The Lansing Pharaohs entered weekend #5 of TBL action with a 5-3 record as they rode a 3-game winning streak into their Friday night game in Detroit against the Hustle, the Pharaoh’s lone league game of the weekend. The Hustle entered the game with a 3-6 record and looked to avenge their early-season home loss to the Pharaohs, a close game that the Pharaohs eventually won 116-107 despite missing their starting C, Rozelle Nix. The Pharaohs would be at full strength for this game and would even feature two new faces as G, Carlton Brundidge, was pulled up from the team’s list of reserves, and SF, Brandon Suttles, who was drafted 6th overall by Toledo Glass City in the 2022 TBL draft, was signed to a contract with the Pharaohs after failing to reach an agreement with Toledo. Suttles is a Lansing native who played two seasons of college basketball at Lansing Community College.
The Pharaohs began the game against Detroit by exploding in the first quarter, something they’ve grown accustomed to doing while playing in coach Scott Newman’s high tempo offense, taking a 37-24 lead into the second quarter. Detroit would bounce back in the second quarter due to terrific play by the two-man show of Jody Hill (37 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists) and Shawn Amitker (32 points, 8 rebounds) who scored 65% of Detroit’s points. Detroit cut the Pharaoh’s lead down to 3 headed into halftime as they found themselves down 64-61, but the game wouldn’t be close for long. The Pharaohs came out strong for the second half with great shooting, as the team shot 56% from the field and 40% from three, allowing them to open the lead back up as everyone got involved on the offensive end raising the lead to 15 points going into the fourth, score: 99-84. The Pharaohs only continued to increase their lead in the fourth as 8 Pharaohs players scored 10+ in the game allowing them to win by 28, their biggest margin of victory of the season. Excellent point guard play by the one-two punch of Maurice Jones (20 points, 6 assists) and Latin Davis (22 points, 3 assists) allowed the Pharaohs to get the job done as well as two huge games from the team’s bigs, Sam Muldrow (14 points, 17 rebounds) and Rozelle Nix (18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 87.5FG%). Newcomers Carlton Brundidge (13 points, 2 assists) and Brandon Suttles (7 points, 100FG%) also made their presence felt in the team’s big win as the two continue to mesh with the squad.
The Pharaoh’s size continues to be a matchup nightmare for opponents as they out-rebounded the Hustle by a monstrous +24. The Pharaohs now sit at 6-3 and have a solid grip on a top-three position in the division as the 4-7 Detroit Hustle sit far back in fourth. Also, a rough weekend for Toledo Glass city, the second-place team in the division, puts the Pharaohs in reach of them now as Toledo has an 8-4 record. Especially since the Pharaohs will enter a weekend of play after the all-star break that will feature a game against the 3-9 Dayton Flight (who the Pharaohs owe a beat down after losing to them the first game of the season) and two games against the 2-10 Cincinnati Warriors.