Grand Canyon men’s hoops wins home opener

The Grand Canyon University men’s basketball team opened their regular season home slate with a 69-58 win over Western New Mexico tonight at GCU Arena. With the win, the Antelopes are now 2-2 overall, while the Mustangs suffered the loss in their first regular season game of the young season.

GCU shot 45.1 percent for the game (23-for-51) and drained 21 of their 28 free throws (75 percent). Western New Mexico posted a 34.6 field goal percentage (18-for-52), but were able to keep the game close by making six three pointers.

Joshua Lowery and Killian Larson led the squad with 13 points each, while Larson also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Jeff Lowery and Justin Foreman also recorded double-digit scoring, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The ‘Lopes shot 45 percent in the first half (14-for-31), led by Larson and Jeff Lowery with nine points apiece. GCU also scored 12 points off turnovers, as they caused nine by the Mustangs and outscored the opposition 20-8 in the paint.

The Mustangs came out firing early, taking an 8-7 advantage at the first media timeout. However, neither team would lead by more than two points until GCU used a 12-0 to take a 22-12 advantage with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half. The ‘Lopes also held the Mustangs without a field goal for over six minutes during that time to help build their lead and take a 41-29 advantage into the locker room.

Western New Mexico opened the second half on a 5-0 run and outscored GCU 15-9 at the second media timeout with 11:53 on the clock. The Mustangs pulled within two points at 60-58 with just over five minutes to play in the contest, but the ‘Lopes went on a 6-0 run to extend the lead to eight points. GCU’s defense did not allow a Mustangs basket for the remainder of the game. Joshua Lowery scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half, including six over the last three minutes.

GCU committed 13 turnovers in the second half, as the Mustangs were able to notch 12 points off those turnovers. Despite being outscored by Western New Mexico in the second half, GCU actually posted a higher field goal percentage (45.0 percent to 34.5 percent).

The ‘Lopes will next be in action when they travel to San Diego, Calif., to take on UC San Diego on Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. (Arizona time).

(Courtesy Grand Canyon University)