It’s no longer a gimme that Grand Canyon wins at home in front of the Havocs, one of the nation’s most rabid student sections.
The Antelopes have lost three inside GCU Arena and are off to their worst nine-game start (3-6) in the Dan Majerle coaching era.
The 2014-15 Lopes lost eight at home, so a loss Tuesday night against Mountain Saint Mary’s would put them halfway there, not even halfway through the season.
There have been mostly lows for the 2019-20 version that should get better at the end of the semester when senior forward Oscar Frayer and St. John’s transfer guard Mikey Dixon become eligible.
Frayer gives Majerle a player who can be a stopper against a hot scorer. Dixon gives GCU a 3-point shooting threat with athleticism.
But these guys, Majerle said after Saturday’s 71-60 home loss to Purdue Fort Wayne, need to figure out how to run, defend and score.
“The fire, the intensity, we couldn’t keep anybody in front of us,” Majerle said after the game. “They moved the ball and broke us down off of swings. On the offensive end, again, we’re being selfish. One or two passes. Trying to take guys off the dribble.
“We haven’t been good enough. We try to get out on the break. We scored one basket on the break. Every other time we threw the ball away.”
Majerle’s bench is only two players deep. He has tried to mix up the lineups.
On Saturday, for the first time, three former Phoenix Shadow Mountain players – Carlos Johnson, J.J. Rhymes and Jovan Blacksher Jr. – started together.
Lorenzo Jenkins, a transfer wing from Colorado State, had no points off the bench, after starting all but the past two games.
Johnson, who had been leading the Lopes in scoring most of the season, made only 1 of 11 shots against Purdue Fort Wayne.
“We don’t move the basketball,” Majerle said. “I don’t know if they trust each other or what the deal is.
“I haven’t figured it out yet. But we will. We just have to keep working at it.”
Mountain Saint Mary’s (3-5) at GCU (3-6), 7 p.m., Tuesday: The Mountaineers are coming off a 73-56 win over Howard with Jalen Gibbs scoring 17 of his 23 points in the second half. This is the first meeting between the two schools. Mount Saint Mary’s lost its first game of the year to Georgetown, 81-68. It also lost to Pac-12 Washington 56-46. GCU’s most consistent offensive player lately has been 6-foot-10 junior Alessandro Lever, who is averaging 14.8 points, making 48 percent of his shots.
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