April 17th, the Detroit Hustle visited the Flint United and suffered their worst defeat of the season. That was a 134-99 drubbing at the hands of their in-state rivals. One can presume that Detroit had had May 29th circled on the calendar since then as the date on which they might exact revenge in the second installment of the Battle for Michigan. And revenge is precisely what seemed in the cards as Detroit grew their lead to 25 in the first. But the visiting United would chip away and chip away throughout the second half. They closed the gap to single digits mere moments into the fourth quarter.
A CLOSE GAME THROUGHOUT
The two teams were stuck on a score of 94-87 for several minutes before a corner three from Flint’s Roger Hood closed the gap to four with just 6:18 remaining in regulation. Only 18 seconds would tick off the clock before Tyron Hamby would be fouled on a three-pointer from the left wing. Hamby would make 2-3 to make it a one-possession game at 94-92 with six minutes, exactly, remaining. Detroit’s Darryl Garrett would miss an open three from the corner. Flint’s Jaire Grayer would pull down the board and take it coast-to-coast. He would miss the layup from the left side, but he would draw the foul on Detroit’s Martell Wornum, his sixth. Grayer would knock down both free throws to tie up the game at 94.
Flint would expand their lead to 100-95 with 3:39 left. At which point Detroit called a timeout during which head coach Aaron McDonald must have spoke the magic words to reignite his team. Fresh out of the timeout, Detroit would force a turnover. The ball wound up in leading scorer James Kelly’s hands, who took it himself on a two-on-one break. He soared through the air like he had springs on his soles, to once again make it a one-possession game.
The two teams would exchange punches until Kelly would go 1-2 from the free throw line with 1:49 left in the game, knotting the score at 104. The home crowd would ultimately go home happy as the Hustle would rattle off eight straight points to secure the victory and tie the season series up with Flint a one game apiece.
The two teams separated by an hour’s drive along the famed Interstate 75 will meet twice more this season. Matchups any basketball fan is sure to want to see.
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Flint United vs. Detroit Hustle
Saturday, May 29, 2021
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FLINT UNITED VS. DETROIT HUSTLE
SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2021
THE BATTLE FOR MICHIGAN THE BATTLE FOR MICHIGAN THE BATTLE FOR MICHIGANA GAME OF RUNS A GAME OF RUNS A GAME OF RUNS