PHOENIX - MacKenzie McCullough scored a game-high 22 points as the UC San Diego men's basketball team defeated Grand Canyon, 71-63, Friday in exhibition play at GCU Arena.
McCullough, a senior forward, was 8-for-12 from the field and made five of six three-point attempts. He also hauled in a team-high seven rebounds.
Three other Tritons finished with 10 or more points, including James McCann (17), Aleks Lipovic (14) and Hunter Walker (11). Walker dished out five assists while Lipovic drained four three-pointers.
UCSD netted 12 treys in the game. Overall, the Tritons made 24 of 54 shots from the field, 44.4%.
"I thought our guys played really hard from start to finish," said first-year head coach Eric Olen. "We gave up a lead late in the second half, but our effort never wavered and we were able to fight back and make some plays down the stretch."
GCU, in its first season as a member of NCAA Division I, was led by Jerome Garrison's 17 points. Blake Davis finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards while also chipping in with seven assists. Killian Larson had 13 points and Akachi Okugo totaled 12.
The Antelopes were 23-for-55 on the night, 41.8%. They drained 10 three-point shots.
GCU out-rebounded UC San Diego, 36 to 30.
A three-pointer by Lipovic at 15:38 of the first half put UCSD up 12-2, its largest lead of the night. The Antelopes climbed back in it and the Tritons led by just a point, 30-29, at the half.
A free throw by Garrison with 1:58 remaining in the game tied it at 63-63. However, McCann exploded, scoring the game's final eight points on back-to-back layups and four straight free throws.
The Tritons made 50% of their shots in the second stanza.
"I'm really pleased with our effort tonight and this will give us some confidence going forward," said Olen. "We're really excited about the potential we have."
Next up, the Tritons open their regular season at home by entertaining Daemen College on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.