With the score knotted at 43 early in the second half, the Grand Canyon University men's basketball team (8-10, 3-2) used a 20-5 run to build their first double-digit lead of the game (63-48) and cement their Western Athletic Conference win over Idaho (8-13, 2-5) tonight at GCU Arena. It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools, with the Antelopes defeating the Vandals 86-73.
Jerome Garrison (30 points) and Blake Davis (19 points) both set career-high for scoring in the game, as Garrison also collected his fifth 20-point game of the season. Killian Larson added 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for his 12th double-double in 18 games.
The 'Lopes went 23-for-48 from the field (47.9 percent), while GCU's defense held the Vandals to a 40.0 percent mark (22-for-55). GCU made 35 of their season-high 41 free throw attempts (85.4 percent) and had 18 second chance points.
Behind six early points from Larson, the 'Lopes built an 8-4 lead over the first four minutes of the game, and led by as many as seven before the Vandals pulled within three, 16-13, with just under 12 minutes remaining in the half.
GCU built their advantage to eight points (28-20) following two Garrison free throws at the 8:33 mark, but Idaho used a 6-0 run to make it a two-point game with seven minutes to play. The 'Lopes held the lead for the remainder of the half, one that was marked by 30 fouls whistled between the two teams as they combined for 40 free throws.
GCU shot 50.0 percent from the field (11-for-22) while holding the Vandals to a 33.3 percent mark (9-for-27) as they led 40-37 following the first 20 minutes. Larson led the squad with 16 points, while Garrison scored 13 in the first half. Idaho held the narrow advantage in rebounds, 18-15.
The Vandals quickly tied the score at 43 to open the second half, erasing a deficit they had faced since the first two minutes of the game, and promptly took the 45-43 lead. Garrison took matters into his own hand, scoring the next eight points to put the 'Lopes back on top for good, 51-45, with over 15 minutes to play.
GCU would allow just three more points to Idaho over the next four minutes as they found themselves with a double-digit lead with under 12 minutes on the clock. Idaho pulled within eight points twice, but Davis drained a three-pointer and then converted a three-point play to put the 'Lopes ahead comfortably 83-67 with 2:50 remaining.
The 'Lopes will be back in action on Saturday when they welcome Seattle U to GCU Arena for a 7 p.m. WAC contest that will be broadcast live on both Cox7 (and www.cox7.com) and KPXQ 1360 AM (and www.faithtalk1360.com).
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