Grand Canyon University

47-point final quarter puts GCU in triple digits

Photo - Elizabeth Tinajero

Lopes hit 19 shots from 3-point range, defeat Nicholls State 103-55 at home

(Phoenix, AZ)  The Grand Canyon women’s basketball team shot 50% from deep for 19 made 3-pointers and put up 47 fourth-quarter points on the way to a dominant 103-55 victory over Nicholls State on Friday in the GCU Classic presented by Talking Stick Resort.

“It was refreshing to see them just come in with confidence, they were all for each other,” GCU head coach Molly Miller said. “We were a good cohesive group today.”

The Lopes (3-1) had four players score in double figures, led by graduate guard Ny’Dajah Jackson, who had 21 points on four 3-pointers and added three steals in just 14 minutes. GCU freshman point guard Kiyley Flowerstacked on 17 points and five steals off the bench, including a game-high five 3-pointers. Graduate guard Amara Graham added 13 points and senior guard Tianna Brown put up 12 points off a 4-for-5 performance from 3-point range.

“After shootaround, we had some extra time and everyone stayed and shot,” Miller said. “I think that’s a testament to how much these kids want it and how much they’re invested and are willing.”

The Lopes had great ball movement, piling up 27 assists on 41 made field goals. Individually, freshman point guard Ja’mya Powell-Smith dished a game-high five assists and graduate guard Chloe Akin-Otiko contributed four assists in only seven minutes.

After falling behind 6-0 to start the game, the Lopes went on a 12-0 run before the first-quarter media timeout.  Brown scored nine of her points in the first five minutes, all coming from behind the arc. The Lopes finished the quarter with a 21-13 lead.

GCU was the team with an early-quarter, 6-0 run, starting at the 9:50 mark of the second period, when a Graham 3 increased the lead to 27-13. The Colonels cut into that margin, but the Lopes still had a 35-23 advantage at halftime.

GCU carried its momentum into the second half by going on a 7-0 run, punctuated by Brown’s fourth 3-pointer. The Lopes were relentless on defense and forced 34 Colonel turnovers with 25 steals, led by junior forward Dominique Phillips’ four. In the second half, GCU scored 68 points.

Akin-Otiko scored her first career bucket in the fourth quarter off a 3, adding to the list of seven Lopes who were successful from downtown.

Within a 20-second span, GCU’s Jackson hit a 3, snagged a steal and went coast to coast to finish the layup. Jackson scored all 21 of her points in the final 4:20 of the game, helping the Lopes to a GCU record of 47 points in the fourth quarter.

“I hope this was a confidence builder for our girls to step into their shot and shoot it, continue to rely on our defense,” Miller said. “I think that was our initial spark. We got three stops in a row there at the beginning of the fourth quarter so that sparked our offense. Whenever we can turn defense into offense, it’s a really good thing for us.”

The Lopes have a quick turnaround, as they play the final game of the GCU Classic at 2 p.m. Saturday against Houston Baptist.

Press Release courtesy of Grand Canyon Athletics – Sierra Smith



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