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WATCH: Grand Canyon fans help Arizona Wildcats get big win in final seconds

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 05, 2017

After a rough start to their season, the Arizona Wildcats got a much-needed win against a top-ranked opponent Tuesday, with a key assist from their neighbors to the north.

The Wildcats were slated to face undefeated No. 7 Texas A&M in the first of two games at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix on Tuesday night, with Grand Canyon set to face St. John's in the second game of the doubleheader. Well, a number of GCU fans decided to take in both games -- and in doing so, they helped propel the Cats to victory in the game's final seconds.

With two seconds to play, Texas A&M trailed Arizona by three points but had a chance to tie the game if Duane Wilson, a 95 percent free-throw shooter, made all three of his free-throw attempts. But Wilson missed the first of his three tries, possibly thanks in part to GCU fans behind the basket doing all they could to distract him.


Arizona went on to make a pair of free throws on the other side of the court, and a last-second A&M shot came up short, giving the Wildcats a 67-64 win.

After the game, UA coach Sean Miller praised Lopes fans and remembered just how loud they were when Arizona and GCU faced off last year in Tucson.

"I learned a lot about GCU when we played them last year. We have a lot of a respect for them. They're the only group of people in my nine years in Arizona that I've ever heard in McKale (Center)," Miller said.

"I've never heard a crowd, even maybe one person, yell something. They actually had a patch of fans (at last year's game). They love college basketball, and it's great for our state. (Coach) Dan Majerle has done an amazing job there."

A couple of UA players recognized the difference GCU fans and the "Havocs" student section made in the Wildcats' win.

That's not to say GCU was all about the Wildcats on Tuesday, as their fans and UA's fans went back and forth with some dueling chants throughout the Wildcats' game.

GCU fans stuck around to make a ton of noise during the Lopes' game against St. John's, but it wasn't enough as GCU fell short 68-60 for its second loss of the season.