GWU edges Wofford
The Gardner-Webb women’s basketball team had four players post double digit points, while freshman guard Candace Brown hauled in 12 rebounds and knocked down four key free throws in the final 19 seconds of the game to help lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs to the 62-57 road win over Wofford College on Wednesday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C.
The win snaps GWU’s losing streak at three and pushes the Runnin’ Bulldogs to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in true road contests on the year. The loss drops Wofford to 5-4 on the season and 0-2 at home on the year.
Jasmine Dale and Catrina Green led the way for GWU with 12 points apiece, while both Jessica Heilig and Olivia Parker added 10 points each in the win. Brown hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with nine points and two assists.
For Wofford, senior guard Morgan Wrightson had a game-high 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting, while Daniella Motley poured in 16 points to go along with seven rebounds in 23 minutes of play.
Despite shooting only 17-of-36 (47.2 percent) from the free throw line for the game, GWU overcame its offensive woes by holding Wofford to 18-of-61 (29.5 percent) shooting from the floor and 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from behind the three-point line.
Early on, the two teams combined for 28 turnovers and GWU was in a 10-point hole after a lay-up from Motley with 13 minutes left in the first half.
Back-to-back free throws by Brown kick started an 8-0 run by the Runnin’ Bulldogs to put the visitors within two at 15-13 with 8:42 to go in the opening half of play.
After cutting the Terrier lead to one at 19-18 on a three-pointer by Lana Doran, Gardner-Webb stayed within one possession of the home team over the next several minutes until a lay up down low by Parker pushed GWU in front by one at 24-23 with 3:01 to go before the halftime.
However, a late second foul by the Runnin’ Bulldogs with two seconds to go in the half allowed the Terriers to retake the lead on two made free throws at 25-24 going into the halftime intermission.
GWU used a 10-0 run to start the second half to take a 34-25 lead after a 3-point basket from Dale.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs held on to the lead for the final 15 minutes of the game.
Wofford was able to cut the lead to four at 36-23 on back-to-back free throws from Jordan Frazier with 12:24 on the scoreboard and continued to hang around as the Runnin’ Bulldogs
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continued to send the Terriers to the free throw line.
GWU increased its lead to 10 points on two separate occasions over the next several minutes of play and kept the Terriers out of striking distance, holding a five point lead or more over a 10 minute span.
With the help of the GWU’s foul problems, the Terriers refused to go away and cut the Gardner-Webb lead to two at 57-55 with 30 seconds to go in the game.
After the two teams traded one of two made free throws to put the score at 58-56, with 19 seconds to play, Gardner-Webb’s Brown calmly stepped to the free throw line and made four straight free throws down the stretch to help seal the 62-57 road win for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
GWU outscored the Terriers 28-26 in points in the paint and 24-14 in points off turnovers.
The five wins this season for the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ surpasses the four wins that GWU had all of last season.
Gardner-Webb (5-5) will return home to host North Carolina Central at 2 p.m. Saturday in Paul Porter Arena, while Wofford (5-4) will hit the road to take on Seton Hall at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30.
Gardner-Webb and Wofford sports information contributed to this report