The Memphis Hustle (23-21) dropped its second game of a back-to-back Wednesday night against the Salt Lake City Stars (23-21) by a score of 110-94 at Lifetime Activities Center. The Hustle and Stars are now tied in the Western Conference standings, have split their two meetings this season and will play for the third and final time on March 19 in Salt Lake City.
For the second straight night, Memphis started the game with a track meet. Salt Lake City led 37-34 after the opening frame and both teams shot 60 percent in the period. The Stars controlled the lead for the majority of the first half, particularly after a 14-1 run over a span of 4:40 in the second quarter to give the Stars its largest lead of the half at 57-43 with 3:57 remaining. Shortly after, the Hustle would go on a quick 9-0 run to cut the lead to five at 59-54 before trailing 61-54 at half.
Memphis cut the lead to three to begin the second half, but the Stars pulled away over the course of the final two periods and led by as many as 19. The Stars had a better night shooting the ball, shooting 51.2 percent overall and 48.1 percent from three-point range. Memphis shot just 6-of-24 from the three-point line. The Hustle didn't take care of the ball, committing 17 turnovers despite just four steals by Salt Lake City.
Dusty Hannahs led Memphis with 20 points, including 11 in the first quarter. Markel Crawford followed with 16 points of his own. The backcourt duo of Tarik Phillip and Jevon Carter had a productive evening. Phillip finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Carter added 14 points, seven assists and five boards.
Two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh led the Stars effort with 26 points and nine rebounds. Deonte Burton had an efficient 21-point effort on 8-of-11 shooting. Fellow two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long contributed a line of 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Memphis returns to Landers Center on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m. to take on the first place Santa Cruz Warriors.