Junior guard DeWayne Russell led four other Antelopes in double figures with a game-high 19 points to lead Grand Canyon to an 83-57 win over Utah Valley on Saturday night in front of 6,116 fans at GCU Arena.
Grand Canyon (15-11, 6-3) used a 15-3 run midway through the first period to take a 17-point advantage, 36-19, with 4:43 to play in the opening period. The 'Lopes held on to take a 47-33 advantage into the break.
With back-to-back 3-point field goals from sophomore forward Zach Nelson, Utah Valley (9-15, 3-6) was able to cut the GCU lead to nine points, 47-38, with 19:13 remaining. That was as close as the Wolverines got as the 'Lopes then continued to extend their lead the remainder of the game to secure the 83-57 victory.
Grand Canyon shot a season-high 61.8 percent (34-55) from the field, including a blistering 72.0 percent clip in the first half. Utah Valley connected on 38.9 percent (21-54) of its shots from the field.
"Grand Canyon came out very aggressive and we could not find a solution to control them offensively," Utah Valley head coach Dick Hunsaker said. "We were not able to consistently score and match them. I thought we worked hard and stuck together as a team and we're going to keep working hard to improve."
Nelson led the Wolverines with a team-high 17 points, all of which came in the first half. Nelson connected on 6-of-12 shots from the field, including a career-high five makes from beyond the arc. Senior forward Mitch Bruneel helped with 13 points and seven rebounds, while junior guard Donte Williams reached double figures with 10 points.
Utah Valley returns home to take on New Mexico State and Texas-Pan American next week at the UCCU Center. The Wolverines host NM State on Thursday and UTPA on Saturday. Both games tipoff at 7:05 p.m. MT.
Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.