BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb continues its three-game home stand on Saturday afternoon, hosting SoCon contender Furman at 3:00 pm in Paul Porter Arena.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (5-4) have won three in a row including a 69-63 win over Hampton on Wednesday night in Boiling Springs. Wednesday's grinder was markedly lower in pace than the previous two games for the 'Dogs, with neither team able to find its range for much of the night.
That trio leads Gardner-Webb in scoring overall this season, with Efianayi (14.3 ppg) coming off the bench very effectively as the team's sixth man. Rideau (14.0 ppg) and Nelson (11.8 ppg), along with Jamaal Robateau (9.6 ppg) follow closely behind.
Furman (5-4) has been busy with Big South Conference teams so far this season, with Gardner-Webb the fifth team from the Big South for the Paladins in 2016-2017. The Runnin' Bulldogs were tabbed fourth in the league's preseason poll and will complete the set for Furman – who have already played the three teams projected ahead of GWU.
The Paladins dropped a tight game at home to UNC Asheville (64-58), lost an overtime heartbreaker at preseason favorite Winthrop (58-57) and bounced back with a 61-58 win at preseason No. 2 Liberty (61-58) on Tuesday night in Lynchburg.
A dead eye from long range has been helpful for Furman through nine games, with the Paladins shooting a solid 41.0 percent and knocking down a healthy 10.1 triples per game (91-of-222).
Guards Devin Sibley (14.4 ppg) and Daniel Fowler (12.4 ppg) lead the way, along with burly forward Kris Acox (10.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and stretch four man Geoff Beans (9.7 ppg). Beans, at 6-foot-7, leads the team with 24 treys so far (47.1 percent).
Sharpshooter Andrew Brown (16-of-31) comes off the bench to supply 6.7 points on 51.6 percent shooting from deep.
The Paladins already own an 84-74 win at UAB (11/14) and pummeled Navy, 79-46, in Greenville (12/3) before topping Liberty.
Saturday afternoon's game will stream live on The Big South Network (bigsouthsports.com), with Fabian Fuentes calling the action.