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Lever’s double-double powers Grand Canyon past UMKC

Grand Canyon head coach Dan Majerle reacts to a call from a game official during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 74-56. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alessandro Lever finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double and Grand Canyon cruised to an 86-69 victory over Missouri-Kansas City on Saturday night.

Lever, a freshman coming off a career-best 28 points his last time out in a win over Chicago State, hit 8 of 12 shots for the Antelopes (14-6, 4-1 Western Athletic Conference).

Oscar Frayer added 14 points and nine boards and Casey Benson scored 12 with nine assists. Grand Canyon shot 51 percent from the floor and outrebounded the Kangaroos 47-22.

Xavier Bishop scored 23 to pace UMKC (6-15, 1-4), which shot 43 percent from the floor, but just 29 percent from 3-point range (7 of 24). Isaiah Ross chipped in with 18 points, making 4 of 8 from distance.

UMKC led just once at 4-3. Roberts Blumbergs scored the final four points in a 21-4 surge and the Antelopes led 24-8 midway through the first half.

The Kangaroos, who trailed 47-32 by intermission, pulled within four points on two occasions in the second half but could get no closer.

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