Mississippi Sports

Squadron stifle Hustle in matinee meeting, despite Arms’ 30 point outburst

Photo: Guard Adonis Arms of the Memphis Hustle led the offense with 30 points in Sunday’s loss to Birmingham. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)

Adonis Arms of the Memphis Hustle was “balling,” as they say, erupting for 30 points Sunday afternoon as the Hustle hosted the Birmingham Squadron at the Landers Center. 

The Hustle guard didn’t get much support elsewhere however, as the Squadron, affiliated with the New Orleans Pelicans, erupted in the fourth quarter to a 22-point lead before ending with a 124-112 victory.  

DeJon Jarreau was close behind on the box score with 28 points, but much of that didn’t come until late in the game when the outcome was pretty much decided.  Timmy Allen hit for 18 points, but no one else on the Hustle roster scored more than 10 points in the loss. 

Meanwhile the Squadron, posting its third win against the Hustle this season against one loss, got 28 points each from former Memphis Tiger Landers Nolley III and Tevian Jones, followed by 27 more from Izaiah Brockington. Two other Birmingham players on a seven-man roster against Memphis scored in double figures.  

Memphis led by five at one time early in the game, but spent much of the contest trying to catch up to the Squadron. The constant chasing on the scoreboard finally caught up with the Hustle as the final quarter got going, when an eight-point deficit quickly became 20.  

“We had a chance to try to make a run right there,” said Hustle coach Jason March. “We struggled making some shots, but we wanted to try to get some stops and run down the line and sure enough, they got three offensive rebounds to start the quarter and they made all those to go on a 12-0 to start the quarter.”

After ending the first quarter tied at 31-31, the Squadron took a 61-57 lead into the locker room at halftime.  The lead moved to 93-85 at the end of the third quarter before the 12-point eruption by the Squadron to start the final period.  

Through all that, Arms was pushing his offense and making shots.  March thought some of it from the team might have been his players getting back into action after the All-Star break. Sunday’s game was the Hustle’s first since a 126-119 win at Salt Lake City on Feb. 15. 

“Adonis was making shots while everyone else looked like they had post All-Star break legs,” March said. “I thought we saw a lot of walking around, saw a lot of tired bodies and the shot just wasn’t right.”

The win for Birmingham was the third against Memphis, which beat the Squadron 129-112 in late November, followed by three straight Squadron victories.  The Hustle dropped to 10-11 while Birmingham improved to 11-12. 

Now, the Hustle embark on a six-game road trip, starting this weekend in Mexico City. Stops at Rip City (Portland, Oregon) and South Bay (Lakers) follow before returning home in mid-March for a two-game set against Oklahoma City. 

Sitting in 10th place in the Western Conference entering the game, March said the Hustle face three teams ahead of them in the standings.  

“We need to have a great trip,” March said. “This trip will probably determine where we’re at and we may see a lot more experimenting if the trip doesn’t go our way.”  

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