South Carolina Wins Cactus Division Title
PHOENIX — South Carolina carried a furious second half start and a 27 point output from Arizona Tip-Off Cactus Division Most Valuable Player BJ Mack to a Cactus Division Championship, 75-68, Sunday night at Diamond Desert Arena.
Mack’s output led all scorers in the Championship Game and was the second most points scored by an individual in either division of the Arizona Tip-Off. He was joined in double figures by Myles Stute (12) and Jacobi Wright (10). Meechie Johnson dropped nine points and six rebounds, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
South Carolina (4-0) led for 16:27 of the first half, bringing a 30-29 advantage into the second stanza. The Gamecocks made eight of their first 11 shots in the second half, taking a 52-43 lead into the under-12 media timeout. They did not relinquish the advantage for the remainder of the contest. Out of the under-12 break, South Carolina jumped out to an 11-point lead with 10:35 remaining left in regulation.
Grand Canyon (3-1) was paced by Gabe McGlothan’s 18 points. He was tailed by Tyon Grant-Foster (16), Colin Moore (15) and Ryan Harrison (12) in double digits. Grant-Foster added three rebounds and an assist for a spot on the All-Tournament Team following his 28 point effort Friday night.
The Lopes cut their disadvantage to as few as two after a 7-0 run in a mere :58 seconds with 5:32 remaining, but South Carolina ripped off six straight points in the immediate :57. Grand Canyon never had it closer than three the rest of the way, getting within a basket at 1:14. South Carolina ended the game on 4-0 spurt.
This contest concluded the inaugural Arizona Tip-Off. South Carolina welcomes Notre Dame in the ACC/SEC Challenge next Tuesday, while Grand Canyon hosts North Dakota State Saturday night.
2023 ARIZONA TIP-OFF
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM AND MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Most Valuable Player – BJ Mack, South Carolina
Meechie Johnson, South Carolina
Tyon Grant-Foster, GCU
Chico Carter Jr. – DePaul
Marcus Williams – San Francisco