Big win for Grand Canyon as 12th-seeded Antelopes beat No. 5-seeded Saint Mary’s 75-66


SPOKANE, Washington (AP) — Tyon Grant-Foster scored 22 points, and Grand Canyon joined the list of schools to win an NCAA Tournament game as the 12th-seeded Antelope beat No. 5-seeded Saint Mary’s 75-66 on Friday night. Defeated by. ,

Grand Canyon (30-4) became the second No. 12 seed to pull off a late upset after James Madison beat Wisconsin. The Antelopes did it in style, slashing and shooting their way to expose the No. 2 scoring defense in the country.

Grant-Foster was a mover with the skills that will likely earn him a spot at the next level. Grant-Foster scored 13 in the second half, including a 3-pointer and a thunderous lob dunk during the Antelopes’ decisive 15-1 run that gave them a 50-35 lead with less than 12 minutes remaining .

Gabe McGlothan matched the physical post players for St. Mary’s and added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Ray Harrison finished with 17 points, including a spinning basket on a block with 1:40 left, giving the Antelopes a 69–60 lead. Aidan Mahaney’s 3-point attempt was blocked on the other end – the ninth block for Grand Canyon – and the Antelopes began to enjoy what they were on the verge of accomplishing.

The Antelopes were the seventh team this season to reach the 70-point mark against the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament champions.

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Grand Canyon will face No. 4 seed Alabama in the second round on Sunday.

Grand Canyon moved up to Division I in 2017 with grand aspirations. It wanted to be known as a basketball school. It wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. The Antelope have been here twice in the past three seasons, losing to Iowa as a No. 15 seed in 2021 and Gonzaga as a No. 14 seed last year.

Mitchell Saxon led St. Mary’s (26-8) with 14 points. Mahaney added 13, but made just 5 of 21 shots, including 3 for 13 on 3-pointers. Saint Mary’s pulled within 57–52 on Mahaney’s 3-pointer with 6:35 remaining, but the Gaels could get no closer.

The Antelopes played what felt like a glorified home game, with the crowd growing louder with every basket during a second-half race to take control. There were a lot of purple-clad “Havocs” in one section of Spokane Arena, but Grand Canyon became somewhat of an adopted home team since it was playing Gonzaga’s biggest rival.

Grand Canyon will face the challenge of the top scoring team in the country. Alabama made it look easy by scoring 109 points in a first-round win over Charleston and has not scored fewer than 71 in any game this season.

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