Runnin’ Bulldogs battle back For 75-62 win at Charleston Southern

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Gardner-Webb trailed Charleston Southern by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs would battle back to claim the lead in the third quarter to go on take a 75-62 decision inside the Buc Dome in Big South Conference action Saturday afternoon.

Gardner-Webb (3-7, 3-2 Big South) fell behind Charleston Southern (5-4, 3-2 Big South) early, with the Buccaneers taking holding a double-digit advantage at the end of the opening frame after a near half-court heave by Kelsie Ruff-Mills went in as time expired, giving CSU a 23-12 lead.

The Bucs built their lead to as many as 12 points with 4:18 to go in the second period after Makenna Winans made a pair of free throws, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs began to fight back with a 12-0 run over the next three minutes to tie the game at 35-35. The ‘Dogs would trail CSU, 38-36, at the half.

Gardner-Webb tied the game once again at the onset of the third period on a put-back basket by Alexis Hueston and would take its first lead of the day at 40-38 on the following possession on a fast-break layup by Hueston with 8:46 to go. Charleston Southern reclaimed the lead its next trip down the court and built a lead of five points with 4:00 on the clock on a three-point basket by Sharita Godfrey. GWU responded with a 10-2 run to close out the frame, taking a 57-54 lead into the final period.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs controlled play throughout the fourth quarter, opening with a 12-1 run to hold a 69-55 lead with 4:46 left in the game. GWU led by a game-high 15 points with 2:17 to go after Lauren Bevis knocked down a pair of free throws, and the ‘Dogs would go on to take a 13-point win at 75-62.

Gardner-Webb went 27-of-80 (33.8 percent) from the floor, and just 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Charleston Southern made 20-of-46 (43.5 percent) of its attempts, including a 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) effort from long distance. The Runnin’ Bulldogs led virtually all remaining stat categories, outrebounding the Bucs by a 48-37 margin and scoring 28 points on 27 CSU turnovers while GWU only had 12 miscues that led to 17 points for the Buccaneers.

Bevis led all scores on the day with 20 points on a 6-of-16 performance, including 4-of-11 from beyond the arc in 34 minutes of play off the bench. Jhessyka Williams followed with 10 points and four steals. Alasia Smith pulled down a game-high seven boards.

CSU was led offensively by Janaia Fargo with 14 points, followed by Carmella Walker with 11 points on the day.

Gardner-Webb defeats Charleston Southern, 68-59, to complete weekend sweep

CHARLESTON, S.C.- Gardner-Webb used a 17-2 run in the second half to seal a 68-59 win over Charleston Southern in Big South Conference action Sunday afternoon inside the Buccaneer Fieldhouse.

With the win, Gardner-Webb (4-7, 4-2 Big South) completes the series sweep of Charleston Southern (5-5, 3-3 Big South), using second half runs in both contests for a pair of come-from-behind victories.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs trailed the Buccaneers by a 44-37 margin with 3:29 remaining in the third period, but would rattle off 12 unanswered point over the next 2:25 to build a five-point lead at 49-44 with 1:04 left in the frame, causing six CSU turnovers during that stretch.

GWU continued its run into the fourth period with a mid-range jumper by Ki’Ari Cain in the opening possession of the quarter to set the score at 54-46.

Gardner-Webb maintained its lead throughout the remainder of the contest, pushing its advantage to a game-high 12 points with 1:07 to go on a layup by Alasia Smith, and would go on to take a nine-point victory.

After struggling offensively in the first half, making just 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) attempts, the Runnin’ Bulldogs headed up after halftime, converting 16-of-32 (50.0 percent) tries from the floor in the second half. For the game, GWU was 25-of-64 (39.1 percent), including 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) from long distance. Charleston Southern was 21-of-44 (47.7 percent) with a 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) effort from beyond the arc.

Gardner-Webb once again took advantage of CSU’s miscues throughout the afternoon, causing 28 turnovers that led to 30 points. The ‘Dogs committed just 11 turnovers that led to six points for the Bucs.

Jhesskya Williams paced the GWU offensive attack with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting, as well as a 5-of-6 effort from the charity stripe. Cain followed with 14 points, while Smith had 10 points along with six rebounds and six steals.

Sharita Godfrey led Charleston Southern with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-3 from long distance. Makenna Winians followed with 14 points, while Carmella Walker had 12 points. Jamya Rogers added 10 points from the bench.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs return to Paul Porter Arena for a four-game homestand, beginning Friday, Jan. 15 against Radford. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m. with live coverage on ESPN+ ( / ESPN App).