#LopesRising – GCU Advances To WAC Final


A day after one of their slowest starts of the season Grand Canyon University flipped the script Friday night jumping out to a 25-9 first-half lead and eventually pulling away from stingy Utah Valley 75-60 to advance to the WAC Tournament Championship  Saturday night in Las Vegas.

One of the many bright spots for the third-seeded Lopes was Joshua Braun who, after being held scoreless Thursday against UMKC, scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and added a pair of blocks after being benched for most of the second half in the quarterfinals.

GCU (22-10) led 41-27 at halftime after hitting 5-8 three-pointers and shooting 55 percent from the field overall.

Freshman star Alessandro Lever, who scored a game-high 29 points Thursday, once again jump-started the Lopes’ offense hitting a trio of three-pointers early in the first half as GCU sizzled at both ends of the floor.

Dan Majerle’s squad outrebounded UVU 46-36 and held the second-seeded Wolverines (22-10) to just 35 percent shooting from the field and 15 percent from behind the arc.

Senior Keonta Vernon was also in double figures scoring 14 points and adding eight rebounds.   

GCU, in their first year of Division-I eligibility, will play for an automatic birth to the NCAA tournament Saturday night at 8:00 at The Orleans Arena.