Junior forward Luke Meikle scored a career-high 22 points, but the Cal Poly men's basketball team faltered down the stretch in a 71-64 loss to Grand Canyon at GCU Arena in Phoenix.
Sophomore guard Donovan Fields added 14 points, while senior guard Ridge Shipley finished with 12 for Cal Poly (5-8), which has dropped four straight. First-time Mustangs opponent Grand Canyon (9-5) held Cal Poly, which tied the score at 48-48 late in the second half, to just two field goals during the next five minutes and converted 12 of their final 16 free throw attempts down the stretch to outdistance the Mustangs.
Cal Poly continues their six-game road trip and closes 2016 with a 10 a.m. matchup at Princeton on Saturday.
Grand Canyon extended early second-half leads to six points three times before a layup from guard DeWayne Russell pushed the home advantage to 43-36 with 12 minutes to play.
A 6-0 run punctuated by a layup from junior guard Victor Joseph brought the Mustangs within one point of Grand Canyon. After Lopes guard Fiffi Aidoo knocked down a free throw, Shipley tied the matchup at 44-44 through a layup with nine-and-a-half minutes remaining.
Twice more Cal Poly tied the matchup with a layup from senior guard Kyle Toth drawing the Mustangs level for the final time at 48-48.