GWU C Byron out 3-4 weeks

Nov. 16, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

Just three games into the season and the Gardner-Webb men's basketball team already has its first casualty.

In the second game of the season, against Covenant (Ga.) College, Runnin' Bulldog center Mike Byron went down with an injury. Now, his prognosis is that he will be out 3-4 weeks.

Byron played 14 minutes in last Saturday's game before leaving the game. He had three blocked shots in the Runnin' Bulldogs' (1-2) 77-39 win.

Thus far this season, the junior from San Antonio, Texas, is averaging 7.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game so far in 2012-2013. He scored six of Gardner-Webb's first eight points in the season opener at No. 11 North Carolina, pushing the Runnin' Bulldogs to an early lead. He finished with 10 points and blocked a shot against the Tar Heels.

GWU head coach Chris Holtmann said that Byron had worked to get back to full-strength after suffering a stress fracture earlier this summer.

"He was playing very well and has consistently improved," Holtmann said, in a statement. "We certainly aren't the only team in college basketball dealing with a significant injury, and we are excited to see Mike back in action here before long.

"In the meantime, this will give some of our young posts an opportunity to grow."

Last season, Byron played in all 32 games and had 22 starts in the post. He was second on the team in shooting percentage at .528. Over the course of last season, Byron had four games with at least 10 points, including double-doubles against Chattanooga and Delaware State.

Sophomore Corey Hensley, who came in for Byron against Covenant, finished the game with a career-high 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Holtmann said that freshman forward Jerome Hill will also see additional playing time while Byron nurses his injury.

The Runnin' Bulldogs will play its next four games on the road, at Iowa on Saturday night followed by a trip to Cancun, Mexico Nov. 20-21 and at Illinois on Nov. 25.

They will return home to take on Virginia-Wise at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.


Gardner-Webb sports information contributed to this report