Bighorns fall in thriller

Reno Bighorns logo spring 2017.
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Southaven, Miss. ---- The Reno Bighorns (21-17) fell to the Memphis Hustle (16-25) 112-110 Saturday afternoon at the Landers Center in Southaven, Miss.

Jack Cooley led the Bighorns recording his fifteenth double-double of the season with 28 points and 15 rebounds while Jakarr Sampson had 28 points and six rebounds. Marcus Williams notched 16 points, six rebounds and nine assists.

Marquis Teague paced the Hustle with 24 ponts, five rebounds and nine assists while Omari Johnson scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The opening minutes of the first quarter saw a low-scoring affair, as both teams struggled to find footing early in the game. as both teams struggled to find footing early in the game.

The opening minutes of the first frame would set the tone for a tight-knit game between the Bighorns and the Hustle. Memphis would have a 33.3% team shooting effort from beyond-the-arc compared to Reno’s 16.7%. With three lead changes and six ties, the Hustle ended the frame one possession ahead of the Bighorns.

The second quarter continued to be a back-and-forth battle, as the Bighorns and Hustle traded leads 15 times before the break. Memphis would carry a two-point edge heading into the locker room.

A triple from Johnson in the opening minutes gave the Hustle a five-point lead, their largest of the afternoon, though the continuous battle to control the tempo carried on. The Bighorns took control of the lead after four consecutive scoring sequences from Cooley mid-way through the frame. Cooley scored 13 of his 28 points in the frame, going 6-8 to give Reno a 89-84 edge to start the final period.

Reno opened their lead to seven points opening the fourth quarter, their largest of the game. A rally with 7:30 in the frame would bring the hosts within one point with just under five minutes left in play. With 26 seconds left on the clock, Sampson sank a triple to tie the score a 110. Teague stepped to the line with 3.1 seconds in play after being fouled by Matt Jones to give the Hustle a two-point cushion. As time expired, Jakarr Sampson would miss a lay-up, resulting in a Hustle victory.

The Bighorns will travel to Prescott, Ariz. to take on the Suns at 5:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Feb. 28.