It’s a busy weekend for the professional franchises that call DeSoto County home, as the Memphis Hustle and Mississippi RiverKings look to feast on opponents after feasting on turkey, etc., on Thanksgiving.
The Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League are home this weekend with two games on the schedule.
The Hustle played the Salt Lake City Stars for the second time this season on Friday night in their only game of the season at FedExForum.
Memphis beat the Stars 102-99 in the team’s first meeting on Nov. 5, the second-ever game the Hustle played since the franchise’s move from Iowa and its acquisition by its parent Memphis Grizzlies.
In that game, the Hustle rallied from a 51-50 halftime deficit to head into the fourth quarter tied at 76-76. Memphis outscored Salt Lake City 26-23 in the final 12 minutes to win the game.
Six Memphis players scored in double figures that night, led by Trahson Burrell’s 20 points.
Tonight, Saturday, Memphis meets the Erie Bayhawks for the first time ever in a 7 p.m. meeting at the Landers Center.
The Bayhawks, affiliate of the Orlando Magic, were 4-4 before Friday’s play and second in the Eastern Conference’s Southeast Division. While forging a 3-1 home record, Erie had won just once in four road games before Friday.
Erie played at Oklahoma City on Friday prior to tonight’s matchup with Memphis.
On the ice, the Mississippi RiverKings are on the road to make room for the Hustle’s weekend slate, playing a pair of games in Illinois against the Peoria Rivermen.
In a tight Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) race, the RiverKings entered Friday’s schedule as part of a three-way tie for first place in the league. Mississippi’s 7-2-0 record gave them 14 standing points, putting the ‘Kings in a tie with Pensacola and Macon at the top of the standings, even though Mississippi has played one fewer game than Macon and two fewer games than Pensacola.
It’s an important early season series for the RiverKings and for Peoria, which sits one point behind the frontrunners in the SPHL.
Entering Friday’s schedule, Mississippi had won three of four road games, while Peoria was 3-2-0 at home.
Devin Mantha leads the RiverKings in scoring with four goals and 11 points in nine appearances. Since arriving in Mississippi from Pensacola, Daniel Tedesco has also sparked the offense with two goals and nine points in seven games.
Tyler Green has done the majority of the goaltending for the RiverKings, fashioning a 5-1-0 record in seven games, a 2.35 goals-against-average and a .912 save percentage.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.