Phoenix – Montana State squandered a 19-point lead because the Grand Canyon clinched a 60-54 win within the pre-season league favorites sport from the Huge Sky and Western Athletic Conferences Monday night time right here within the Valley of the Solar.
GCU earned a game-high 18 factors from star RJ Blackshear within the season opener for each groups. Blackshear hit the third pointer with 23.4 to play and elevate the antelope 58-52. MSU had three however missed, Sam Lecholat obtained the rebound and made two free throws solely to see GCU seal the win on the free throw line with Blackshear hitting a pair because the Bobcats needed to make a late foul.
“I assumed they had been the aggressors within the second half, and we had been the aggressors within the first,” mentioned fourth-year Michigan State College coach Danny Sprinkle, coach of the yr at this yr’s Huge Sky Convention. “It got here as a result of we could not cease any of their rides as a result of, I would not say we missed huge open photographs, however we obtained some actually attractiveness that would have pissed off their operating.”
Grand Canyon followers lived by their very own noise degree as one of many loudest And essentially the most vociferous fan base nationally in school basketball because it seems to be like they’ll get their workforce again into the sport. Antelope’s scholar part was full of practically 3,000 energetic college students and so they did not relaxation all night time. The official attendance was 7,171 followers.
“They weren’t like that the final time we had been right here,” Sprinkle mentioned. “It is nice. It is what school basketball needs to be like.”
MSU (0-1) regarded like they had been going to spring to victory and hand GCU coach Bryce Drew to solely his sixth dwelling loss, however the Bobcats had been unable to seek out the mark off the sector after advancing 40-21 very early within the second half. GCU had a 14-2 spherical to get issues carried out and rating 44-40.
“Now we have to be prepared for 40 minutes, not 20,” mentioned Michigan State College guard Raykan Patel. “We had been prepared for the primary 20 and so they had been prepared for the 20 seconds and the second 20 is an important.”
GCU scored the primary 4 factors within the sport earlier than MSU imposed its will and slowly constructed a 15-4 lead when Caleb Fuller put in a nook kick at 11:12 within the first half. The Bobcats saved their ft on the gasoline and entered the locker room by 36-19 because of Tyler Patterson’s 3-point bombshell on the bell.
MSU scored in its first second-half possession of Dunk by Jubrile Belo and regarded set to proceed his switch to Antelopes. Then the massive GCU run occurred and MSU could not reassemble fully.
Gabe McGlothan plotted a pair of MSU defenders with a spin off to lift GCU 55-52 with 2:31 to play. Then, after MSU could not join regardless of a number of attractiveness underneath the basket, Blackshear hit his dagger 3 balls 24 seconds in the past to provide GCU a 58-52 lead that MSU cannot recuperate from.
“I assumed our first-half swagger was one thing we had been happy with,” mentioned Michigan State College’s Nice Osobour. “It is only a matter of staying on the workforce’s neck and ending the match.”
Osobor was the one MSU participant with double figures with 11 factors. Bello was subsequent with 9 factors and 6 excessive rebounds for the workforce.
MSU suffered a second-half foul subject as 4 gamers completed off 4 or extra fouls and Darius Brown’s second foul.
It might be that this mixed with the extra aggressive gameplay of GCU and the need to succeed in the sting could spell MSU’s doom. The Antelopes had been solely 6 for 20 off the bottom at one level, however the Blackshear guards and particularly Ray Harrison smashed the encircling MSU defenses away from the dribble and the comeback was on.
MSU’s wild trip continues subsequent Sunday, November 13 in Lengthy Seaside. The sport will kick off at 5 PM MT and will probably be broadcast on ESPN+.
Blake Hempstead pictures, Skyline Sports activities. All rights reserved.
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