BOILING SPRINGS – High Point used a 15-8 run out of the locker room to take control of the game and held on for a 71-64 win over Gardner-Webb Thursday night in both teams' Big South Conference opener.
Laquincy Rideau led Gardner-Webb (7-7, 0-1 Big South) with 22 points, with 12 of those markers coming in the final 2:55 of the game.
The loss for the Runnin' Bulldogs came down to turnovers and defensive breakdowns in that critical run in the second half for High Point (7-6, 1-0 Big South).
GWU coughed up 15 turnovers, which the Panthers turned directly into a 20-4 scoring edge in transition. With Gardner-Webb holding a 31-30 lead at halftime, High Point came out of the break on fire – getting easy baskets and making six-straight shots to start the second half.
The Panthers continued to click offensively, getting loose underneath often in the final 20 minutes – and making key shots from long range when needed – to push ahead by as many as 11 points late in the game.
Gardner-Webb was able to trim the lead to six points in the closing minute, but High Point made enough free throws to keep the lead at multiple possessions.
Miles Bowman, Jr., who missed High Point's last game, scored 15 of his team's first 30 points and finished with a team-high 21 points in an efficient shooting performance for the visitors.
Anthony Lindauer added 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Panthers – and Tarique Thompson came off the bench to score 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Lindauer's passing early created several easy chances in close and allowed High Point to post a 21/7 assist-turnover ratio on the evening.
High Point shot 56.0 percent in the second half (14-for-25) and 47.3 percent for the game. The Panthers were red-hot from distance, making 8-of-13 triples (61.5 percent) on the night.
In addition to Rideau's scoring, the sophomore point guard finished with six assists, four rebounds and two steals. Jamaal Robateau had all 12 of his points in the first half – making four three-pointers to push Gardner-Webb in front by halftime.
The game was competitive early, featuring eight lead changes and one tie. High Point led the game for 33:30 of the 40 minutes – going up early in the first half (18-10) before Robateau led Gardner-Webb's charge into the lead before the break.
The Runnin' Bulldogs face a very difficult task on Saturday afternoon, traveling to face defending Big South Conference champion UNC Asheville at 2:00 pm in Kimmel Arena. The Bulldogs dropped an overtime decision at Radford on Thursday night.