Xavier Prep’s Murphy is still ballin’, gets GCU scoring record

One thing about small schools with evolving sports programs… there are plenty of records to set in the early stages.

Grand Canyon University in Phoenix is a small (25,000 enrollment), private college in Phoenix and, although it was founded in 1949, its sports programs have been really growing and evolving in recent years.

A week ago its women’s basketball coach, Trent May, became the school’s all-time winningest coach – in just his third year at the helm of the program.  He hit 50 wins to take over the title.

Over the weekend, Samantha Murphy became the program’s all-time leading scorer when she tallied a team-high 16 points in the final game of a four-game series in Hawaii.  Those 16 points against University of Hawaii-Hilo added up to 1,286 for her career, eclipsing the 1,281 points collected by Jennifer Cobb in her 2002-07 career at the school.

And Murphy, a graduate of nearby Xavier Prep HS, is still a junior.  By the time she wraps up her career, she may leave a legacy that will stand for some time.

The Antelopes had a little trouble getting their game on track against Hilo, going into the locker room at halftime two points down, but then rallied to outscore the Vulcans 43-20 in the second half.  The ‘Lopes had four players in double figures: Murphy, Ashley Hardin from Marcos de Niza HS (14), Kia Gibson (12), and Kristi Girdley (12).

Murphy has a teammate also moving up the career scoring list, as Stacy Haddow from Chino Valley HS, moved up to No. 4 with 895 career points.  She is also third on the GCU all-time rebounding list with 586, just 33 boards behind No. 2 Shannon Mustin, who graduated in 1991.

GCU has been a force in recent years in women’s basketball, winning the past three PacWest titles.  The win against Hawaii-Hilo gives the ‘Lopes sole possession of second place, just one game behind Hawaii Pacific.

The ‘Lopes have met and beat Hawaii Pacific once already, in a 56-55 thriller, and are scheduled to host them for a March 4 contest.  That game may determine the conference champion and who gets the automatic bid to the NCAA West Regional.