Grand Canyon Ends SC State’s Season


Murray Garvin Grand Canyon

PHOENIX (GCU SID) — The Grand Canyon men’s basketball team used eight early 3-point shots to jump out to a big first-half lead and hung on late to claim its first postseason win in the school’s Division I basketball history on Monday night, 78-74 over South Carolina State. The Lopes advance to the second round of the Postseason Tournament and claim the inaugural Coach John McClendon Classic championship.

“It’s a win,” head coach Dan Majerle said following the game. “It’s another step in the right direction for our program as far as the CIT game, so that was big. Best thing about it is we don’t get to think about it too much. We get to tee it up back here on Thursday.”

Grandy Glaze scored 15 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting clip, collecting 11 rebounds to log his 13th double-double of the season. Glaze was rewarded for his efforts with the McClendon Classic Most Valuable Player.

“I worked hard and stayed true to myself and everything is working out,” Glaze said. “We have so many weapons, that if you take one thing away, we have another option.”

After GCU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, the Bulldogs charged back to take a 13-12 lead at the 12:54 mark of the first half.

GCU ensured that South Carolina State’s one-point edge was short-lived, as the Lopes went on a 19-4 run to take leads as large as 14 by the 8:30 mark of the first half. 8 of Grand Canyon’s first 10 attempted field goals were of the 3-point variety including three makes from Joshua Braun and back-to-back makes from Matt Jackson. The Lopes were successful on 8 of their first 11 3-point attempts.

The Lopes cooled down in the second half, however, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field in the period. Grand Canyon was plagued by free throw shooting woes, missing 18 foul shots to allow South Carolina State to make it competitive down the stretch. The Bulldogs pulled within one with four seconds remaining, but Braun made five free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory for the Lopes.

Braun led GCU with 16 points but struggled from the field, finishing 3-for-14. Glaze’s 15, 12 from Matt Jackson, 11 from De’Andre Davis and 10 from DeWayne Russell rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Lopes’ balanced attack.

South Carolina State’s Eric Eaves led all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting.  The Bulldogs finish their season 19-15.

Advancing to the second round of the Postseason Tournament, the Lopes will stay home to host the Jackson State Tigers (20-15).

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