The Memphis Hustle (15-4) suffered its first home loss of the season against the Agua Caliente Clippers (8-9) Monday afternoon by a score of 110-107. After Memphis led by 12 at halftime and by as many as 15, Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 23 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to will the Clippers to victory.
Matt Mooney had a stellar night himself to lead the Hustle, scoring a career-high 28 points on 10-of-13 from the field and 7-of-9 from long range to go with three assists and a pair of steals. Jarrod Uthoff added 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Josh Jackson filled the stat sheet with 18 points, eight boards, seven assists and three steals.
Rathan-Mayes shot 9-of-13 overall and 5-of-7 from long range in the final frame after making 1-of-7 from the field in the prior three quarters. The remainder of the Clippers’ starting five finished in double figures as well. Clippers assignee Terance Mann had a productive night with 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Fellow assignee Mfiondu Kabengele finished with 18 points while Donte Grantham and former Hustle guard Markel Crawford had 13 points each.
Following the halftime deficit, the Clippers chipped away at the deficit and trailed by seven (92-85) with 7:21 remaining. Rathan-Mayes and Grantham then knocked down consecutive threes to cut the lead to one and sparked a 19-6 run over the next 3:56 to take a six-point lead at the 3:24 mark. Rathan-Mayes scored 16 points during this stretch.
The Clippers pushed the lead to 110-103 with another Rathan-Mayes three with 58.9 seconds remaining, but Mooney gave Memphis a glimmer of hope by completing a four-point play with 29.1 seconds to go. The Hustle earned a stop on the other end, but Mooney’s last-second three-point attempt fell short at the buzzer.
The team will ring in the new year with a matchup against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers tomorrow, December 31 at 12 noon.