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Molly Miller won her first Division I game as coach of GCU women’s basketball team. Photo by David Kadlubowski/GCU (Photo: David Kadlubowski/GCU)

Coach Molly Miller brought a fast and furious basketball pace with her from Drury and turned Grand Canyon’s women players loose in their season opener Friday.

It resulted in a school scoring record as an NCAA Division I program.

GCU’s 93-72 win over Weber State at GCU Arena broke the previous record of 92 points that the Antelopes scored in the first game as a Division I team in 2013 against Western State.

The 29-point first quarter tied a GCU most in Division I.

Miller, named the GCU head coach in April, was twice an NCAA Division II Coach of the Year at her alma mater Drury in Missouri, and was 32-0 last year, before COVID-19 halted the season.

That Drury team won games by an average margin of 28.5 points.

“The bottom line was how hard our kids played tonight,” Miller said. “That’s why we won this game, with defensive effort and intensity. Fifty-fifty balls were ours. We were going on traps. We were really aggressive.”

After building a 19-point lead in the first quarter, the Antelopes got outscored in the second quarter 26-19, but got back rolling to open the second half with a 27-18 third quarter.

Taylor Caldwell had 21 points, making both of her 3-point attempts, and added seven rebounds and five assists to lead GCU.

Kennedi Shorts had 17 points, Ny’Dajah Jackson 16 and Laura Piera 13 for the Antelopes, who shot 50% for the game. They made 12 of 19 shots in the opening quarter.

They forced Weber State into 27 turnovers and 40.7% shooting.

“This team is special,” Miller said. “I told them in the locker room they’re bonded. They rally around each other when good and bad happens. We’re going to have a lot of people doing a lot of things for each other.”

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