The Memphis Hustle (17-4) defeated the Iowa Wolves (10-11) 130-127 Saturday night, Jan. 4 inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Memphis found a way to win late despite a wild comeback attempt and Iowa shooting 19-of-38 (.500) from three-point range for the game while the Hustle shot just 8-of-26 (.308).
Memphis had its largest lead at nine (123-114) following a Josh Jackson three with exactly one minute remaining, but Iowa cut the lead to four in the next 22 seconds. A traditional three-point play from Yuta Watanabe appeared to put the game out of reach (126-119) with 24.0 seconds remaining. However, an alley-oop to Jaylen Nowell followed by a rare Memphis turnover and James Webb III three-pointer cut the lead back to two (126-124) with 16.8 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Jarrod Uthoff knocked down both free throws for Memphis but another Nowell three cut the lead to 128-127 at 4.2 seconds. Uthoff would then make just one of two before Watanabe fouled Nowell on a jumper with just 0.6 seconds remaining, giving Iowa a chance to tie the game. Nowell missed the first before intentionally missing the second and appeared to have completed the tip-in before the buzzer, but crossed the free throw line prior to the ball hitting the rim.
After an 8-0 Memphis run to start the game, Iowa led by as many as 12 in the first half. However, Memphis outscored Iowa 34-21 in the third period which proved to be the difference in the game.
Yuta Watanabe posted a season-high 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting to go with seven rebounds and four blocks. Josh Jackson added a double-double of 26 points and 12 rebounds to go with six assists. Jarrod Uthoff connected on 5-of-6 three-point attempts and finished one rebound shy of a double-double (23 points, nine rebounds). Marquis Teague (14 points), Dusty Hannahs (12 points) and John Konchar (10 points).
Jaylen Nowell and Jordan McLaughlin led the way for Iowa, combining to shoot 14-of-19 from three-point range. Nowell finished with 26 points, five assists and four boards while McLaughlin totaled 25 points, five assists and three rebounds while shooting 7-of-9 from long range. James Webb III (18 points, 12 rebounds) posted a double-double for Iowa while Jordan Murphy (19 points, nine rebounds) finished one rebound short.
The Hustle return to action Monday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. on the road for a second straight game against the Iowa Wolves. The team returns home on Monday, Jan. 13 to take on the Santa Cruz Warriors at 7 p.m. inside Southaven's Landers Center.