Grand Canyon fell to South Carolina 75-68 on Sunday in the Cactus Division championship game of the Arizona Tip-Off, leaving Desert Diamond Arena with a reality check of how much works needs to be done to get ready for a behemoth like San Diego State in a couple of weeks.
The Antelopes (3-1), suffering their first loss, was able to overcome a taller San Francisco team, 76-72, on Friday in the first round of the showcase.
But not a bigger, deeper, more powerful and talented South Carolina team, which might be the surprise team of the SEC this season after rebuilding its roster with lots of fifth-year seniors through the portal.
The Gamecocks improved to 5-0 with a bullish performance that exposed GCU’s bench and showed how much further along they are than the Antelopes with a methodical, deliberate half-court pace.
Here are takeaways from the two-game event that had a strong Havocs crowd:
No answer for B.J. Mack
As poorly as GCU shot most of the game, it kept hanging around. But, in the end, 6-foot-8, 270-pound graduate B.J. Mack was too much to handle. Mack had 27 points, making 9 of 9 free throws, and 4 of 7 3-pointers. It was the best he’s shot.
He used his big frame to overpower the Antelopes in the paint at times whenever GCU got within striking distance in the second half. And he feasted at the free-throw line.
GCU got within 71-68 after a Collin Moore jumper with 1:10 left, but Jacobi Wright scored easily along the baseline to make it a two-possession game with 45 seconds to play. Tyon Grant-Foster missed a three and Mack sank two foul shots to ice it.
“They’re old, and that helps,” Drew said. “They have seven super-seniors. This is their fifth year of college basketball and that makes a big difference. I think they have their identity of who they are right now. I think we’re going to look substantially different a month from now.”
GCU will need Blacksher to return
Point guard Jovan Blacksher Jr., should help whenever he gets back from the torn ACL he suffered last Jan. 5. He…
Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/learned-gcu-loss-south-carolina-033137913.html
Author : AZCentral | The Arizona Republic
Publish date : 2023-11-20 03:31:37
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