A sellout crowd of 4,410 was on hand this evening at GCU Arena in Phoenix, Ariz. to take their first look at Dan Majerle and the 2013-14 Grand Canyon University men's basketball team. The Antelopes fell to UCSD, 71-63, in the team's only exhibition game of the season.
UCSD started quickly hitting four-straight 3-pointers to grab an early 12-2 lead less than five minutes into the game. GCU used a 14-1 run to grab their first lead at 16-13 with 9:46 left in the half. From that point forward neither side will hold a lead larger than five points.
Jerome Garrison was the leading scorer for GCU, scoring 17 points on 5-for 14 shooting from the floor. He had 11 in the second half. Garrison made five 3-pointers and grabbed three rebounds.
Trailing 53-48 with 10:25 left in the game, Garrison hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead two and another 3-pointer with 7:16 left on the clock to put the 'Lopes up 57-53, their largest lead of the game.
Three-straight GCU fouls allowed the Tritons to tie the game on the charity stripe at 57. UCSD, who made 12-of-30 from behind the arc, took the lead on a Mackenzie McCulllough's 3-pointer with 5:16 remaining. McCullough would finish with five 3-point baskets.
Akachi Okugo answered McCullough with a three of his own, finishing with 12 points, only to see Hunter Walker answer back with a three for the Tritons.
The game was tied at 63 with 1:58 left on the clock, but GCU was unable to find the bottom of the basket again.
The Antelopes outrebounded UCSD, 36-30, including 13-8 on the offensive glass. Blake Davis led the team with nine boards and added 10 points and seven assists.
GCU shot 45.8 percent (11-for24) in the second half after making only 12-of-31 (38.7%) in the opening frame.
The Antelopes were without the services of guard Demetrius Walker and Jeff Lowery, who missed the game due to injury. Daniel Alexander also did not play and will not be available until the second semester, due to NCAA transfer rules.
The game was televised live on Cox7, the new television home for GCU men's basketball. It was also carried live, as it will for all 30 games, via radio on 960 KKNT The Patriot.
Grand Canyon's inaugural Division I season officially kicks off when they play Loyola Marymount at 5:30 p.m. (AZ time) in San Diego, Calif. on Nov. 8. The next night GCU will square off against San Diego, with tip time scheduled for 7 p.m. The Antelopes will open the home slate on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. when they face Western New Mexico at 7 p.m. in GCU Arena. Fans coming to that game will receive a commemorative Thunder the Mascot bobblehead doll.
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