The Toreros improved to 5-0 and are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.
Yauhen Massalski and Isaiah Pineiro each scored 17 points in the victory with Massalski doing most of the damage in the first half and Pineiro in the second half. Massalski scored 11 points in the first half while Pineiro scored 13 in the second.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys for showing great toughness and grinding out a win in a hostile environment.” Toreros coach Lamont Smith said. “Our defense the last nine minutes of the game was the difference.”
The Toreros were able to hold the Antelopes (4-1), which averaged 75.8 points a game coming to Saturday’s game, to 62 points for the night.
Grand Canyon still gave San Diego plenty of trouble with 11 lead changes. The Lopes had a point-lead heading into the half and maintained that lead through the start of the second half.
Massalski finally tied it up with 10:32 into the second half at 49-49. Pineiro’s dunk gave the San Diego the lead for the rest of the game with 5:27 remaining.
“At the 12-minute mark and we were down seven points, that was a make-or-break time,” said Olin Carter III, who contributed 15 points for the Toreros. “We could either folded and let the lead blow or we could fight like we did. We toughened up. We came together as a team and put on a tough fight.”
The Toreros will host its cross-town rival San Diego State at 8 p.m. Thursday. The Aztecs (4-1) are playing in the finals of the Wooden Legacy on Sunday evening.
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