The game was a close battle throughout, with both teams struggling to make shots. The winners finshed 21-of-74 (28.4 percent) with Liberty faring a little better at 17-of-50 (34 percent).
Connersville graduate Tierra Huntsman scored 14 points for Gardner-Webb, 6 in the third quarter and 5 in the fourth. Her 3-pointer with 4:45 to play cut Liberty’s lead to 50-49, and the redshirt sophomore added another basket that gave the Runnin’ Bulldogs a 53-52 lead with 3:13 remaining.
Liberty took a 54-53 lead, but senior Candace Brown countered with a 3 at the 2:32 mark to give Gardner-Webb a 56-54 advantage. Aunesha Willams and Kiera Currie made 4 free throws in the final 16 seconds to wrap up the win.
Brown had 17 points and 9 rebounds for G-W with Alexus Hill scoring 12. Brown shot just 7-for-24, Hill was 4-for-19.
Sadalia Ellis led Liberty with 12 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Ashley Rininger had 10 points and 8 rebounds.
Gardner-Webb plays at Winthrop Saturday (1 p.m.) in another Big South Conference clash.
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