By: Mack Drake/GCU Staff
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Basketball Purple team dropped three games to Arizona State University Downtown in its first game action of 2020.
ASU Downtown took the first two games of the series by scores of 76-57 and 83-50, respectively. The Sun Devils then clinched the sweep with a much more competitive 72-71 victory over the Lopes in Game 3 Thursday night.
“Our attitude and effort wasn’t there in the first two games,” said GCU Purple Head Coach Zane Pantil. “Our attitude was on the negative side, and it affected our energy. We also gave up too many offensive rebounds and committed too many turnovers in all three games.”
The trio of losses dropped the Lopes to 0-5 on the season, and 0-3 in the National Club Basketball Association’s Southern Pacific East Conference. GCU White leads the conference with 2-1 mark.
The Lopes routinely gave up extra possessions early in the series, committing 26 turnovers in Game 1 and 20 in Game 2. GCU turned it over just 11 times in Game 3 — one of the reasons the final contest of the series was more competitive.
GCU held a lead late in Game 3 before ASU Downtown scored on a layup to take a 72-71 lead. The Lopes couldn’t convert on a game-winner on the other side of the floor.
“That third game was the best we’ve played all season even though we lost,” Pantil said. “We played better on the defensive end, and our attitude and effort was much better. The improvement we showed from Games 1 and 2 to Game 3 is going to help us going forward.”
Jarrius Gillon, Isaiah Saqui and Cameron Rawlings were standout players for the Lopes in the three-game set.
“It’s a team game and a team effort, but those guys played hard and stood out,” Pantil said.
GCU Purple is back in action next week with a pair of games against ASU on Thursday and Sunday in Tempe. GCU White will play a three games at ASU Downtown, with Game 1 on Thursday, Game 2 on Saturday and Game 3 on Sunday.