The Runnin' Bulldogs departed at 3:30am Wednesday morning for their 6 day foreign tour to the Dominican Republic. Their plane touched down in Santo Domingo around 1pm., and from there the team headed to their hotel to rest before the first of three contests over the next few days. Gardner-Webb played their first game against Club Calero in Santo Domingo. The games on the foreign tour are being played with FIBA rules, which means playing four ten-minute quarters with a 24-second shot clock.
The contest started with redshirt junior Jamaal Robateau (Queensland, New South Wales, Australia) hitting two straight jumpers to get the Runnin' Bulldogs out to an early 5-0 lead. Calero responded quickly with multiple baskets of its own before Gardner-Webb finished the quarter with a strong defensive effort - highlighted by four turnovers - to hold an 18-13 lead when the period ended.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start in the second quarter, but GWU recovered quickly and stretched its lead to 32-22 at halftime. Gardner-Webb carried the momentum into the second half, opening the period with an 8-0 run that was sparked by consecutive steals.
The Runnin' Bulldogs ended the game well and won the contest 62-43. Robateau led the way with 16 points, Tyrell Nelson (Charlotte, N.C.) added seven points and four rebounds, and Eric Jamison (East Point, Ga.) sparked the Runnin' Bulldogs defensively with four steals.
One of the highlights of the day was when the team ran into a mission team from Bethel Baptist Church, which is located in Shelby, NC. The 23-person group came out to the game to support the Runnin' Bulldogs, and at the conclusion of the game, they were able to come together and fellowship briefly with some locals and each other.
Gardner-Webb will play its second contest tomorrow night at 6:30pm, and also parJamaal Robateauce project during the morning.
Jamaal Robateau: Day 1 in his own words
We woke up at 3 am to head to Greenville, S.C. for a 6 am flight to Atlanta, followed by our flight to the Dominican Republic, where we arrived at 1 pm. The ride to the hotel was very opening and like nothing I have ever seen before. The majority of the buildings were run down, unlike any American city I have seen.
Today I also witnessed the most mopeds I have ever seen before; I guess that is the country's favorite choice of transportation. The hotel is extremely nice and the food we ate was scrumptious. I tried goat for the first time, which was very good.
After a long bus ride to the game we finally made it to the venue. It was a good experience to play in a gym with no air conditioning and non English-speaking referees. The Dominican team played extremely hard the whole game and battled until the end, but we pulled out a scrappy win by 19 points.
Today was very long and exhausting due to all the travel and the game. Tomorrow should be exciting, as we have a game in the evening but are spending majority of the day feeding families who are less fortunate.