Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Unbeatens South Carolina, Grand Canyon shoot for tourney title

Field Level Media
19 Nov 2023, 15:19 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports)

The last time the South Carolina Gamecocks opened a season with four straight wins, they danced to the Final Four.

Their victory over DePaul on Friday at the Arizona Tip-Off in Glendale, Ariz., again has them at 4-0, and they will face the Grand Canyon Lopes (3-0) in the championship game of the inaugural event on Sunday.

Meechie Johnson, an Ohio State transfer, scored 24 points Friday night and South Carolina never trailed in its 73-68 victory. Zachary Davis added 10 points.

Grand Canyon outscored San Francisco 12-4 at the finish to win 76-72 on Friday. Tyon Grant-Foster, formerly of DePaul, netted 28 points and Ray Harrison scored 24.

The Gamecocks won their game despite their worst 3-point shooting performance of the season, making only 5 of 21 (23.8 percent).

They went from shooting 43.9 percent from beyond the arc as a team to 39.1 percent.

South Carolina limited DePaul to 41.1 percent shooting (23 of 56) from the field and 4 of 16 from 3-point range.

"Good, at times," South Carolina coach Lamont Paris said of the Gamecocks' defense. "I would say up and down. More up than down, obviously. You can't be more down than up usually and end up with wins."

San Francisco tied the score at 70 with 2:02 remaining before Grant-Foster's soaring scoring drive put the Lopes ahead with 56 seconds left.

Grand Canyon was in front 74-72 when San Francisco had a chance to tie with 26 seconds remaining.

The Lopes' Duke Brennan, an Arizona State transfer who finished with eight points and seven rebounds, anticipated a pass to San Francisco forward Jonathan Mogbo and deflected the ball off the backboard.

Harrison recovered the loose ball and was fouled. He made the two free throws to clinch the victory.

"That last five minutes, he was really good," Grand Canyon coach Bryce Drew said of Brennan. "Just his presence down low and the physicality that he brings. Him playing in the Pac-12 last year, he's used to some really intense games."

--Field Level Media

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