GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says GCU crowd tougher than Duke, Kentucky

Dec 3, 2016, 9:53 PM | Updated: 10:14 pm

The Grand Canyon University men’s basketball program isn’t eligible for the NCAA Tournament until next season, but they aren’t going to stay quiet while they wait.

Those in attendance for the GCU Havocs student section while their team took on No. 14 Louisville Saturday night kept the noise up, creating an electric atmosphere.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, who first became a college basketball head coach in 1978, had high praise for the arena’s noise.

“In college basketball, my 40-plus years, (that) was the toughest crowd I’ve ever faced,” Pitino said. “Awesome.

“You got something special here, really special. When you have this type of enthusiasm, it made us a much better team tonight. Whether we go to Duke, Kentucky, nothing was as tough as that environment tonight.”

GCU Arena was ready for Louisville’s visit, setting an attendance record.

The team played up to the crowd.

Senior guard DeWayne Russell led the charge. He scored 42 points, the most by a GCU player in Division I play. Pitino called it the best guard performance against one of his teams.

He gave the Antelopes a first-half lead over a top-25 ranked team in the country in fashion.

GCU wound up losing the game 79-70 but will have one more chance at pulling off the upset against a highly-regarded college basketball program when they take on Arizona on Dec. 14 in Tucson.

Penguin Air

Grand Canyon University

The GCU team before a baseball game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Grand Canyon Lopes o...
Arizona Sports

GCU baseball hires Gregg Wallis as next head coach

Grand Canyon has found its next baseball coach, hiring former assistant Gregg Wallis to take over for Andy Stankiewicz.
3 months ago
Andy Stankiewicz Grand Canyon Head Coach gets ready for a baseball game between the Texas Tech Red ...
Arizona Sports

USC baseball hires GCU’s Andy Stankiewicz as head coach

After 11 seasons as manager of Grand Canyon's baseball team, Andy Stankiewicz is taking the head coaching job at USC.
3 months ago
Twitter photo/@GCU_Baseball...
Associated Press

GCU baseball blows 6-run lead to Missouri St., eliminated from NCAA Tournament

GCU's baseball team's season came to a close after blowing a six-run lead to Missouri St. in an elimination game in the NCAA Tournament.
4 months ago
Carter Young (31) Grand Canyon Right Handed Pitcher sets before a pitch during a baseball game betw...
Arizona Sports

Arizona, GCU baseball make 2022 NCAA Tournament as at-large bids

Both Arizona and GCU's baseball teams made the field of 64 in the 2022 NCAA Tournament as at-large bids on Monday.
4 months ago
Head coach  Bryce Drew of the Grand Canyon Lopes reacts during a semifinal game of the Western Athl...
Arizona Sports

GCU basketball’s NCAA tourney hopes end with loss in WAC Tournament

GCU basketball fell to the New Mexico State Aggies 75-70 in the WAC Tournament semifinals at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
7 months ago
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino says GCU crowd tougher than Duke, Kentucky