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GCU comes up just short against New Mexico State in WAC Championship

(AP Photo/L.E. Baskow)

In its first year of post season eligibility, coach Dan Majerle and GCU basketball made a deep run at the NCAA Tournament but came up just one game short.

The Antelopes fell 72-58 to New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament finals in Las Vegas.

Coming into the tournament as a 3-seed, the Lopes upset the 2-seed Utah Valley to earn a berth in the championship game and a chance to make the NCAA Tournament on their first try.

Unfortunately, they ran into the buzz saw Aggies who beat GCU two times in the regular season.

The Lopes held a 12-10 lead early in the first half after an Alessandro Lever three pointer, but never led the game after that. GCU cut the lead to three points late in the second half, but from there the Aggies were able to pull away.

Lever led GCU with 20 points while Keonta Vernon followed him up with 17 points.

Grand Canyon had no answer for New Mexico State’s Zach Lofton who led all scorers with 23 points.

With the win for the Aggies, Utah Valley as the second place team in the WAC regular season will represent the conference in the NIT. GCU will be waiting anxiously Sunday to see if they can earn an at-large bid to its first postseason tournament.

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