Coming off a nail-biting 75-73 overtime win over BYU-Hawaii Grand Canyon University head coach Russ Pennell is hoping for a strong finish Saturday when the 22nd-ranked ‘Lopes (23-5, 14-3) travel to southern California this weekend against Azuza Pacific in the regular season finale.
“When they played us here they were very deliberate,” Pennell told Pros2Preps.com after the game Tuesday. “They slowed the game down…played a lot of zone. We know it will be a hard-fought game.”
It’s a crucial one for GCU who remains in a three-way tie atop the Pacific West Conference following Tuesday’s win over the Seasiders. Pennell believes the ‘Lopes, who have won six-straight, will get Azuza’s best shot.
“They’re going to want revenge on us,” Pennell said about Azuza Pacific who the Lopes defeated 50-49 in late January. “They’re going to want to spoil what we’re trying to do. We’re going to have to go over there with a tough mindset and get this thing done.”
The Lopes have adopted that tough mind set Pennell talked about after dropping their only home game of the season in the final seconds to Dixie State a few weeks ago. Dixie is one of the other teams bunched atop the Pac-West standings.
“This game [Saturday] is just as important [as beating BYU-Hawaii],” junior center Killian Larson said after his 17-point, 17-rebound performance against the Seasiders. “We’ll be ready.”
Tipoff is set for 9:00PM Arizona time. You can follow the action at gculopes.com.