GWU men prepare to battle Wofford

Dec. 05, 2012 @ 08:19 AM

It has been a good start to the season for the Gardner-Webb men's basketball team.

Even with a 5-4 record, the Runnin' Bulldogs have managed to knock off a BCS opponent in DePaul, capture the 2012 Cancun Challenge divisional championship and come within a jump shot of knocking off Illinois.

Gardner-Webb has an opportunity to continue its hot hand when it travels to Wofford for a 7 p.m. tip tonight in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Runnin' Bulldogs are led by sophomore forward Donta Harper, who had a career-high 22 points against Virginia-Wise on Monday in a 77-58 win.

Thus far, Harper leads the team with 14.6 points per game this season and, over his last three games, has averaged 19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

After winning three of their last four games, the Runnin' Bulldogs have seen their record climb to the best in the Big South South Division, leading Winthrop and Coastal Carolina by three games and Gardner-Webb's RPI, according to RealTimeRPI.com, has moved up to No. 130 as of Dec. 4. That is the highest RPI in the Big South as Charleston Southern is next at No. 219.

Take into account that two of their losses have come against ranked opponents and were both under 16-point losses and the Runnin' Bulldogs may have reason to think success is in the air.

But, Gardner-Webb will tip off its second game in five days tonight at Wofford, who is coming off a 70-55 win over Winthrop back on Nov. 28.

Against Virginia-Wise, the Runnin' Bulldogs had a season-best 20 assists on 29 baskets and had a 12-2 edge on the fast break.

Then, of course, there is history as Gardner-Webb holds a 5-2 series advantage on the Terriers. Granted, the two have not faced each other since February 1995 when GWU defeated Wofford, 92-77 at Paul Porter Arena.

The Terriers are led by Karl Cochran and his 17.6 points per game. Lee Skinner (11.6) and Spencer Collins (10.3) are the only other Terriers averaging in double-figures thus far this season.

After tonight, the Runnin' Bulldogs will have another game this week when they host Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m. at Paul Porter Arena.