3-0 in Tuesday boys’ results.
In girls soccer, Brenna Becker and Morgan Vanderburg both scored three goals in Lewisburg’s 11-2 victory over Olive Branch. It was Hernando over Horn Lake 12-0 and DeSoto Central over Lake Cormorant 4-0. Southaven won a shootout with Center Hill after the teams finished tied 2-2 after regulation and overtime.
Monday, DeSoto Central boys and girls teams both blanked their respective Strayhorn opponents 3-0 in each match.
SCHEDULE CHANGE: Center Hill’s home soccer matches with Lake Cormorant on Friday were moved up to Thursday, Jan. 10 to avoid expected rainy weather on Friday.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.