LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Grand Canyon defeated Cal Poly Pomona 49-48 on Friday at RIMAC Arena. The win advanced the Antelopes to Saturday’s second round, and avenged their 68-61 West Region Final loss to Pomona in 2011.

“Today was a very hard fought contest and I have to give a lot of credit to Pomona and their staff,” head coach Trent May said. “I am definitely proud of our girls. We had a lot of runs today, but Pomona answered. Our girls stayed resilient. Every play in the game matters and I was proud of their effort and hustle. We had enough to advance and that’s what matters.”

GCU shot 35 percent (17-for-48) for the game and was led by Maylinn Smith with 15 points and Jallisa Butler with 12 points. Angelina Dennison added nine points.

GCU got off to a hot start, opening the game on a 6-0 run before Pomona finally scored. The Broncos answered with six points of their own as both teams entered the first media timeout locked in a 6-6 tie with 15:29 on the clock. Pomona then took a 7-6 lead, their lone lead of the game.

GCU went on a 6-2 run to take a 12-8 lead. The two teams exchanged baskets before the ‘Lopes went on an 8-2 run to build their lead to 25-17.

The Broncos pulled within four at 25-21 with under three minutes to play before GCU outscored Pomona 7-0 for the remainder of the half to take a 32-21 advantage into the locker room.

The ‘Lopes shot 46 percent (12-for-26) from the field in the first half, including an 8-for-11 mark from the free-throw line, and out-rebounded Pomona 16-11. The Broncos shot 38 percent (8-for-21) in the first half.

Smith and Butler each had seven points at the half, while Dennison added six points and Stevie Kamp had four points.

GCU led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but were held scoreless for nearly nine minutes as Pomona scored seven unanswered points. The Broncos pulled within five points at 44-39 with 2:01 to play. Smith then drained a 3-pointer to give the ‘Lopes a 47-39 lead. Megan Ford made two free throws and Rosslyn Beard nailed a 3-pointer to narrow the score to 47-44 with 40 seconds remaining.

Smith made one of two free throws to put GCU up 48-44. On the other end of the court, J.J. Judge made one of two free throws to narrow the deficit to 48-45. Butler then made the first of two free throws to give GCU a four-point advantage at 49-45. Judge nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but the Broncos fell short as the ‘Lopes won 49-48.

The Broncos outscored the ‘Lopes 27-17 in the second half as GCU was held to a 22 percent from the field.