PHOENIX, Ariz. - Prior to this season, Grand Canyon hadn't lost its first home game of the season in nearly 17 years (Nov. 22, 2002, vs. St. Xavier). In a game that won't count towards Davenport's record, the Panthers sure played like it did on Tuesday night as they knocked off the Division I Lopes, 82-73, inside GCU Arena.
PRESEASON RANKINGS: NCAA.com top 25 | NABC top 25
Chris Rollins led Davenport and tied the game-high with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-for-6 from deep, and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Rollins also notched three rebounds and three assists in his team-high 30 minutes on the court. Robbie Bramhill (17 points) and Evan Hines (12 points) also had big nights on the offensive end as they went 5-for-9 and 4-for-7 from behind the arc, respectively. Janeau Joubert finished with nine points and Jarrin Randall scored eight, including a pair of triples, while Tafari Beckford led the Panthers in rebounds (7) and tied Bramhill for the team lead in assists (4).
SCB HALL OF FAME CLASSIC: Scores from opening weekend of the DII season
Aside from a pair of ties at 2-2 and 4-4, Davenport led from wire to wire and started the game with 12 of its first 16 points. Hines capped the opening spurt with back-to-back three-pointers and the Panthers were off and running. Grand Canyon answered with a two-plus-one before Davenport countered with another 12-4 run to take its biggest lead of the half at 13, 24-11. The Lopes didn't go away quietly as they proceeded to score 10-straight points and shrunk the Panthers' lead to three, 24-21, and again at 30-27. Davenport was able to weather the storm, though, and got the lead back to seven, 35-28, heading into halftime.
Out of the break, the Panthers' halftime adjustments seemed to click as they opened the second half with an 11-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game at 16, 46-30. In the 15 minutes and change after that, nearly every time the Lopes scored, the Panthers had an answer, especially from long range. Eight different times in that span alone, Grand Canyon scored before Davenport returned the favor and hit a three to keep the Lopes at bay. Grand Canyon could never get closer than seven (78-71 and 80-73) before the final nine-point margin.
While Davenport was making it rain from long range, Grand Canyon was struggling as it made just two of its 19 attempts from three-point land. The Panthers dominated in bench scoring to the tune of 37-6 as the Lopes used just seven players on the night. The two teams were nearly identical from the field in the second half as Davenport shot 59.3 percent (16-for-27) and Grand Canyon answered with a clip of 59.4 percent (19-of-32). The difference came from behind the arc where, in the season's first two games, the Panthers shot just 25.5 percent (12-for-47).
Next up, Davenport will open up its 16-game home slate on Friday with Rockhurst and tip-off is set for 3 p.m. inside the Student Center.