GCU cruises in road finale, takes blowout into final 3 home games
(Chicago, IL) Grand Canyon needed to get back to its winning ways Wednesday night and has just the coach for that because he has has done plenty of that.
GCU head coach Bryce Drew recorded career coaching win No. 200 with his Lopes giving a dominant road effort, throttling the Cougars early with their defense and delivering Drew’s landmark victory in 85-64 style. Drew is the only WAC head coach with 200 victories besides Dixie State’s Jon Judkins and Sam Houston’s Jason Hooten.
The best decoy that Drew’s players gave all night was when Drew entered the postgame locker room to a room of seated players. Once graduate swingman Sean Miller-Moore approached him for a hug, graduate guard Holland Woods II and junior forward Taeshon Cherry came from behind and dumped a large cooler of ice water on their coach to set off a locker room celebration.
In Chicago State’s final WAC season, GCU (19-7, 10-5 WAC) bid farewell to the Jones Convocation Center by holding Chicago State to 28% shooting in the first half before stat monitors crashed in the second half. The Lopes offense may have blown the computer by making 13 shots from 3-point range, notching their second-best 3s total of the season.
GCU sought a more-balanced offensive attack to support sophomore guard Jovan Blacksher Jr. and graduate guard Holland Woods II and got it from a variety of sources. Graduate swingman Sean Miller-Moore scored five of GCU’s first six points to help send the Lopes to a 24-9 lead.
Miller-Moore was one of four Lopes players to score in double figures with Woods leading with 15 and the GCU bench boost being led by second-year guard Chance McMillian with 13 points and graduate Walter Ellis with 12 on four 3-pointers.
The Lopes were only slowed by eight first-half turnovers because they were shooting 60% for mos tof the first half to turn their away finale into a far-and-away finale. Chicago State never was closer than a 17-point deficit in the second half, when Woods scored eight and Ellis added nine.
GCU remained in fifth place in the WAC at 10-5 in conference play but tightened the race with Sam Houston (12-3 in WAC play) and Stephen F. Austin (10-4), who play each other Thursday night. Sam Houston comes to GCU Arena on Saturday night in the first of three consecutive home games that end the Lopes’ regular season. The conference’s third- and fourth-place teams will receive byes into the WAC Tournament quarterfinals in Las Vegas.
Press Release courtesy of Grand Canyon University Athletics – Paul Coro