‘Lopes fall to Saint Martin’s

The Grand Canyon University men’s basketball team had its five-game winning streak snapped tonight, losing 78-69, to Saint Martin’s at Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix.

The loss drops the Antelopes to 5-2. Saint Martin’s improves to 4-5.

St. Martin’s used 59 percent shooting from the floor, including a 26 point (12-for-17), eight rebound effort from Brok Pendelton, to secure their third win in the last four games.

The Saints would grab the lead two and a half minutes into the game and never trailed from that point forward. SMU led by four at the half and by as many 11 in the second half.

“The majority of the credit needs tonight goes to St. Martin’s,” said head coach Russ Pennell. “I thought they played extremely well. They have three really good scorers, as evident by their 59 percent shooting. I thought we started slow and started to over compensate – trying too hard. That sped us up and we started taking questionable shots and got away from what we do well. This is a tough lesson to learn tonight, but one we need to grow from it.”

Grand Canyon was able to close the lead to five points after a Jerome Garrison 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining in the second half, but would get no closer.

GCU shot 39 percent from the floor tonight, including a 4-for-17 effort from the 3-point arc. The Antelopes outrebounded the Saints, 34-32, highlighted by a 14-6 edge on the offensive side.

Garrison led the Antelopes with 15 points of the bench, going 8-for-9 from the foul line. Kyle Speed scored 14 points and had five rebounds.

Grand Canyon returns to action tomorrow night when they will face Cal State San Bernardino at 6 p.m. at GCU Arena. St. Martin’s will play Dixie State at 3:30 p.m.

“This is a quick turnaround and we do not have long to lament this loss,” added Pennell. “That may be a good thing. We are playing a very good team tomorrow night in San Bernardino. They lost tonight as well and they will be hungry. I told our guys that one us is going home 0-2 tomorrow night. We have to be determined and set out minds that we are not going to be that team.”

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