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Grand Canyon 'Lopes

Russell, Vernon lift Grand Canyon past Ill.-Chicago

PHOENIX — DeWayne Russell and Keonta Vernon combined for 33 points — including some clutch shooting in the final seconds — as Grand Canyon held on to defeat Illinois-Chicago 73-69 on Saturday night.

Russell finished with 18 points, his sixth-straight game in double figures, and hit a free throw with 13 seconds left to push the game out of reach. Vernon finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds for his second double-double. He scored from the low post and was fouled with 59 seconds left, the three-point play putting Grand Canyon (5-4) ahead 72-69.

Dikembe Dixson led UIC (4-5) with 19 points and Tarkus Ferguson, a freshman, added a career-best 16 on 7-for-7 shooting. Clint Robinson added 10 points.

Dixson and Ferguson hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Flames took a 66-65 lead with 5:03 to play, capping a 10-0 run. Tai Odiase went without a blocked shot for the first time in 19 games.

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