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Keonta Vernon leads Grand Canyon past Texas-Rio Grande Valley

PHOENIX (AP) — Keonta Vernon scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, Joshua Braun added 17 points, and Grand Canyon beat UT Rio Grande Valley 76-57 on Thursday night.

DeWayne Russell added 14 points, five rebounds, eight assists and four steals for Grand Canyon (16-9, 5-3 Western Athletic Conference). Vernon was 7 of 11 from the floor and Braun had five rebounds and five assists.

Grand Canyon built a 46-30 halftime lead and Russell’s no-look pass to Vernon for an up-and-under layup extended it to 62-39 with just under 13 minutes left. Rio Grande didn’t score its 11th point of the second half until the 9:36 mark.

Russell drove the right side and found Kenzo Nudo for a wide open 3-pointer in the left corner for a 67-45 lead with 7:25 to go.

Nick Dixon scored 23 points and Antonio Green added 10 for UT Rio Grande Valley (10-16, 2-7), which lost its fourth straight.

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