SOUTHHAVEN, Miss. — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, fell into a deep hole in the second half and couldn’t climb out of it, losing for the first time this season to the hands of the undefeated Memphis Hustle, 119-96. With the win, Memphis improves to 7-0.
Maine (5-1) was led by Trey Davis with 19 points. Tacko Fall recorded a monster double-double (16 points, 18 rebounds), setting a franchise record with 14 offensive rebounds. Yante Maten added an 18 point-12 board double-double, Kaiser Gates scored 16 points, and Bryce Brown added 14 in the loss. Maine lost the turnover battle 25-7 in defeat.
Memphis was led by Dusty Hannahs with 28 points. Memphis Grizzlies assignee Josh Jackson added 23 points on 11-19 shooting, and Two-Way Player Yuta Watanabe scored 22 in the win.
Kaiser Gates opened the game with a quick bucket. The Hustle then quickly rattled off 9 straight points – a Josh Jackson alley-oop made it 9-2 Hustle. Bibbs and Maten paced the Red Claws offense early, but Jackson made his first 4 shots, and Jarrod Uthoff drained a three to make it 19-11 Memphis. Jackson scored 14 of the Hustle’s first 24 points. Tacko Fall’s emphatic slam was a lone highlight of the 1st quarter for Maine – the Red Claws trailed 35-29 after 1.
In the 2nd, Fall scored at will under the basket as the Red Claws got back into the game. Jackson’s floater over Tacko helped put Memphis back up by 9, and Watanabe’s dunk made it an 8-0 Hustle run and 44-33 lead. Brown rattled in a three to stop the run. Brown and the Claws went on an 8-0 run over their own, cutting the deficit to 2 after another Brown trey. Another Brown three gave Maine the lead at 48-47. The lead see-sawed back and forth, and Maine trailed 58-56 at the break. Brown led Maine with 14, while Fall had 12 at the half, while Jackson paced the Hustle with 19 points in the first half.
Maten opened the 3rd quarter with an easy lay-up to tie the game. Watanabe and the Hustle went on a run, and his three-point play put Memphis up 7. Maine continued to struggle turning the ball over, as the Hustle lead extended to 78-65. Davis hit a deep three to stop the run. Still, the Red Claws trailed 84-73 after 3.
In the 4th, Uthoff buried a three to put Memphis up 14. The Hustle started the quarter on a 9-3 run before Kaiser Gates buried a three. Maten scored a couple of quick buckets to get the lead down to 10. Uthoff’s 2nd and 3rd efforts resulted in a lay-in and a 105-89 lead. The Red Claws could not overcome the deficit, falling for the first time.
Maine shot 39% (38-98) from the field, 24% (9-38) from downtown, and 6-10 from the free throw line. Memphis shot 48% (48-99) from the floor, 31% (11-35) from downtown, and 6-10 from the charity stripe.