GCU basketball continues program-best start with close win over Louisiana Tech

Dec 30, 2023, 8:31 PM | Updated: 8:53 pm

Bryce Drew...

Head coach Bryce Drew has led the 'Lopes to a 18-2 start on the season. (GCU_MBB/X photo)

(GCU_MBB/X photo)

The Grand Canyon Antelopes notched another victory to stay unbeaten at home and extend their program-best start with a 73-70 win over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on Saturday.

With their ninth straight win, the Antelopes move to 12-1 on the season and remain the only team in the Western Athletic Conference with double-digit wins.

GCU’s only loss on the season came at technically-neutral-site Diamond Desert Arena at the hands of South Carolina who was 6-0 at the time and is now 12-1. The Gamecocks, like the ‘Lopes, are currently in the “others receiving votes” category in the AP poll.

Ray Harrison led GCU finished with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting (4-of-7 from three) and five assists, leading his team in both categories with the game-high for scoring as well. He scored 13 of his 22 in the second half as GCU jockeyed for the lead.

The ‘Lopes jumped out to a 22-12 lead early, but the game quickly became a dogfight the rest of the way.

The only time either team led by more than one possession in the final six minutes was a short-lived four-point lead by LA Tech (9-5) with three minutes to go.

When the Bulldogs held their four-point lead, ESPN’s win probability gave the ‘Lopes just a 25.0% chance to win.

Tyon Grant-Foster entered the day as the nation’s 13th-leading scorer at 20.9 points per game, but his shot wasn’t as effective on Saturday, finishing with just 13 points on 3-for-12 shooting.

He was, however, a monster on the defensive end thanks to his high effort and elite length at 6-foot-7 with a 7-1 wingspan, tallying two blocks and the game-clinching steal with 14 seconds left shortly after a deflection paused one of the final Bulldog possessions.

Collin Moore put the game on ice with his two free throws with 12 seconds left, and LA Tech’s Tahlik Chavez missed a three as time expired.

Chavez, who was 4-of-6 from three before the missed shot that would’ve sent the game to overtime, and Daniel Batcho led the Bulldogs with 16 points apiece.

GCU shot 55.0% from three and 87.5% from the free throw line in the win.

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