Marquis Teague has the final say on the Hustle’s 1-2 week
Gameweek 13 for the Hustle ended up as a promising one: Memphis finished with 1-2 record in the three-game home series, but capped it off with Marquis Teague’s buzzer beating layup against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers yesterday. In other news, Kobi Simmons had himself a week with a stellar point haul in one game and notable contributions in others, while Chance Comanche also stepped up to the plate with consistent performances. All in all, a decent week with some decent performances despite two losses.
To kick off a three-game series of home games, the Hustle relied on a big three to provide scoring. While the players stepped up to the plate, some extra points from unusual sources may have helped push the game across the line. But, ultimately, the Hustle fell 118-112 against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. To be honest, the game could have been much worse, with Fort Wayne using the 2nd quarter to catapult itself into a 16-point lead on the back of 40 points. In the fourth quarter, the Hustle outscored the Mad Ants 44-25, but that wasn’t enough to make up the deficit.
Impressively, both Chance Comanche and Kobi Simmons had career nights. Comanche scored 33 points on an astounding 15-16 shooting. Those 15 made field goals are also the most buckets made by a Hustle player this season, so hats off to Comanche. Trying not to be outdone, Kobi Simmons chipped in with 32 points of his own while adding eight rebounds, while Durand Scott contributed 16 points, with the complete trio providing 81 of Memphis’ 112 points. While it’s great that some of the players are putting up huge numbers, if the bench can’t keep up, then these heroic efforts will only be in vain. However, a six-point deficit is something that can be overcome, so with more star performances like this, and a little push from the bench, then the Hustle should be ok.
The Hustle’s next game, a 117-106 loss to the Texas Legends, was another close affair, with the game going back and forth for much of the first half. Indeed, the lead changed 15 times as the teams tustled to bring out a greater lead. At the start of the third, the Hustle stayed competitive before Texas scored 10 unanswered points to create a lead that couldn’t be torn down.
Chance Comanche had another good game, with 19 points and six rebounds to show for his efforts, but Omari Johnson led the team this time with a double-double; the forward scored 21 points and grabbed ten rebounds. Marquis Teague, meanwhile, added 20 points and seven assists. The scoring was spread more evenly across the board this time, with Durand Scott and Austin Nichols scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively, but Texas just had too much in the locker.
Luckily for the Hustle, Marquis Teague was on hand to round out the series with a 127-125 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, tossing up a heavily contested layup as the buzzer sounded to seal the victory. However, the Hustle had to work hard to get to that moment.
The Vipers started out as the superior team, making 10 of their first 15 shots and quickly amassing a 16-point lead in the first quarter. However, the Hustle embarked on a run of its own in the second quarter, outscoring Rio Grande 18-5, and eventually Memphis pulled ahead to take an advantage into halftime. The Vipers pulled ahead once again and held a 125-123 late in the fourth quarter. At that point, the Hustle’s defense shut up tight and didn’t let Rio Grande score any more points. Chance Comanche made a putback layup with 36 seconds left to tie the game before Teague’s late-game heroics.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Hustle’s win, with Teague the most impressive with 31 points on 12-24 shooting. Kobi Simmons and Omari Johnson both scored 17 points, while Trahson Burrell contributed 20 points off the bench on 7-12 shooting.
This may not have been the Hustle’s best week, but it sure saw some big performances from key players. If Kobi Simmons and Marquis Teague continue to put out game-winning performances and the bench steps up, then the Hustle could be well-poised to end its inaugural season on a winning note.