Grant-Foster scores 22, Grand Canyon beats UTA 89-74, wins 2nd straight WAC Tournament

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tyon Grant-Foster scored 22 points, Ray Harrison added 15 of his 19 in the second half and top-seeded Grand Canyon beat UT Arlington 89-74 Saturday night to win the Western Athletic Conference Tournament for the second consecutive season and clinch an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Lopes have appeared five of the last six WAC Tournament title games, winning three of the last four.

Lok Wur scored 16 points and Jovan Blacksher Jr. 14 for Grand Canyon (29-4).

Phillip Russell led UT Arlington (20-14) with 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Shemar Wilson added 13 points and Akili Vining 10.

Harrison converted a three-point play and followed with two free throws to open the second half as Grand Canyon scored 14 of the first 21 points to open its biggest lead at 50-39 with 15 minutes to play. Brandyn Talbot answered with two free throws before Phillip Russell hit a 3 to trim the deficit to six points a minute later and made another from beyond the arc to make it 68-64 with 4 minutes remaining.

McGlothan answered with a monstrous two-hand dunk before Talbot hit another 3 to cut UTA's deficit to three points but Harrison hit two free throws and the Mavericks committed turnovers on their next two possessions and, each time, Grant-Foster hit two free throws before Harrison made a layup to cap an 8-0 run and make it 78-67 with 1:43 to go.

Moore threw down a fast-break dunk with 2.9 seconds left that stretched Grand Canyon's lead to 86-74 — the Lopes' biggest of the game. Russell, who apparently took umbrage with the play, seemed to intentionally bump Moore, who was then hit with the ball following a baseball pass by Vining. Moore was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul, Vining a technical foul and both players were ejected.

Derrick Michael Xzavierro, who didn't play for Grand Canyon, was also ejected for leaving the bench area.

UT Arlington shot 49% (25 of 51) from the field and limited the Lopes to just 40% (23 of 58) shooting but the Mavericks were outscored 37-14 from the free-throw line, where GCU attempted a Division-I program record 50 shots.

Grand Canyon scored 32 points off 26 Mavericks turnovers and committed 14, which UTA converted into just 11 points.

No. 3 seed UT Arlington made its only NCAA Tournament appearance when the Mavericks won the 2008 Southland Conference Tournament. UTA joined the WAC prior to the 2022-23 season.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball