LA JOLLA, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's basketball team opened its home season on a down note Saturday night, suffering a 65-52 loss against non-conference opponent Grand Canyon at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD fell to 1-2 overall while GCU, which received votes in the preseason national poll, improved to 3-2.
The Tritons led by as many as nine points in the first half, but a second half surge by the Antelopes propelled them to the victory. Grand Canyon improved its shooting percentage by nine points from half to half, going from 34.5% to 43.5%.
The 'Lopes also capitalized on 12 UCSD turnovers, parlaying them into 18 points. They made 22 of 30 free throws in the game.
UCSD got a team-high 16 points from guard Tyler McGrath. Forward Justin Brue followed with 12 points and led all players with nine rebounds. He also contributed with two assists and two blocks.
For Grand Canyon, Joshua Lowery had 17 points, five boards and three assists. He made just three of eight shots from the floor, but was 11-for-13 from the free throw line. Braylon Pickrel recorded 10 points and Killian Larson had a team-best seven rebounds.
Behind by one point at 29-28 coming out of halftime, a jumper by Jerome Garrison put the Antelopes ahead, 30-29. UCSD would not lead again until a Brue layup made the score 44-43 in favor of the Tritons with 9:45 remaining in the game. However, GCU went ahead 45-44 on a putback by Pickrel and then extended its lead to seven as Brad Carroll drained back-to-back three-pointers, the second coming at the 7:26 mark.
The Tritons' largest lead of the night came with 13:21 left in the first half when freshman forward Drew Dyer drilled a three-pointer to put the Tritons up 16-7.
UCSD hit 36% of its shots while GCU finished at 38.5% overall.
The Tritons begin their California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) slate at Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --