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Grand Canyon basketball earns signature win at San Diego State

Grand Canyon State forward Uros Ljeskovic (13) and others on the bench react during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against San Diego State on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, in San Diego. Coach Dan Majerle motions is at right. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO — Grandy Glaze made a go-ahead jumper in the key with 1:21 left and the Grand Canyon Antelopes stunned the San Diego State Aztecs 52-45 Friday night.

Keonta Vernon put an exclamation point on the upset with slam dunk just before the final buzzer, giving him a game-high 16 points. DeWayne Russell added 13 for the Antelopes (9-2), who are coached by former NBA star Dan Majerle.

The Antelopes celebrated under their basket and a small section of Antelope fans loudly cheered the victory.

Grand Canyon scored the game’s last nine points, starting with Vernon’s turnaround jumper with 2:40 left to tie it at 45. Glaze drove into the lane for a jumper that made it 47-45 and the Antelopes added three free throws.

SDSU (7-5) shot poorly after week’s layoff for finals. The Aztecs made only 17 of 54 shots from the floor (31.5 percent) and were awful from the line, making just 8 of 17 (47.1 percent).

It was another stunning loss in San Diego for the Aztecs, who dropped a 49-43 decision to Little Rock on Nov. 21 at Viejas Arena and were upset 53-48 by San Diego at Petco Park on Dec. 6.

San Diego State’s last points came on Zylan Cheatham’s tip-in with 2:59 left.

Freshman point guard Jeremy Hemsley scored 13 for SDSU.

The Aztecs appeared to get some breathing room when Ben Perez hit a 3-pointer with 12:25 left for a 36-32 lead, But Russell hit a long 3 just before the shot clock expired to keep the Antelopes within one.

Grand Canyon went ahead 37-36 on a put back by Vernon, who couldn’t convert the three-point play.

Hemsley gave the Aztecs a 39-37 lead on a 3-pointer with 8:51 to go before Grand Canyon went on a 6-0 run, including Vernon’s slam dunk after he easily got behind SDSU’s defense. Vernon also made two free throws during the run.

SDSU tied it at 43 after Hemsley and Trey Kell each made two free throws.

Grand Canyon outscored the Aztecs 9-4 at the end of the first half to make it 22-22 at intermission.


Grand Canyon: The Antelopes played just their second road game of the season.

San Diego St.: The Aztecs dropped to 0-2 against Grand Canyon. They lost to the Antelopes 86-68 on Feb. 23, 1980.


Grand Canyon plays Houston in the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas on Monday night.

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