PHOENIX—Junior guard Eric Eaves tossed in a game-high 28 points, five rebounds but it wasn't enough as South Carolina State fell short, 78-74, to Grand Canyon in the opening round of the COLLEGEINSIDER.COM POSTSEASON Tournament at the Grand Canyon University Arena.
South Carolina State closes out the season at 19-15 overall, the best regular season since 2005. The Bulldogs got off to a slow start having played their fourth game in five days entering into today's contest.
Sophomore guard Ed Stephens finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while senior guard/forward Gabriel McCray added 12 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Grand Canyon jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but SC State charged back to take a 13-12 advantage at the 12:54 mark in the first-half. The Bulldogs found themselves down 32-44 during intermission.
SC State rallied in the second-half to pull within six (6), 63-57, at the 7:01 mark off a layup by Eaves. The Bulldogs then made their biggest comeback puling within one with four seconds, but Joshua Braun made five free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory for the Lopes.
The Bulldogs shot 55% from the field tossing in 29-of-61 on the night.
Braun led GCU with 16 points, while Grandy Glaze chipped in 15 in the win.
Eaves finished on 11-of-15 shooting from the field. Sophomore forward Tashombe Riley added eight points and four rebounds and senior forward/center Darryl Palmer tipped in six points, three rebounds and two blocks.