LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ray Harrison scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half to put Grand Canyon comfortably in front and Gabe McGlothan scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half as the Antelopes eased past Southern Utah 84-66 to win the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship Saturday night.
Grand Canyon (24-11) came into the tournament as the No. 5 seed and posted wins over three higher seeds en route to the title, beating No. 4 seed Seattle in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Sam Houston in the semifinals. The win over the third-seeded Thunderbirds give the Lopes the conferences automatic berth into the NCAA tournament, their second berth in three years.
Yvan Ouedraogo’s jumper to take a 27-26 lead with six minutes left in the first half sparked an 19-3 run that featured four 3-pointers from Harrison. The Lopes led 44-31 at intermission and it stretched to as many as 18 points in the second half.
Harrison hit 10 of 18 shots from the field and was 5 of 7 from three-point range while grabbing eight rebounds and passing for eight assists. McGlothan hit 9 of 12 from the floor and drilled two of his three shots from beyond the arc. Noah Baumann contributed 16 points, hitting a career-high five 3-pointers.
Grand Canyon shot 30 of 55 (54.5%) from the field and hit 13 of 20 from distance. Southern Utah hit 22 of 63 from the floor (34.9%) and was 8 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Tevian Jones scored 17 points to lead Southern Utah (22-12). Maizen Fausett had 12 points and seven boards and Harrison Butler added 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
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