There were fireworks and flying t-shirts inside GCU Arena on Saturday night. There were even celebrity sightings. Unfortunately for Grand Canyon, none of the pomp and circumstance surrounding their new arena helped them get a win over Arizona State.
What was a tight game in the first half turned into a blowout in the second half, as the Sun Devils outscored the Antelopes by 14 in the final 20 minutes to spoil their coming out party, winning 89-69.
Five Sun Devil players scored in double figures. Junior guards Chris Colvin, Trent Lockett and sophomore forward Keala King led the way with 15 points apiece. King and Lockett both pulled down 10 rebounds. Colvin had seven assists for Arizona State.
Despite shooting 28.6 percent in the first half, Grand Canyon was only down 37-31 at the half. Neither team shot particularly well from three point range in the first 20 minutes. Arizona State was 2-7, while Grand Canyon was 2-14 from beyond the arc.
Arizona State made 6 of their 15 three point attempts. Grand Canyon made just 6 of their 25 attempts from downtown.
Arizona State came out in the second half, pushed the tempo, got out on fast breaks and made quite a few high percentage shots. They shot 19-26 in the final frame.
The Sun Devils also dominated the boards, out rebounding the Antelopes 42-29 for the game.
“We have to be a team that gang rebounds,” said Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek following the game.
Junior center Brad Carroll led Grand Canyon in scoring with 15. Senior center Justin Wesolowski led the team with seven rebounds.
Grand Canyon’s next game is on Tuesday, right back at GCU Arena. They will host the San Diego Christian Hawks. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Arizona State will take the court next Friday afternoon at home versus the Montana State Bobcats. Tip is at 2:30 p.m.