SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Stars (2-3) were all-smiles following their 117-106 victory over the Memphis Hustle (2-3) on Tuesday night at Bruin Arena.
Carsen Edwards continued to torch the nets as he scored 19 of his game-high 25 points (9-of-16 FGA, 5-of-9 3PA) in the first half, helping the Stars to a 38-26 lead after the first quarter and eventually, a 64-50 lead at halftime.
J.J. Avila made his regular season debut for the Stars, scoring 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. Avila’s energy off the bench was infectious for the Stars second unit that outscored the Hustle’s bench 37-28.
The Hustle made several runs in the second half to cut into the Stars lead. Shaq Buchanan’s made free-throw gave him 22 of his team-high 24 points and cut the Stars lead to seven with 5:14 left to play, but Derrick Alston Jr., who caught fire in the second half, answered with three-point makes on back-to-back possessions to give him 24 points on the night and push the Stars lead back to double digits. From there, Salt Lake City held on for the victory.
Former BYU standout Yoeli Childs made his Stars debut and did not disappoint. The South Jordan, Utah, native wowed the crowd with monster dunks, crafty interior passes, and timely rebounds, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds and an emphatic first quarter rejection that whipped the home crowd into a frenzy amidst chants of “Yoeli, Yoeli”.
Beloved Utah Jazz alumni and NBA Hall of Famer, John Stockton was in attendance to watch his son, David Stockton, who had an impressive performance with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Hustle.
The two teams will be back at it again tomorrow night for a rematch. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bruin Arena. The game will stream on NBAGLeague.com and can be heard locally on 1280 AM/ 97.5 The Zone.
Tickets for round two of the Stars and Hustle can be purchased at www.slcstars.com or by phone (via call or text) at (801) 325-STAR (7827).