The shift in play several times was as different as night and day. The end result was another victory for the Gardner-Webb women’s basketball team.
After a forgettable 1st half, GWU erupted in the 3rd quarter to outscore host Presbyterian College, 25-2, and roll to a 51-40 win.
Olivia Parker had 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs, who took over sole possession of 3rd place in the Big South Conference. GWU is 17-9 overall, 11-5 in Big South play. Presbyterian is 14-10 overall, 10-5 in the conference.
Alexus Hill added 13 points for Gardner-Webb, Connersville native Tierra Huntsman had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists and Candace Brown finished with 9 points and 9 boards. Taylor Petty scored 14 points to lead Presbyterian.
The 1st half was an offensive struggle for both teams. GWU shot just 4-of-13 in the opening quarter (30.8 percent) and 7-for-27 overall (25.9 percent). The Blue Hose were 2-of-16 in the 1st quarter (12.5 percent), 7-of-32 in the half (21.8 percent).
Things looked good for the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 6:30 to play in the 2nd quarter when Huntsman drove the right baseline, kicked a pass to Kiera Currie who found Brown open on the left side. Brown canned a 3-pointer to give her team a 20-14 advantage.
But everything came grinding to a halt, with a basket by PC’s Allie Wagner the only points either team would score in the final 3:29.
With Hill making two 3-pointers and scoring 8 straight points to open the 3rd stanza, GWU bolted to to 28-16 lead. Coach Rick Reeves’ team put the defensive clamps on the Blue Hose, holding the team without a field goal during the quarter.
An old-fashioned 3-point play and layup by Huntsman made it 45-18 at the end of the period. The Runnin’ Bulldogs made 10-of-13 shots in the quarter (76.9 percent).
Huntsman made a layup and Brown made a jump shot and 2 free throws to give Gardner-Webb a 51-27 lead, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs hit a lull in the final 6:18, with Presbyterian scoring the final 13 points of the game.
Gardner-Webb plays at Charleston Southern Saturday (2 p.m.).
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