By Jared McMurry
Saturday afternoon at Paul Porter Arena was started off by the Runnin’ Bulldogs women’s basketball team earning their third straight victory.
Charleston Southern was able to keep things interesting in the second half before the Runnin’ Bulldogs were able to pull away for a 70-54 win. Gardner-Webb was led in scoring by Olivia Parker with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Alexus Hill added 15 points.
Following afterwards, the men’s basketball team took on the Winthrop Eagles in their second conference game in three days; where again, a good crowd trickled in by tipoff.
The game was physical from start to finish and the Runnin’ Bulldogs were unable to get much offense going early on. Dylan Poston was able to come off the bench and knock down three treys to help keep his team in the game in the first half. The Eagles however led by 16 at the half and took their biggest lead of the game at 17 early in the second half.
“We had to play harder,” coach Tim Craft said.
His team responded quickly and began to claw back into the game. Senior point guard Tyler Strange was able to score to cut the lead to 10 that really propelled a Gardner-Webb run. Strange would follow that bucket with four three-pointers that were crucial down the stretch.
Strange’s homerun, with 1:32 left in the game, tied the score at 62. Two possessions later, trailing by two, Gardner-Webb was able to corral an offensive rebound and Jerome Hill found the bottom of the net and was fouled on the play.
His free throw gave the Runnin’ Bulldogs their first lead since the beginning of the ball game. On the other end, Winthrop’s Keon Moore had a contested eight footer come up short, sealing the 65-64 victory for Gardner-Webb.
Strange was very happy with his and his teammates effort in the second half. “Good team effort and a good night to be a Bulldog,” he said. “Being the senior on the team, I want the ball in my hands and I want to take the shot.”
Craft was also thrilled by how his team responded in the game down the stretch. “The second half we played desperate and every possession like it was our last one,” he said.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs had four scorers in double figures with Strange leading the way with 17. Tyrell Nelson was able to add a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Hill and Jarvis Davis contributed 12 and 10 points respectively.