The Grand Rapids Drive (20-18) overcame an 18-point deficit to come away victorious in their first ever meeting with the Memphis Hustle (15-23) at home on Sunday afternoon. The final score was 122-116 as the Drive earned their sixth victory in a row.
Jon Horford’s big game was the headliner for the Drive. Horford stepped up in starting center Landry Nnoko’s absence and posted 18 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists, all three being season bests for the former Michigan Wolverine. The 22 rebounds tied Nnoko for the second-highest single-game total in Drive history, only behind Willie Reed’s 23 against Iowa in their inaugural 2014-15 season.
Jamel Morris also scored 21 points for the Drive, Reggie Hearn had 16 points and seven rebounds, Bronson Koenig scored 19 points off the bench and KJ McDaniels also came up big off the bench for the second game in a row with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Dusty Hannahs led all scorers with 26 points for Memphis, hitting six three-pointers and also grabbing six rebounds. Kobi Simmons added 21 points and eight assists, Shaquille Thomas scored 20 points with nine rebounds and Omari Johnson finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
The Hustle were the better team through one quarter, scoring 34 points in the first 12 minutes and ending the first quarter up by 11 points. They led by as many as 18 in the first half as the Drive could only chip one point off the lead by halftime. But the Drive came alive offensively in the third quarter, scoring 41 points to get back in the game, and then dominated the fourth quarter defensively to seal the win, allowing just 21 points in the final frame.
There was not much of a distinction between the two teams statistically, but Grand Rapids was able to post slim advantages in rebounds, assists and fewer turnovers to make up for the Hustle shooting 39 percent from three-point range as opposed to 31 percent by the home team.