Strong 2nd-half defense and domination on the backboards helped the Gardner-Webb University women’s basketball team defeat Winthrop University, 70-52, Saturday at Paul Porter Arena.
Alexus Hill scored a game-high 18 points, with Connersville native Tierra Huntsman and Candace Brown adding 13 points each for the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who improve to 15-8 overall and 9-4 in Big South Conference play. Winthrop is 3-19, 2-11 BSC.
GWU led 35-29 at halftime, and the Eagles kept it close in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the hosts, 16-12, to cut the deficit to 47-45 entering the final 10 minutes.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs turned up the defensive heat in the last period, holding Winthrop to 3-of-14 shooting (21.4 percent) — and just one basket in the final 8:19.
Huntsman scored 6 points in the final quarter, making 2-of-3 field goal attempts and both of her free throw tries. The sophomore point guard finished with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
GWU outrebounded Winthrop, 51-27. Brown led the way with 8 boards, Kiera Currie grabbed 7 and Hill had 6. Olivia Parker, who missed the last 2 games, finished with 9 points and 5 rebounds.
Coach Rick Reeves’ team shot 25-of-59 from the floor (42.4 percent) and 7-for-19 from 3-point land (36.8 percent). Huntsman, Brown and Hill all made a pair of 3-pointers, Morgan Ackerman made one.
Winthrop shot 22-for-63 overall (34.9 percent) and 4-of-11 from beyond the arc (36.4 percent). Aliyah Kilpatrick and Arianna Whitaker scored 15 points apiece to lead the Highlanders.
Gardner-Webb plays at Radford University Tuesday (7 p.m.). The Runnin’ Bulldogs defeated the Highlanders, 54-50, on Jan. 23.
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